Is disclosure permissible in public interest in cases involving fraud?
The appellant wanted to obtain information pertaining to claim made in policy no. 122 300/48/2009 /2078 by National Bulk Handling Corporation. The PIO denied disclosure of information citing the provisions of sections 8 (1)(d) and 8 (1)(j) of the RTI Act. The information pertained to Finality Guarantee Policy which was in force from 28 April 2008 to 27 April 2009 and covered the Oriental Insurance Co. against loss caused by fraud, embezzlement and dishonesty by unnamed employees – both permanent and temporary – of the Company. On appeal, the first appellate authority upheld the order of the PIO.
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The appellant submitted that he had been named in a case of fraud by the NBHC in which he was subsequently acquitted by the court and that NHBC was wrongly and fraudulently preferring claim before the respondent therefore, it was important that the information be disclosed to him in larger public interest. The respondent submitted that they had already taken action as per section 11 of the Act and that NBHC had declined to give their consent for the disclosure of the requested information to the appellant. The respondent stressed that the relationship between themselves and NBHC was fiduciary in nature and therefore information could not be disclosed to the appellant. The respondent also submitted that the claim of the NHBC in the present case had been rejected and that the appellant's name did not appear in any of the papers held by them. The Commission dismissed the appeal holding that there is any larger public interest in disclosure of information sought by the appellant which is most certainly covered under the exemption clause of section 8 (1)(e) of the Act.
Citation: Shri Rakesh Sharma v. The Oriental Insurance Co. Ltd. in Appeal: No. CIC/DS/A/2011/001036
RTI Citation : RTIFI/2013/CIC/42
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