Immovable property statements of retired employee - records of ex-employees are maintained up to the age of 62 years of the employee –information is personal to the employee
1. The Appellant, through his RTI application dated 27.07.2012, filed with the CPIO, BHEL, Hyderabad, wanted to obtain
“certified copies of immovable property statements in respect of Mr. Tummala Cheruvu Gopala Krishna Murthy (T.G.K. Murthy), retired under V.R.S. Scheme from BHEL in October, 1999 and resident of BHELMIG104, for the Financial Years (1) 199495, (2) 199596,(3) 199697, (4) 199798, (5) 199899 and (6) 19992000.”
2. The CPIO vide his letter dated 17.08.2012 informed the Appellant that
“As per the guidelines for maintaining personal files and other records of exemployees under Departmental Procedure, the files are maintained only upto the notional age of 62 years of the employee. Subsequently, on completion of age of 62 years, the file will be handed over to the retirement cell record room. We have searched the record room and these documents could not be traced out.”
3. The Appellant, being aggrieved by the reply of the CPIO, filed his first appeal before the Appellate Authority on 02.09.2012 which the Appellate Authority decided vide his order 22.10.2012 upholding the CPIO’s reply.
4. Being aggrieved by the order of the Appellate Authority, the Appellant filed the present appeal before the Commission.
5. During the hearing, the Respondents maintain that information sought by the Appellant here is not traceable in their office despite a search. The Appellant in his present appeal has alleged that the reply of the CPIO is vague and evasive. It is his contention that the CPIO has just communicated the procedure of maintaining the file of retired employees to him, but has not confirmed whether the file (in question) had been handed over to the ‘retirement cell record room’ or not.
6. On consideration of the submissions of the parties and on perusal of records, the Commission sees no reason to disbelieve the CPIO’s statement (as upheld by the Appellate Authority) that the records related to the information sought by the Appellant is not traceable in their record room. Moreover, such category of information is personal to third party (employee), disclosure of which has no relationship to any public activity or interest. It attracts exemption 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.
7. In view of the above, the present appeal cannot be allowed and is rejected.
Citation: Shri C.H. Sharma v. Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd. (BHEL) in CIC/SS/A/2012/003850