Certified copy of recorded statement / evidence denied citing Court order – no exemption clause as given in Section 8(1) cited – the Court Order does not prohibit the disclosure and only talks of safe custody – PIO /FAA cautioned to be careful in future
Facts of the case:
1. The Appellant filed her RTI application dated 03.02.2012 with the CPIO, Delhi Police, Hauz Khas, New Delhi seeking certified copies of following documents in respect of complaint case No. CC50/ 2/11; Harjeet Singh Mendiratta Vs Gurmeet Kaur & Ors at P.S. R.K. Puram, New Delhi:
“A) Provide certified copy of recorded statement / evidence of Smt. Gurmeet Kaur & Sh. Prakash Gangwani both attesting witnesses of the will dated 18.07.2005 executed by late Smt. Trilochan Kaur.
B) Provide the certified copy of office copy of status report field by IO/SHO on 07.12.2011 in the Court of MM Prahshant Sharma Saket New Delhi.”
2. The CPIO, in response, through his letter dated 14.02.2012, forwarded the reply received from ACP Sub Division Safdarjung Enclave to the Appellant. Through this reply, the ACP had denied the information in respect of point A) to the Appellant in view of the order dated 16.01.2012 of the Saket Court. As for point B), the ACP had stated that no office copy of status report dt. 07.12.2011 is available in police station.
3. The Appellant, being dissatisfied with the reply forwarded by the CPIO, filed an appeal dated 17.03.2012 before the Appellate Authority. The Appellate Authority decided this appeal vide his order dated 20.04.2012 holding that the decision of the CPIO for not supplying the certified copies of the requested document is reasonable keeping in view of specific orders dated 16.01.2012 of Saket Court. She (Appellate Authority) accordingly rejected the Appellant’s appeal.
4. Being aggrieved with the order of the Appellate Authority, the Appellant filed the present appeal before the Commission.
5. During the hearing, the Respondents stated that keeping in view the order dated 16.01.2012 of the Rohini Court, by which they had been asked to keep the documents (which also include information in question here) in safe custody for future official purpose, they have declined the disclosure of present information to the Appellant. They, however, when asked, could not cite any exemption clause as given in Section 8(1) of the RTI Act in support of their denial of present information to the Appellant.
6. The Commission notes that the Court Order the Respondents have quoted hereinabove does not prohibit the disclosure of the document in question. It just asks the Police to keep the document in safe custody so that it can be used in future. Therefore, the Respondents’ denial in the instant case is not justified. Moreover, neither the CPIO nor the Appellate Authority has cited any exemption clause as given in Section 8(1) of the RTI Act for denying the present piece of information to the Appellant. Both of them have simply relied upon the order of the Court which too did not prohibit the disclosure of the instant information. This exhibits that both the RTI functionaries (CPIO and Appellate Authority) have not properly examined the Appellant’s RTI request in the light of the provisions of the RTI Act and have simply passed on/approved of the reply given by the ACP / SHO to the Appellant. They are, therefore, hereby cautioned to be more careful in future while dealing with RTI request.
7. Moreover, the representatives of the Respondents present during the hearing admit the fact that the court order does not prohibit the disclosure of the subject document and agree to provide the present information to the Appellant.
8. In view of the above, the Respondents are directed to furnish the information in question to the Appellant within 7 days of receipt of this order.
Citation: Ms. Sonia Mendiratta v. Delhi Police (South District) in Case No. CIC/SS/A/2012/002918