Delhi HC stays CIC order directing CAG to disclose audit documents
On June 9, 2014, the Central Information Commission (CIC) had directed the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) to provide information about its audit regarding the “Hybrid Satellite Digital Multimedia Broadcasting Service Agreement” with private firm DEVAS. Vinod Sunder, a company secretary working with DEVAS, had sought the information from CAG. On November 9, 2012, Public Information Officer of CAG forwarded the RTI Application to the Branch office of the Principal Director of Audit, Scientific Departments at Department of Space. On February 28, 2013, the First Appellate Authority turned down the appeal which led to the second appeal.
Against the order of disclosure, the CAG approached the High Court and the bench of Justice Vibhu Bakhru issued a notice to RTI applicant Vinod Sunder. The HC granted a stay on the CIC order till the next date of hearing which is fixed for Jan 19, 2015. The petitioner contended that the CIC did not appreciate the fact that disclosure of the documents sought was exempt under section 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, 2005. It was further claimed that that CAG being a constitutional body cannot disclose the said “confidential information to the public at large”.