Information determining the career of a person is a “life and liberty’ issue
The applicant sought information regarding examination for admission to PG/ MS / MD/ Diploma courses in Guru Gobind singh IP University such as details of the marks originally given to each candidate on the basis of evaluation of their OMR Sheets, merit list prepared by the University along with details of enhanced marks of all the candidates, basis for enhancing the marks for preparation of final merit list, copy of all the documents prepared by the University in the process of finalization of merit list and the copy of representation submitted by the candidates regarding reconsideration of the result of the PG/MS/MD/Diploma examination. The Public Information Officer (PIO) did not respond to the application.
The applicant filed a complaint with the Central Information Commission (CIC) stating that the authorities of the University were going ahead with the counseling of the candidates included in the merit list. The applicant submitted that if further delay in supplying of information happens, then the purpose for which the information is being sought will be lost and she will not be able take remedial action before the admission process is complete. The applicant requested the Commission to treat her complaint in larger public interest and grant out of turn hearing. She informed that the Regular Courts where she could alternatively approach are closed for vacation and will be reconvened only on 8th July 2012 but by that time the admission process will attain finality and her “life and liberty’ would be severely affected. She stated that the information is required since the same will determine her career in life and therefore the matter may be considered a “life” of a young person.
The respondent brought the complete information to the hearing but objected to the observation of the appellant that it seems that marks of candidates have been ‘enhanced’ at will. They explained that marks were automatically given by the computer software and since the marks are automatically adjusted, based on a certain principle, there is no enhancement of marks as such. The appellant insisted for the copy of her OMR. The respondents stated that the OMR sheet can be inspected but copy can be provided to the appellant only after she applies for the same and pays the required fees.
View of CIC
The Central Information Commission (CIC) directed the respondent to provide the information brought by them to appellant, immediately after the hearing. To clear the appellant’s doubts of the alleged ad hoc manner in which the mark of various candidates had been increased, the Commission also asked the PIO to allow the appellant to inspect all the records in the presence of the Dy. Registrar and provide the copies of documents required by her. The Commission directed the appellant to file the application and pay the required fees so that the OMR sheet can be inspected by her at the earliest – definitely within two to three days of the date of hearing.
In cases involving “life and liberty”, the information has to be provided within 48 hours of filing the RTI application. This order opens up a flood of possibilities where the clause of life and liberty can be used.
Citation: Ms. Saumya v. Controller of Examination Guru Gobind singh IP University in File No: CIC/AD/C/2012/001169
RTI Citation : RTIFI/2012/CIC/431
Click here to view original RTI order of Court / Information Commission