Copy of correspondence exchanged between DEO and District Administration regarding a land - matter is under litigation and disclosure would adversely affect the interests of GoI - CIC: opinion given to DEO in fiduciary capacity - no larger public interest
1. In the RTI application dated 27.2.13, the appellant had sought information on three paras. In Para 1, he had sought copies of the correspondence exchanged between the Defence Estate Officer (DEO), Jodhpur and the District Administration regarding Khasra No.4/36 measuring 6.5 bighas during the period 1987 to 2013. In paras 02 and 03, he had sought copy of the legal opinion rendered by Shri Mahesh Thanvi to the DEO.
2. The CPIO, in letter dated 12.3.13, had requested the appellant to deposit fee of Rs.50/- for supply of information on para 01. However, as regards paras 02 and 03, he had refused to disclose this information on the ground that it would adversely affect the interests of the Govt. of India. On appeal, the FAA in order dated 15.4.13, had upheld the decision of the CPIO.
3. From the material on record, it is not clear whether the appellant has obtained information on para 01 of the RTI application. As regards paras 02 and 03, as the matter is reported to be under litigation, the DEO has refused to disclose this information on the ground that it may adversely affect the interests of the Govt. of India. Even other wise, Shri Thanvi has given his opinion to the DEO in a fiduciary capacity, which is barred from disclosure 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; of the RTI Act. This information can be disclosed only in larger public interest. The appellant has not demonstrated any such larger public interest. Hence, I find no infirmity in the decisions of CPIO and AA. The appeal is, therefore, dismissed.
Citation: Ramsingh Charkara v. Defence Estate Office in File No.CIC/LS/A/2013/001118