Information regarding action taken on appellant’s complaint to Corporate Centre, Mumbai & enquiry reports etc. was denied u/s 8(1) (j) - Appellant: the issue involved public money - CIC: appellant has not been able to substantiate larger public interest
1. The appellant, Shri Mahesh Kukreti, submitted RTI application dated 5 August 2013 before the Central Public Information Officer (CPIO), State Bank of India, New Delhi, seeking information regarding action taken on his complaint dated 24.12.2012 to Corporate Centre, Mumbai and enquiry reports etc., through a total of 2 points.
2. Vide reply dated 7 September 2013, the CPIO denied the information/documents sought by the appellant on the ground that the performance of an employee/officer in an organization is primarily a matter between the employee and the employer and normally these aspects are governed by the service rules which fall under the purview of personal information and disclosure of the same has no relationship to any public activity or public interest, hence exempted u/s 8(1) (j) of the RTI Act, 2005. Aggrieved by the decision the CPIO the appellant preferred appeal dated 14 September 2013 before the first appellate authority (FAA) alleging that he had been wrongly denied the information sought. No order has been passed by the FAA in this case.
3. Dissatisfied with the response of the public authority, the appellant preferred second appeal before the Commission.
4. The matter was heard by the Commission. The appellant submitted that he had filed a complaint dated 24 December 2012 to CVO and he had filed RTI to know what action had been taken on his complaint. He further submitted that he had been wrongly denied the information on the ground that the performance of an employee/officer in an organization is primarily a matter between the employee and the employer and was exempted from disclosure as it would cause unwarranted invasion of privacy of the individual. The appellant submitted that the issue involved public money. The respondent submitted that the appellant had sought certified copies of investigation report which cannot be provided as the names of the officials are mentioned and hence exempted u/s 8 (1) (j) of the RTI Act, 2005. In support of the submission, the respondent cited the apex court decision in Girish Ramchandra Deshpandey Vs. CIC & Ors. , wherein the court observed that personal information relating to third party disclosure of which would cause unwarranted invasion of the privacy of that individual and which had no relationship to any public activities or public interest cannot be provided. The respondents submitted that the lending and borrowing is usual course of business for banks and in the case in question, some more properties had been taken as mortgage as per the extant policy of the bank.
5. The Commission finds that the appellant had not been able to substantiate the larger public interest in the matter and upholds the decision of the respondents. The appeal is disposed of.
Citation: Shri Mahesh Kukreti v. State Bank of India in Appeal: No. CIC/VS/A/2013/002223/MP CIC/VS/A/2013/002074/MP