Copies of documents not scanned and maintained by LIC in spite of standing orders
The appellant filed an application under the Right to Information (RTI) Act with the Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) of India seeking photo copies of all the documents submitted by a third person (his wife) for issue of the Insurance policies taken by the appellant in the name of his two children along with photocopies of the duplicate insurance policies and action if any taken against the perpetrators of the fraud case and the photocopies of the decision/ report of enquiry committee set up to investigate the case. The Public Information Officer (PIO) informed that the papers pertaining to the three policies referred to in the RTI application are either lost or not traceable. The PIO asked the appellant to deposit the requisite fee of Rs. 12/- for receiving the duplicate policies and the information regarding the investigation was denied under the provisions of section 8(1)(h) Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, there shall be no obligation to give any citizen, information which would impede the process of investigation or apprehension or prosecution of offenders; of the RTI Act.
During the hearing before the Central Information Commission (CIC), the appellant submitted that that he intimated the public authority regarding the fraud and asked for an enquiry in the matter. In response the branch manager sent letter to the agent (who is the wife of the appellant) asking for her explanation in the matter. The agent sent her explanation to the manager (P&AR) following which the proposal to take action against the agent was sent by the Branch Manager to the Senior Divisional Manager. The PIO submitted that they have not received the orders from the Divisional office and it was also borne out that the custody of the documents sought by the appellant was the responsibility of the Branch Manager in charge of branch. Further, the PIO confirmed that all the documents held in particular docket are compulsorily to be scanned and soft copy of the documents is maintained as per the current orders. The respondent informed that even though all the other papers are available, the copy of the form which request was made for issuing duplicate insurance policies was never scanned and is therefore, not available.
View of CIC
The Commission noted that reasonable care to scan the original request on the basis of which such action was not taken in spite of the standing orders for maintaining soft copy of all documents pertaining to every insurance policy. The CIC observed that the alleged fraud pertains to 3 insurance policies taken by the appellant in the name of minor children and directed that the PIO to provide full and complete information including file notings and current status of the case. Holding that the Branch manager of LIC branch was responsible for the safe custody of the requested documents, the CIC directed to provide the requested information/ documents to the appellant.
Citation: Mr. Chetan Arvindbhai Jhaveri v. LIC of India in Appeal: No. CIC/DS/A/2012/002307
RTI Citation : RTIFI/2013/CIC/1171
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