Can the details of the criminal cases filed by a department be disclosed under RTI?
The Appellant sought information regarding details of criminal cases got registered by the Postal Department against the Postal Assistants in Sitapur Division. The Public Information Officer (PIO) denied the information under section 8(1) (j) of the RTI Act and the order was upheld by the First Appellate Authority (FAA).
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The Commission observed that once the Department lodges an FIR against its employee, the whole matter falls in public domain. Generally, the Department gets cases registered against its employees for fraud, forgery and embezzlement of Government funds and this cannot be said to be personal information. The Commission held that the employees who commit such frauds need to be exposed and wide publicity given to their misdeeds. Therefore, the PIO was directed to provide requested information to the appellant. However, as the appellant had not provided any time frame for the requested information, the Commission felt that the information for five calendar years viz. 2007 to 2011 should be supplied free of cost to the appellant.
In some cases, it has been held by the other benches of the CIC that some of the cases of investigation may not stand during scrutiny and hence detailed information about the cases should not be provided till the cases are proved as any premature disclosure may cause irreparable loss to the reputation of the officer.
Citation: Shri Bachan Prasad Yadav v. Department of Posts in file no. CIC/LS/A/2011/003301
RTI Citation : RTIFI/2012/CIC/156
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