Copy of the report of the Board of Officers on the role and functioning of School of Foreign Languages, MOD and a copy of the reply submitted by the Director, SFL, against the report was denied being third party information – CIC: denial upheld
Vide RTI dt 5.4.13, appellant had sought information on 4 points relating to report of Committee of Officers pertaining to review of School of Foreign Languages, MOD.
2. CPIO vide letter dt 2.5.13 denied information in paras a) and b) as it involved third party, does not involve larger public interest and hence denied u/s 8. In respect of paras c) and d), appellant was asked to deposit Rs 6.
3. An appeal was filed on 24.5.13.
4. AA vide order dt 25.6.13, upheld the decision of the CPIO and disposed of the appeal.
5. Written submissions dt 26.3.14 are received from the CPIO where it has been held that the appellant is seeking a copy of the report of the Board of Officers on the role and functioning of School of Foreign Languages, MOD and a copy of the reply submitted by the Director, SFL, against the report submitted by Board of Officers. The report of the Committee found serious irregularities in SFL headed by the Director and recommended action to set things right. Thus the report of the Committee is a reflection of the performance of the officers/employees in SFL and is primarily a matter between SFL employees and the Government. In the light of the decision of the Hon’ble Supreme Court in the case of Girish Ramchandra Deshpande, the information sought is exempt u/s 8(1)(j) Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, there shall be no obligation to give any citizen, information which relates to personal information the disclosure of which has no relationship to any public activity or interest, or which would cause unwarranted invasion of the privacy of the individual unless the Central Public Information Officer or the State Public Information Officer or the appellate authority, as the case may be, is satisfied that the larger public interest justifies the disclosure of such information: Provided that the information which cannot be denied to the Parliament or a State Legislature shall not be denied to any person. of the RTI Act.
6. Submissions made by the appellant and public authority were heard. Appellant submitted that the School of Foreign Languages is a public body and he is seeking a copy of the report submitted by the Committee of Officers as it has singled out the Director of the Institute for various issues. Public authority submits that the Committee had been constituted based on complaints received and hence the Committee had been constituted to look into alleged irregularities and to set the things right. The report of the Committee was therefore a reflection of the performance of the Director and hence in terms of the decision of the Hon’ble Supreme Court, in the case of Girish Ramchandra Deshpande, the same has been denied.
7. In the light of the submissions made by the public authority, the decision of the Hon’ble Supreme Court is applicable to the present appeal and hence the Commission concurs with the decision of the CPIO/AA. The appeal is disposed of.
Central Information Commissioner
Citation: Shri P. Sarath v. Ministry of Defense in File No.CIC/LS/A/2013/001795/RM