Information regarding irregularities found in LTC claims & action taken thereon was sought - CIC: inform the appellant whether the Board of Directors and GOI/ RBI were informed of the irregularities in the LTC claims or not
This matter pertains to an RTI application dated 27.9.2012 filed by the Appellant, seeking information on nine points regarding irregularities found in LTC claims and action taken thereon. The CPIO responded on 16.10.2012 and denied the information on points No. 1 to 7 under Section 8 (1) (j) of the RTI Act. On point No. 8, he stated that the information should be treated as nil and on point No. 9, he drew the attention of the Appellant to the website of the Respondents. Not satisfied with the reply of the CPIO, the Appellant filed an appeal to the First Appellate Authority on 26.10.2012. In his order dated 27.11.2012, the FAA stated that the information with regard to queries No. 1 to 7 did not exist. In response to query No. 9, he stated that since the information did not exist, the question of apprising GOI / RBI did not arise. The Appellant approached the CIC in second appeal on 3.7.2013. 2. We heard the submissions of the Appellant and the Respondents. The Respondents submitted that they had not carried out scrutiny of the LTC claims for the financial years 2011-2012 and 2012-2013, for which information was sought by the Appellant. The scrutiny was carried out instead in regard to the LTC claims for the financial years 2008-2009 and 2009-2010. The Appellant clarified that he had not sought information regarding irregularities found in the LTC claims settled during the financial years 2011-2012 and 2012-2013. Instead, he wanted information regarding the irregularities found in the bills scrutinised during the above financial years, regardless of the financial year during which these bills were settled. The CPIO is directed to provide information in response to point No. 1 of the RTI application on the basis of the above clarification given by the Appellant. As regards points No. 2 to 7, we note that these seek information regarding action taken against the employees whose bills were found to be inflated or false. In this context, we note that the Hon’ble Supreme Court in its judgment dated 3.10.2012 in Grisih Ramchandra Deshpande vs. Central information Commissioner and Ors., has observed as follows:“ We are in agreement with the CIC and the courts below that the details called for by the petitioner i.e. copies of all memos issued to the third respondent, show cause notices and orders of censure/punishment etc. are qualified to be personal information as defined in clause (j) of Section 8(1) of the RTI Act. The performance of an employee/officer in an organization is primarily a matter between the employee and the employer and normally those aspects are governed by the service rules which fall under the expression "personal information", the disclosure of which has no relationship to any public activity or public interest. On the other hand, the disclosure of which would cause unwarranted invasion of privacy of that individual. Of course, in a given case, if the Central Public Information Officer or the State Public Information Officer or the Appellate Authority is satisfied that the larger public interest justifies the disclosure of such information, appropriate orders could be passed but the petitioner cannot claim those details as a matter of right. No larger public interest has been established to justify disclosure of information, in response to points No. 2 to 7 of the RTI application, to the Appellant.
3. The CPIO is also directed to inform the Appellant, in response to points No. 8 and 9 of the RTI application, whether the Board of Directors and GOI/ RBI were informed of the irregularities in the LTC claims or not.
4. The CPIO is directed to provide information to the Appellant, as per our above directives, within a period of twenty one days, under intimation to the Commission.
5. With the above directions and observations, the appeal is disposed of.
6. Copies of this order be given free of cost to the parties.
Citation: Shri Devendra Dutta v. National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development in File No. CIC/VS/A/2013/001368/SH