If the identity of the author of the file-notings is revealed by his name, designation or in any other manner & there is a possibility of such employee being targeted by the persons against whom an adverse noting is recorded, exemption is fully justified
O R D E R
1. The appellant filed an application under the Right to Information Act, 2005 (RTI Act) before the Central Public Information Officer (CPIO), National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC) Limited, seeking certified copies of
(i) Letter No. NH/T&RE/RE-56/4039 dated 04.03.2015 (alongwith the enclosures) of Shri Prashant Atrey, Chief Engineer, NHPC Limited addressed to Shri K. D. Chaudhary, Additional General Manager, Rajiv Gandhi Gramin Vidyut Yojana, (RGGVY), Rural Electrification Corporation (REC) Limited, and
(ii) the entire file relating to the aforementioned letter including note sheets, correspondences from 01.01.2014 onwards till the date of the RTI.
2. The appellant filed a second appeal before the Commission on the grounds that both the CPIO and the First Appellate Authority (FAA) did not furnish the copies of the complete file as was sought in point no. 2 of the RTI application. The appellant requested the Commission to direct the CPIO to provide complete information to her.
3. The respondents, Shri Deepak Saigal, CPIO, Shri B. D. Moharana, Senior Manager (E), Shri Manoj Kumar Verma, Senior Manager (HR) and Shri Sandeep Kumar, Assistant Manager (HR), were present in person.
4. A fire broke out in the premises of the Commission and disrupted the power connectivity. As a result, the matter could not be taken up for hearing. The matter is adjourned to 06.07.2017 at 12:15 p.m. Hearing on 06.07.2017 5. The appellant Ms. Mita Paitnaik attended the hearing through video conferencing. The respondent Shri Deepak Saigal, Chief Engineer (Civil) and CPIO, NHPCL was present in person.
6. The appellant submitted that complete file noting as sought in point no. 2 of the RTI application has not been provided to her by the respondent.
7. The respondent submitted that a photocopy of the letter dated 04.03.2015 as sought in point no. 1 of the RTI application along with the relevant note-sheet as sought in point no. 2 of the RTI application has been provided to the appellant after severing the identity of the officer in accordance with Section 8(1)(e) Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, there shall be no obligation to give any citizen, information available to a person in his fiduciary relationship, unless the competent authority is satisfied that the larger public interest warrants the disclosure of such information; and (j) of the RTI Act. The respondent also stated that the Delhi High Court in the case of UPSC v. Shatmanyu Sharma in W.P. (C) 4079 of 2013 vide decision dated 10.10.2013 had observed as follows:
“11. ……….The apprehension of the petitioner that if the identity of the author of the file notings is revealed by his name, designation or in any other manner, there is a possibility of such employee being targeted, harassed and even intimidated by the persons against whom an adverse noting is recorded by him on the file of UPSC, is fully justified……..”
The respondent also produced the original records pertaining to the RTI application for perusal of the Commission.
8. The Commission, after hearing the submissions of both the parties and perusing the records, observes that due information has been provided to the appellant by the respondent. Hence, there are no grounds to interfere with the order of the FAA dated 22.01.2016.
9. With the above observations, the appeal is disposed of.
10. Copy of the decision be provided free of cost to the parties.
Citation: Ms. Mita Pattnaik v. National Hydroelectric Power Corporation in Decision No. CIC/YA/A/2016/001701 Dated 06.07.2017