Copies of maps of land belonging to Railways, their blueprints & all land plans were sought - PIO replied that copy cannot be provided to him as a passenger train passes through the said land and for security purposes - CIC upheld the denial
O R D E R
The appellant had sought information in the form of copies of maps of land belonging to Railways and their blueprints and also certified copies of all landplans. CPIO stated in its reply that the office only has the blueprint of Nepanagar role diagram. The appellant was directed to personally visit the concerned office to inspect the sought for maps and diagrams because the copy cannot be provided to him as a passenger train passes through the said land and for security purposes a hardcopy of the same cannot be provided. FAA also stated the same.
The following were present: Appellant: Absent; Respondent: Mr. S. K. Sinha, Sr. Divisional Engineer (M:7219611201) and Mr. B. N. Bhagat, Junior Engineer (Land) (M:9527772127) Head Quarters Bhusawal;
The appellant remained absent during the hearing. The representatives of the respondent stated that appellant desires to obtain the blue print of the map of the railway land adjoining his house. It has been stated in a written submission that the respondents have replied to his application and have suggested that he could visit the office of the Divisional Engineer and peruse the records between 10AM to 06PM on any working day. The respondents reiterated their observations that have already been supplied to the appellant and also added that there have been certain rail accidents, trespassing and theft of iron tracks in this area. From the security perspective also such details should not normally be shared. The Railway Protection Force (RPF) have been patrolling this area from time to time. Section 8(1)(a) Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, there shall be no obligation to give any citizen, information, disclosure of which would prejudicially affect the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security, strategic, scientific or economic interests of the State, relation with foreign State or lead to incitement of an offence; of the RTI Act states that, “information, disclosure of which would prejudicially affect the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security, strategic, scientific or economic interests of the State, relation with foreign State or lead to incitement of an offence;” hence, it can be safely inferred that the sought for information is exempt from disclosure.
Considering the facts of the case and that appellant remained absent at the time of the hearing, keeping in view the sensitivities explained by the respondents and their willingness to share the information to the appellant in person, the Commission is of the view that the stand taken by the respondents is upheld. There is no further intervention required by the Commission in the matter. The appeal stands disposed accordingly.
Citation: Mohammed Abrar v. Central Railways Divisional Office in Appeal No.CIC/VS/A/2014/000502/BJ