Information regarding the prefixes which was used in star (*) series of notes by the Press was denied - Respondent: Some of the currency note collectors sell such type of star bank notes to the public at premium rates - CIC: Order of denial upheld
1. The complainant submitted RTI application dated January 10, 2013 before the Central Public Information Officer (CPIO), Security Printing and Minting Corporation of India, New Delhi; seeking information regarding the prefixes which was used in star (*) notes from the year 2006 to 2012 etc.
2. Vide reply dated February 16, 2013; the CPIO denied the information on the ground that disclosure of information would prejudicially affect the sovereignty and integrity of the country and economic interest of the State and may lead to incitement of an offence, hence exempt u/d 8(1) of the RTI Act, 2005.
3. Dissatisfied with the response of the public authority, the complainant preferred complaint before the Commission.
4. The matter was heard by the Commission. The appellant submitted that he had sought information regarding star series of notes but he was denied the information. He stated that this was not secret information, therefore it should be disclosed to him.
5. The respondents submitted that the star (*) series bank notes are inserted in the packets of serially numbered notes to replace the defective notes during production. Star (*) series bank notes are printed as per requirement basis of particular design and denomination. These Star (*) notes are printed in full or part million of the particular prefix. In the market, now a day, some of the currency/ bank note collectors sell such type of Star (*) series currency/ bank notes to the public at premium rates. Therefore, there is always a possibility to tamper the genuine currency/ bank notes for selling the same at premium rates in the market for monetary benefits as the public is not aware of the same. Hence, such type of activity leads to incitement of an offence by tampering with the genuine currency/ bank notes (Sec. 8(1) (a) of the RTI Act, 2005). Besides, the serial number of the note is part of the design and one of the security features of the note which is of confidential nature disclosure of which will violate the Sec. 2(4) of Official Secrets Act, 1923. They also added that they had not received the copy of the 2nd appeal and also stated that there was no larger public interest involved in the disclosure of the information sought for.
6. In view of the above, the Commission accepts the submissions made by the respondents and upholds their decision of nondisclosure of information sought for. The appeal is disposed of.
Citation: Shri S P Bansal v. Currency Note Press in Complaint No. CIC/SM/C/2013/000343/MP