Information about a land transferred to Min of Information and Technology denied by defence u/s 8(1)(a) - CIC: NO defence structure stands on the land in question – PIO directed to give inspection of all records relating to the land to the appellant
1. The appellant submits that his ancestors had a lot of agricultural land in Burari village. The Government had acquired over thousand acres of land in the village. A large chunk of it belonged to his family. As per his information, in 1937-1938, the British Government had decided to relinquish this land to their original owners on certain terms and conditions. Then the Second World War intervened and this policy could not be implemented. In this connection, vide RTI application dated 15.10.2012, the appellant had sought information on 08 paras. The CPIO had responded to it vide letter dated 26.2.2013, stating therein that about 50 acres of land was transferred to the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting and that information on paras 2 and 9 could not be disclosed u/s 8(1)(a) Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, there shall be no obligation to give any citizen, information, disclosure of which would prejudicially affect the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security, strategic, scientific or economic interests of the State, relation with foreign State or lead to incitement of an offence; of the RTI Act.
3. In my opinion, the matter has been wrongly decided by the CPIO. No defence structure stands on the land in question. Hence, clause (a) of section 8(1) of the RTI Act cannot be invoked in this matter. Hence, the CPIO’s order is set-aside and he is hereby directed to give inspection of all records relating to the land in question to the appellant or his representative on a mutually convenient date and time in next 05 weeks time. The appellant will have the liberty to take copies of documents as per his requirement on payment of requisite fee.
Central Information Commissioner
Citation: Suresh Kumar Tyagi v. Defence Estates Office in File No. CIC/LS/A/2013/001027