Copy of GPA in relation to a property transaction was denied under section 57 of the Registration Act, 1908 - CIC: RTI Act has an overriding effect & information cannot be withheld citing provisions of Registration Act, 1908; provide copy of the GPA
1. The para 3 of the Commission’s decision of even No. dated 20.1.14 is reproduced below:
3. During the hearing, the Respondent Officer who has joined today explained that Appellant should have sought inspection and if he finds any documents relevant, he could have asked for a copy of BookI which deals with property transactions. He, however, added that BookIII dealing with Wills and BookIV dealing with GPA cannot be given as per Section 57 of the Registration Act, 1908. The Commission explained to PIO that RTI Act was provided an overriding effect over Registration Act, 1908 and information sought cannot be withheld citing provisions of Registration Act, 1908. The Commission directs the PIO, as assured by him, to facilitate inspection by Appellant and provide such information as can be given under RTI Act, without denying it under Registration Act. The matter is posted for further hearing at 3.00 pm on 6.2.14.
2. During the hearing, the Respondent officer submitted that they waited for the Appellant to come and inspect as per the directions of CIC, but he did not turn up. However, the Respondent contended that according to Registration Act, 1908, they cannot share copy of the GPA to the Appellant. The Commission once again explained to the Respondent that RTI Act overrules the provisions of Registration Act. As far as disclosure of information is concerned, GPA is neither third party nor private information. GPA which means General Power of Attorney is nothing but authorizing of other person by the owner of the property to transfer the property on his behalf which again means representing the owner in the Registration Office. GPA is identified with the owner of the property. Both of them together will be considered as one party. The registration of the transaction over the property is done by State Department with the purpose of putting the information about the transaction to the notice of the public and it is a public document. The Registration Office is under an obligation to provide the information about the registration of a transaction (transfer of property) to anybody who is interested in knowing it. RTI, however, reiterates it, confirms it, mandates it that such public information be shared with anybody who is seeking it. Hence, the PIO is directed to provide a copy of the GPA to the Appellant within three weeks of receipt of this order.
(M. Sridhar Acharyulu)
Citation: Surjeet Singh Malhotra v. Revenue Dept., GNCTD in File No.CIC/AD/A/2012/003473SA