CIC: Proper reply was not provided to the appellant by quoting Sec 8(1)(j) & 8(1)(g) exemptions which are not applicable as the appellant wanted information pertaining to herself - CIC passed stricture against the GM, FCI for quoting inappropriate section
The appellant vide RTI application dated 08.09.2015 sought copies of complaints filed against her by Sasmita Jena. The appellant filed first appeal on 14.09.2015. The CPIO replied on 14.10.2015. The First Appellate Authority (FAA) vide order dated 02.05.2016 disposed of the first appeal. Aggrieved with the non-supply of the desired information from the respondent authority, the appellant filed second appeal under the provision of Section 19 of the RTI Act before the Central Information Commission on 06.05.2017.
Grounds for Second Appeal
The CPIO did not provide the desired information.
Order Appellant : Present
Respondent : Shri B.R. Nanda, Assistant General Manager cum APIO, Food Corporation of India
During the hearing, the respondent APIO submitted that they had provided the requisite reply vide their letter dated 14.10.2015 and the First Appellate Authority (FAA)’s order dated 02.05.2016. The replies furnished to the appellant are just and proper and hence the case might be dismissed.
The appellant submitted that she was not satisfied with the reply received from the respondent.
On perusal of the relevant case record, it was noted by the Commission that proper reply was not provided to the appellant by quoting 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. and 8(1)(g) Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, there shall be no obligation to give any citizen, information, the disclosure of which would endanger the life or physical safety of any person or identify the source of information or assistance given in confidence for law enforcement or security purposes; exemptions which are not applicable or misplaced as the appellant wanted information pertaining to herself. Hence, the reply is deplorable for which stricture is issued against Shri Hemant Kumar, General Manager for quoting inappropriate sections of the RTI Act for claiming exemption under the Act.
The then respondent CPIO, Shri Hemant Kumar, General Manager is issued warning that full, final and comprehensive reply to an RTI application should have been provided within the time period as stipulated under the RTI Act and he should ensure that in future in every case reply to an RTI application is invariably provided within 30 days of receipt of the said application.
The present respondent CPIO is directed to serve a copy of this warning to the then CPIO and a copy of the service of the above said warning be submitted to the Commission within 10 days of the receipt of the order. Proper information should be provided to the appellant as the same pertains to the appellant and is eminently disclosable under the relevant provisions of the RTI Act after applying section 10 (severability clause) after masking the names/designations of the officers.
Be that as it may, since no desired information was provided to the appellant in the present case, the respondent CPIO is directed to provide revised point wise reply as discussed during the hearing complete in all respects to the appellant as available on record (legible copies), free of charge u/s 7(6) of the RTI Act within 07 days of the receipt of the order.
The respondent CPIO is further directed to send a report containing the copy of the revised reply and the date of despatch of the same to the RTI appellant within 07 days thereafter to the Commission for record. With the above observation/direction, the appeal is disposed of.
Copies of the order be sent to the concerned parties free of cost.
Citation: Pratima Minj v. Food Corporation of India in File No : CIC/FCIND/A/2017/131702, Date of hearing: 23.07.2018