Can the dates on which a public officer availed leaves be disclosed under RTI?
The appellant filed an application under the Right to Information (RTI) Act with the United India Insurance Company Limited seeking details regarding attendance of Development Officer. The Public Information Officer (PIO) denied disclosing information claiming it to be third party information. The First Appellate Authority (FAA) provided information pertaining to the number of days of leave availed by the Development Officer.
During the hearing before the Central Information Commission (CIC), the appellant submitted that he is seeking information in terms of the dates on which the leave was availed by the mentioned Development officer. The respondent submitted that the information pertains to the personal information of the third party.
View of CIC
The CIC observed that the information sought i.e. the dates on which the leave was availed by the above mentioned officer is “personal information” which is in relation to the Public Activity of the ‘Development officer’ and thus it may be disclosed under the RTI Act. The Commission referred to a previous Delhi High Court judgment [UPSC v. R. K Jain in WP 1243/2011 dated 13/7/2012], wherein the court has observed that ‘Public activity’ are those activities which are performed by the person in discharge of a public duty and there is an inherent public interest involved in the discharge of such activities, as all public duties are expected to be discharged in public interest. Consequently, information of a person which is related to, or has a bearing on his public activities, is not exempt from disclosure under the scheme and provisions of the Act, whose primary object is to ensure an informed citizenry and transparency of information and also to contain corruption. The Commission directed the respondents to provide the dates on which the leave was availed by the above mentioned Development officer to the appellant.
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 bars the disclosure of personal information only if such information has no relationship to any public activity or to public interest, or which would cause unwarranted invasion of the privacy of the individual.
Citation: Mr. Chaman Lal Jindal v. United India Insurance Co. Ltd. In Appeal: No. CIC/DS/A/2012/000206
RTI Citation : RTIFI/2012/CIC/727
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