Are disciplinary proceedings against an individual liable to be called as personal?
The appellant filed an application under the Right to Information (RTI) Act with the Geological Survey of India (GSI) seeking copy of some enquiry report and copies of several other documents relating to disciplinary action against some officers and employees of GSI. The Public Information Officer (PIO) provided a response more than a month beyond the stipulated period and denied the information under section 8(1)(h) Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, there shall be no obligation to give any citizen, information which would impede the process of investigation or apprehension or prosecution of offenders; and section 8(1)(j) Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, there shall be no obligation to give any citizen, information which relates to personal information the disclosure of which has no relationship to any public activity or interest, or which would cause unwarranted invasion of the privacy of the individual unless the Central Public Information Officer or the State Public Information Officer or the appellate authority, as the case may be, is satisfied that the larger public interest justifies the disclosure of such information: Provided that the information which cannot be denied to the Parliament or a State Legislature shall not be denied to any person. of the RTI Act. Later, the enquiry report was provided to the appellant.
View of CIC
The Central Information Commission (CIC) referred to the Supreme Court order dated 3 October 2012 in the SLP(C) no. 27734 of 2012 (http://www.rtifoundationofindia.com/dopt/SCDecision.pdf) in which it has held that records and documents relating to disciplinary proceedings against a government employee cannot be ordinarily disclosed to any third party this being in the nature of personal information. The Commission rejected the appeal observing there is no further information to be disclosed in the case. The CIC however, imposed the penalty of Rs.7,500/- on the PIO noting that he failed to give any reasonable reason for the delay of more than 30 days.
Citation: Mr. S N Basu v. Geological Survey of India, Ministry of Mines in File No. CIC/SM/A/2012/001866
RTI Citation : RTIFI/2013/CIC/1284
Click here to view original RTI order of Court / Information Commission