Denial of disclosure should be only as per the RTI Act
The appellant sought information about copies of payments, forms, permission etc. for Samudaik Radio Station by Guru Nanak Fifth Centenary School. The PIO informed that certain information cannot be provided as it pertains to the third party i.e. Guru Nanak fifth Centenary School who is unwilling to share the information. Document relating to the approval of the Ministry of Home Affairs were denied claiming them as ‘secret’.
View of the CIC
The Commission held that Section 11 of the RTI Act is a procedural requirement but the determination of whether the information should be released or not has to be based on the exemptions of Section 8(1) of the RTI Act. Information can be denied only if it falls amongst exemptions under Section 8(1). The Commission noted that the PIO has denied copy of the clearance from the Home Ministry holding that the document is marked secret. Observing that the RTI Act has been passed by the Parliament and such arbitrary refusal of information which is not exempt under Section 8(1) of the RTI Act is without any basis in the law, the Commission directed to disclose the information.
Citation: Mr. Pradeep Bhandari v. Ministry of Information & Broadcasting in Decision No. CIC/SG/A/2011/002498/16003