Copy of complaint & report regarding it was denied u/s 8(1)(e) &(h) - During hearing, PIO submitted that disciplinary proceedings are complete & appellant has been punished; disclosure will endanger the physical safety of officials - CIC: appeal dismissed
1. Vide his RTI application dated 9.4.2014, Shri H.R. Bhagawan, sought copy of the complaint letter dated 15.1.2013 and report of the Branch Manager, Shri HY Venkatesh Rao who enquired into the matter on 1.3.2013.
2. The CPIO, vide his letter dated 25.4.2014, replied to him stating that the information/copy of document sought relate to information supplying of which would impede the process of investigation and, therefore, it could not be disclosed u/s 8(1) (h) of the RTI Act, 2005. As regards the report of the Branch Manager, Shri HY Venkatesh Rao, the CPIO informed that this relates to information available to a person in his fiduciary relationship and, therefore, unless the competent authority is satisfied that larger public interest warrants the disclosure of such information, it cannot be disclosed and was thus exempt u/s 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 (h) of the RTI Act.
3. Dissatisfied with the response of the CPIO, the appellant preferred an appeal dated 6.5.2014 to the first appellate authority who upheld the decision of the CPIO. The appellant then filed second appeal before the CIC. In his second appeal, the appellant sought copy of the complaint stating that the enquiry is vitiated if all the information sought for by him is not provided to him and these two documents were vital to disprove the charges leveled against him.
4. The matter was heard by the Commission. The appellant reiterated his request for the documents mentioned above. The respondents submitted that the documents were not provided to him at the time of appellant seeking the information since the disciplinary proceedings were goingon against the official. These proceedings are, however, over now. Final order was issued on 19.2.2015 imposing the penalty of “Removal from service which shall not be a disqualification for future employment” under Reg.39(1)(f) of LIC of India (Staff) Regulations. However, he was eligible for terminal benefits. The respondents apprehend that the disclosure of information sought for by the appellant will endanger the physical safety of the official.
5. The Commission accepts the submissions of the respondents. The appeal is disposed of.
Citation: Shri H.R. Bhagawan v. LIC of India in Appeal No. CIC/MP/A/2014/001367