Copy of a particular mercy petition, related documents & CD of execution process, etc. was denied citing article 74(2) of Indian Constitution - Appellant: scrutiny of material on the basis of which the advice is given is not barred - CIC: denial upheld
1. The appellant filed an application dated 21.12.2012 under the RTI Act, seeking copy of a particular mercy petition, all correspondence, death warrant, order of the president, CD of execution process, etc. CPIO responded on 05.02.2013. Appellant filed first appeal with the first appellate authority (FAA) on 15.02.2013. FAA vide order dated 15.03.2013 upheld the decision of the CPIO. Appellant filed this present second appeal on 08.04.2013.
2. Appellant’s representative and respondent were present before the Commission.
3. Appellant’s representative referred to the RTI application of the appellant and stated that the appellant was seeking copy of a particular mercy petition and related documents and correspondence along with CD of execution process, etc.
4. Appellant’s representative stated that the appellant had received the information on some points. The appellant stated that the respondent was claiming the protection given by article 74(2) of the Indian Constitution. Appellant stated that in S.R. Bommai vs. Union of India (1994) the Supreme Court had held that Article 74(2) bars judicial review on the advice given by the Ministers, but it does not bar scrutiny of the material on the basis of which the advice is given.
5. Respondent stated that the information which could be provided to the appellant had already been provided to the appellant. Respondent stated that the information sought by the appellant is third party information as the appellant is not connected with the subject of the information sought. Respondent also stated in the hearing that details are being sought about the papers of the person who was convicted in the incident of the attack on the Parliament therefore information pertaining to the mercy petition should not be disclosed on account of the sensitivity involved.
6. Respondent also stated that the information sought by the appellant falls under article 74(2) of the Indian Constitution, and thus could not be disclosed.
7. It emerged from the hearing that the information denied by the respondent is covered by Article 74(2) of the Constitution and the exemption from disclosure clauses of the RTI Act.
8. Order of the FAA is upheld. The appeal is disposed of. Copy of decision be given free of cost to the parties.
Citation: Shri Paras Nath Singh v. M/o Home Affairs in Decision No.CIC/SS/A/2013/001286/VS/06058