Information regarding investigation conducted by Vigilance Department of the Bank on the appellant’s complaint was sought - CIC: Delhi HC has held that in his own pending case, a litigant can seek inspection of case record as a right; no need to use RTI
1. The appellant, Shri Gagan Gandhi, submitted RTI application dated 26 June 2013 before the Central Public Information Officer (CPIO), State Bank of India, New Delhi; seeking information regarding letter no. VIGL/SCN/1391 dated 22.6.2013 pertaining to investigation conducted by the Vigilance Deptt. of the Bank etc., through a total of 7 points.
2. Vide reply dated 23 July 2013, CPIO denied the information on the ground that the matter was sub judice before the Hon’ble High Court Delhi and the appellant could obtain the information through the court. Not satisfied with the CPIO’s reply, the appellant preferred an appeal dated 26 July 2013 to the first appellate authority (FAA) alleging that he had been wrongly denied the requested information by the CPIO concerned. Vide order dated 18 September 2013, FAA upheld the CPIO’s decision and denied the information 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, 2005.
3. Not satisfied with the response of the public authority, the appellant preferred second appeal before the Commission.
4. The matter was heard today. The respondent submitted that the information sought by the appellant regarding the investigation conducted by the Vigilance Department of the Bank on his complaint may not be provided at this stage since the matter is pending before the Hon’ble Delhi High Court in the case Amarjeet Kaur and Anr vs. SBI and the appellant may approach the court for obtaining information.
5. The appellant submitted that the pending matter before the Hon’ble Delhi High Court relates to the damages claimed by the appellant against the public authority. However, the information sought by him is related to the investigation conducted by the Vigilance Department of the Bank on his complaint which is a separate matter.
6. The Hon’ble Delhi High Court in the case no. 2014(300)ELT 193(Del) Canon Steel Pvt. Limited vs. CESTAT has observed that the Litigant in own pending litigation can seek inspection of case record as of right, and there is no need to seek information through RTI.
7. In the light of the above submissions, the CPIO is directed to confirm in writing to the Commission within next 10 days, that the information sought in the RTI application dated 26 June 2013 is related to the case pending before the Hon’ble Delhi High Court in the case ‘Amarjeet Kaur and Anr vs. SBI’. A copy is to be provided to the appellant.
Citation: Shri Gagan Gandhi v. State Bank of India in Appeal: No. CIC/VS/A/2013/001750/MP