Are the statements of witness liable for disclosure?
The appellant wanted to know the action on the documents submitted by her to the CVO and the copies of comments/correspondence related to it. The appellant also sought written statement given by one Shri Ram Kumar Singh in respect of bail given to some people in FIR No.50 /10 u/s 323/451/325/34 IPC. The PIO replied that the action taken on the complaint has been completed and requested the Applicant to deposit Rs.172/- towards supply of 86 pages of information. The Applicant filed an appeal with the Appellate Authority stating that she had deposited Rs. 172/- and was supplied with 86 pages of information of which one page was blank. She also raised some questions based on the reply provided to her while alleging that some information has been deliberately denied to her. The First Appellate Authority disposed off the appeal directing the PIO to check the records once again and if the missing page is available, to provide a copy of the same to the Appellant free of cost. He also directed the PIO to show the concerned file to the Applicant if she intends to inspect the same.
View of the CIC
During the hearing the respondent submitted that the investigation on the matter raised by the Appellant has been completed and that the charge sheet has been issued. The PIO informed that a copy of the complete file dealing with the Appellant’s case has already been provided to the Appellant and that the investigation report/file at present are under submission for appointment of Inquiry Officer/Presenting Officer. As the appellant narrowed down her request, the Commission directed to provide information regarding the two points raised by her. The Commission directed to provide:
i) a copy of the charge sheet to the Appellant.
ii) an attested copy of any written statement submitted by Shri Ram Kumar Singh based on which three persons were released from custody on bail, if available on record. If such a statement is not available, the Commission directed the PIO to provide an affidavit to with a copy to the Appellant affirming his position that information sought is not available in the records of the Public Authority.
Unless the statement of witness is claimed to have been held in fiduciary capacity, or its disclosure is likely to cause a danger to the physical safety of the witness, or its disclosure would impede the process of investigation, the disclosure of such documents is not barred from disclosure.
Citation: Ms. Shashi v. Delhi Jail Board in File No: CIC/AD/A/2011/002234