CIC- Mere oral assertions do not establish a larger public interest
The appellant filed the application under the Right to Information (RTI) Act with the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) seeking information copies of net worth certificates of a particular couple submitted by M/s Allied Insurance Brokers Limited to IRDA.The Public Information Officer (PIO) denied the information under section 8(1)(d), section 8(1)(e) Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, there shall be no obligation to give any citizen, information available to a person in his fiduciary relationship, unless the competent authority is satisfied that the larger public interest warrants the disclosure of such information; and section 8(1)(j) Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, there shall be no obligation to give any citizen, information which relates to personal information the disclosure of which has no relationship to any public activity or interest, or which would cause unwarranted invasion of the privacy of the individual unless the Central Public Information Officer or the State Public Information Officer or the appellate authority, as the case may be, is satisfied that the larger public interest justifies the disclosure of such information: Provided that the information which cannot be denied to the Parliament or a State Legislature shall not be denied to any person. of the RTI Act.
During the hearing before the Central Information Commission (CIC), the appellant alleged charges of corruption and money laundering against the third party in respect of whom the information was sought. The appellant submitted that he has filed complaint on the same subject matter to the, IRDA, Enforcement Directorate (ED), Vigilance Department, Income Tax department and the outcome of the enquiry by these concerned authorities was awaited. The respondent submitted that sought information pertains to “third party” and cannot be disclosed under the RTI Act.
View of CIC
The Commission observed that the information sought by the appellant pertains to personal information of the third party which may not be disclosed unless a larger public interest is established. The CIC rejected the appeal holding that mere oral assertions do not establish substantial proof against the charges of corruption and lead to disclosure of personal information of the third party in the larger public interest. The Commission also advised the appellant to approach the designated agency for the disposal of corruption cases.
Citation: Shri N.P. S. Jadon v IRDA in Appeal: No. CIC/DS/A/2012/000926
RTI Citation : RTIFI/2013/CIC/1123
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