Enquiry against the PIO for frivolous denial of information
The appellant sought information about detailed policy of transfers & postings of various categories of employees of passport offices. He also wanted to know details of reasons for non - transfers of some of the employees to another passport offices across the country who are working in Passport Office, Pune for years together. While stating that the list of names of the office employees are listed in the website, the PIO denied other information holding that the details sought is the personal information of third party, which cannot be divulged under section 8 (l) (j) of the RTI Act.
View of the CIC
The Central Information Commission noted that the PIO has not given any reasons how 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. will apply in the case of information about transfers and postings of Public Servants working in passport office, Pune for different periods of tenure. Holding that by no stretch of imagination this information can be considered as information which would cause unwarranted invasion on the privacy of an individual, the Commission observed that the PIO has frivolously refused this information. The Commission directed grant of compensation of Rs. 2000/- to the Appellant for the unnecessary trouble of having filing the appeal and waiting for the information. The Public Authority was directed to conduct the inquiry and fix the responsibility of the officer concerned and to deduct the amount from his salary. The PIO was directed to provide the information to the appellant free of cost as per Section 7(6) of RTI Act.
Citation: Mr. Saleem Sheikh v. Ministry of External Affairs in file no. CIC/SG/A/2011/003591
RTI Citation : RTIFI/2012/CIC/78
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