Details of Transfers, Posting and their cancellation refused under RTI by PIO
The appellant sought information about the reason for issuance /cancellation of certain transfer orders along with the name of the Authorities who issued and cancelled the orders. He also sought the detailed documents, memos, circulars etc. regarding the transfer policy matter and also information about a particular Officer. The Public Information Officer (PIO) replied that the transfer orders are issued in exercise of the discretionary powers of the management keeping in view the exigencies of Bank’s work and since there is no apparent public interest or personal interest claimed, the information regarding transfer of staff members, which is confidential in nature is not legally bound to provide. The PIO claimed that it was a matter of commercial and functional confidence of the institution and the disclosure is exempt under section 8(d) of the RTI Act. It was further claimed that it involves the personal information of transfer proceedings, modification of transfer orders and grounds for cancellation of transfer orders regarding the individual staff members and has no relationship to any public interest and it may cause unwarranted invasion of the privacy of staff members. This information was alleged to be in fiduciary relationship with the employer. Thus, exemption from disclosure was claimed under section 8(d) section 8(e) of RTI Act.
View of the CIC
On being asked by the Commission the justification for not providing the information, the PIO said that it is an internal matter of the Bank. The Commission observed that the PIO seems to have no concept that he must follow the provisions of the law and should not take actions as per his whims. Since the appellant was unnecessarily harassed in pursing the appeals, the Commission awarded a compensation of Rs. 2000/- to the Appellant for the loss and detriment suffered by him. The Commission directed the Public Authority to deduct this amount from the salary of the PIO.
This case is a classic example of a PIO being penalized for not having any idea of what the RTI Act, 2005 is. This re-enforces the belief that training and orientation programmes are needed on regular basis to deal with the ‘RTI illiteracy’.
Citation: Shri Kundan S Humane v. Dena Bank in file no. CIC/SG/A/2012/000003
RTI Citation : RTIFI/2012/CIC/153
Click here to view original RTI order of Court / Information Commission