Disclosure of possession letter submitted by a subscriber for BSNL telephone connection
The appellant filed an application under the Right to Information (RTI) Act with the Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL) seeking information regarding a telephone installed at a particular property. He specifically wanted the details of the Possession Letter received for the installation of the said telephone number, issuing person’s name and the date of issuing of the possession letter. He also wanted to know whether the owner of the above mentioned property issued the possession letter given by the subscriber. The Public Information Officer (PIO) provided some information.
During the hearing the before Central Information Commission (CIC), the appellant stated that there was an illegal occupant in his property who got an MTNL landline telephone installed but no consent has been given by him. He thus wanted a copy of the possession letter based on which the said connection was provided. The respondent stated that the information related to a third party and they had carried out the process as laid down under section 11 of the RTI Act but the subscriber has declined to give his consent and hence exemption was claimed under section 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. The appellant pointed out that the possession letter is issued by the landlord/ owner but he had not issued any such letter hence, the document provided by the illegal occupant was forged and accordingly there is larger public interest to justify the disclosure of information. The respondent stated that he will scrutinize the possession letter and if any forgery is established he would provide a copy of the document to the appellant.
View of CIC
The Commission held that the respondent should scrutinize the possession letter provided by the subscriber and if any forgery is established a copy of the same should be furnished to the appellant. If, no forgery is established the appellant should be informed accordingly.
Citation: Mr. Ram Kumar Gupta v. MTNL in File No. CIC/BS/A/2012/000838/2583
RTI Citation : RTIFI/2013/CIC/1358
Click here to view original RTI order of Court / Information Commission