CIC: Final results of promotion of selected employees i.e. final marks secured of selected candidates should have been published for the sake of transparency and accountability; Appellant was entitled to know the status of petition regarding low APAR mark
1. The issue under consideration arising out of the second appeal dated 21.10.2020 include non-receipt of the following information sought by the appellant through the RTI application dated 03.06.2020 and first appeal dated 17.07.2020:-
Copies of the following records and documents under RTI Act, relating to Promotion Process held in April 2014 and May 2015 from DGM Cadre to GM Cadre
(i) The appellant submitted Appeal on 23.01.2015 for Promotion to Scale VII GM Cadre. The appellant has not been replied on the basis of Appeal submitted by him on 23.01.2015. If it was already disposed off, the appellant requested for copy of minutes and decision of the Appellate Committee.
(ii) The appellant preferred an Appeal in respect of low score of marks given in Annual Performance Appraisal. The appeal was also not disposed of and not communicated to him. If it was already disposed off, the appellant requested for copy of the minutes and decision of the Appellate Committee.
(iii) Selection process records including marks and comments recorded by DPC and by each member of the interview/selection committee to the attendees for the promotion process from DGM to GM. The selected list of GMs and promotion process proceedings signed by member of the DPC.
(iv) Details of the names of the Executives who have disciplinary cases pending or contemplated provided to DPC, by Vigilance Department, Credit Monitoring Department Industrial Relations Department and CDAC Department, provided to Departmental Promotion Committee and Members of the Interviewing.
(v) The record of performance provided to DPC and Interviewing Members in respect of each Executive (DGM) appearing for selection to GM Cadre.
(vi) Bio data and record of performance during their career as first line functionary in Branch/RO/ZO/CO, of the Executives who were promoted as GMs.
(vii) The data of performance record in all business parameters in all positions during the financial years prior to their promotion and after their promotion to GM Cadre.
(viii) Annual Performance Appraisal Reports of those Executives promoted as GMs, for the preceding five years prior to the date of their promotion to GM during the financial years 2014-15 and 2014-16.
(ix) Internal Office Notes of PAD/HRMD/HRDD placed to ED and MDs at the time of giving effect to the promotions of those who were promoted to GMs. Memorandums placed to board of the bank and minutes thereof, in relation to giving effect to promotion of Mr. Parvesh Kapoor and any other Promotee.
(x) Memorandum placed to the board and the minutes/disposal of the Board during the years 2014-15 and 2015-16 in respect of Promotion Process, Promotion references and giving effect to the Promotions to the Cadre of General Manager.
2. Succinctly facts of the case are that the appellant filed an application dated 03.06.2020 under the Right to Information Act, 2005 (RTI Act) before the Central Public Information Officer (CPIO), Indian Overseas Bank, Chennai, seeking aforesaid information. The CPIO vide letter dated 04.07.2020 replied to the appellant. Aggrieved by the same, the appellant filed first appeal dated 17.07.2020. The First Appellate Authority (FAA) vide order dated 13.08.2020 disposed of the first appeal. Aggrieved by that, the appellant filed second appeal dated 21.10.2020 before the Commission which is under consideration.
3. The appellant has filed the instant appeal dated 21.10.2020 inter alia on the grounds that reply given by the CPIO was not satisfactory. The appellant requested the Commission to direct the CPIO to provide the complete information and take necessary action as per Section 20 (1) of the RTI Act.
4. The CPIO replied vide letter dated 04.07.2020 and the same is reproduced as under:-
“(i) & (ii) “No records available with the concerned department. (iii) to (x) Information sought for various procedure are internal records of Bank. It contains correspondence between various authorities within Bank. These correspondences contains information regarding safeguard of interest of Bank with regard activities of staff disclosure of which is detrimental to the organization’s interest, employee discipline and comment & observation made by the authorities. Hence, exempted under Section 8 (1) (d) of the RTI Act, 2005.”
The FAA vide order dated 13.08.2020 upheld the reply of the CPIO.
5. The appellant and on behalf of the respondent Ms. R Mahalakshmi, AGM & CPIO, Indian Overseas Bank, Chennai attended the hearing through video conference.
5.1. The appellant inter alia submitted that the respondent had not replied or intimated him the status of his appeal dated 23.01.2015 submitted by him for promotion from Scale VI to Scale VII GM cadre (from DGM to GM). 5.2. The respondent while defending their case inter alia submitted that there was no provision for promotion from Scale VI to Scale VII. Further, the appellant was not promoted to the post of General Manager. Therefore, it was evident that the appeal dated 23.01.2015 was rejected. Moreover, the details of other selected GMs and their promotion proceedings were fiduciary in nature and could not be parted with the appellant.
6. The Commission after adverting to the facts and circumstances of the case, hearing both the parties and perusal of records, observed that the reply given by the respondent was partly evasive. The appellant had inter alia sought the status of his appeal dated 23.01.2015, appeal dated nil regarding APAR and low marks given therein, the details of promotion proceedings, list of selected GMs and their bio data, performance appraisal reports of other employees, etc. It may be noted that the details of other employees such as their appraisal reports, bio data, etc. consisted personal details and third party information. However, the final results of promotion of selected employees i.e. final marks secured of selected candidates should have been published in public domain for the sake of transparency and accountability. Further, the appellant was entitled to know the status of his appeal/petition dated 23.01.2015 and appeal regarding low marking in his APAR. In view of the above, the respondent is directed that the RTI application be re-visited and in the interest of justice, the information in respect of point nos. (i), (ii) and (iii) of the RTI application be made available to the appellant within three weeks from the date of receipt of this order. No intervention of the Commission is called for in terms of the remaining points in the RTI application. With these observations and directions, the appeal is disposed of.
Copy of the decision be provided free of cost to the parties.
Citation: N Sai Prasad v. Indian Overseas Bank, Second Appeal No. CIC/IOVBK/A/2020/133750, 01.11.2022