Disclosure of information denied on the grounds that the matter was pending before the Hon’ble High Court (W.P.No. 28448 of 2012) and hence exempt u/s 8(1)(b) – CIC: no stay order from the HC - disclosure of information held by PIO ordered
1.Appellant submitted RTI application dated 31 August 2012 before the CPIO, United India Insurance Co. Ltd., Chennai seeking information in respect of Promotion Exercise for the year 201112 & 201213 to the cadre of General Manager (Scale VII) conducted by the Public Sector Insurance Companies through various points.
2. Vide CPIO Order dated 25 September 2012, CPIO denied the disclosure of information on the grounds that the matter was pending before the Hon’ble High Court (W.P.No. 28448 of 2012) and hence the same is exempted under Section 8(1)(b) Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, there shall be no obligation to give any citizen, information which has been expressly forbidden to be published by any court of law or tribunal or the disclosure of which may constitute contempt of court; of the RTI Act.
3. Not satisfied by the CPIO’s reply, the Appellant preferred First Appeal to the First Appellate Authority dated 01 October 2012.
4. Vide FAA Order dated 15 October 2012, the FAA upheld the Order of the CPIO.
5. Being aggrieved and not satisfied by the above response of the Public Authority, the Appellant preferred Second Appeal before the Commission.
6. Matter was heard today via videoconferencing from Hyderabad where appellant was present. Respondents made submissions from Chennai.
7. Both parties have been heard. On the specific queries of the Commission, the CPIO stated that there is no stay order from the High Court of Hyderabad in respect of the case filed by the appellant. Therefore, Commission cannot accept the denial of information by the CPIO by quoting the provisions of section 8 (1)(b) of the Act. The matter is remanded back to the CPIO with directions that all information held by them will be provided to the appellant within three weeks of receipt of the order. Appellant will be informed regarding which part of the information requested by him is held by GIPSA and cannot be accessed by the CPIO. (It is confirmed by the CPIO that the matter pertaining to whether GIPSA is the public authority or not is still before the court).
8. Information as above to be provided within three weeks of receipt of the order.
(Smt. Deepak Sandhu)
Citation: Shri Arun Gupta v. United India Insurance Co. Ltd. in Appeal: No. CIC/DS/A/2012/002400