Information regarding amount paid to the dependents after the death of employees, family pension, gratuity, amount paid under welfare fund, family income etc. was denied u/s 8(1)(d) & (j) - CIC: provide the figure of total ex-gratia lump sum amount paid
1. The appellant, Shri Kul Bhushan Singh, submitted RTI application dated 11 July 2013 before the Central Public Information Officer (CPIO), State Bank of India, Bhubaneswar seeking information regarding people who have been recruited on the compassionate grounds from the year 2000 and lump sum amount paid to the dependents after the death of employees serving in SBI, Bhubaneswar Zonal branches etc. under 8 heads, through a total of 3 points.
2. Vide reply dated 13 August 2013, CPIO informed the appellant in response to Point No. 1 that since 2000, 91 appointments had been made on compassionate grounds, in response to Point No. 2 the appellant was informed that ex-gratia lump sum amount had been paid to 233 persons and informed the appellant that they did not have details on families concerned. Dissatisfied with the reply of the CPIO, the appellant preferred an appeal dated 23 August 2013 to the first appellate authority (FAA) stating that the CPIO had not replied on eight points such as family pension of the beneficiaries, gratuity paid, GPF, amount paid under welfare fund, LIC policy of deceased employee, family income, any other source of income, and income tax details, as sought by him in his RTI application. Vide order dated 1 October 2013, the FAA upheld the decision of CPIO.
3. Dissatisfied with the response of the public authority, the appellant preferred appeal before the Commission.
4. The matter was heard by the Commission. The appellant did not attend the hearing. The respondents stated that the CPIO provided the total number of compassionate appointments made since 2000 and the number of cases in which ex-gratia lump sum amount had been paid. On remaining eight queries the information cannot be provided to the appellant under the provisions of Section 8(1) (d) and (j) of the RTI Act. Moreover, culling out the information would disproportionately divert the resources of the public authority.
5. The Commission observes that the respondents provided information in respect of number of compassionate appointments made along with number of cases in which ex-gratia lump sum amount paid since 2000. However, the Commission directs the CPIO to provide the figure of total ex-gratia lump sum amount paid to 233 persons, within one week of receipt of this order. On remaining eight points the information as sought for by the appellant is exempt under the provisions of 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 as held by The Hon’ble Supreme Court of India in the matter of Girish Ramchandra Deshpande Vs. CIC & Ors (SLP (Civil) No. 27734 @ CC 14781/2012 dated 3.10.2012).
Citation: Shri Kul Bhushan Singh v. State Bank of India in Appeal: No. CIC/MP/A/2013/000066/MP