Information regarding scholarship money - CIC: Respondents did not cite any specific ground(s) on which they had denied the information u/s 8 - information concerning provision of scholarships from public funds cannot be called as personal information
The Appellant was not present in person.
One Shri Paras Nath Tiwari, Advocate was present at the NIC Studio, Azamgarh to represent him. He stated that he had a written authorization from the Appellant to represent him. He was asked to hand it over tothe NIC staff for being forwarded to us.
On behalf of the Respondents, Shri Ramanuj Pathak, CPIO was present at the NIC Studio, Mau.
Information Commissioner : Shri Sharat Sabharwal
According to the appeal, the Appellant filed an RTI application on 8.7.2011, seeking information regarding scholarship money provided by the Kashi Gomti Samyut Gramin Bank, Doharighat Branch, in respect of Idara Madrassa Uloom, Doharighat. The CPIO responded on 19.7.2011, denying the information under Section 8(3) Subject to the provisions of clauses (a), (c) and (i) of sub-section (1), any information relating to any occurrence, event or matter which has taken place, occurred or happened twenty years before the date on which any request is made under section 6 shall be provided to any person making a request under that section: Provided that where any question arises as to the date from which the said period of twenty years has to be computed, the decision of the Central Government shall be final, subject to the usual appeals provided for in this Act. of the RTI Act. The Appellant filed an appeal to the First Appellate Authority on 31.8.2011. In his order dated21.10.2011, the FAA upheld the denial of information under Section 8 of the RTI Act, on the plea that it was personal information. The Appellant approached the CIC in second appeal on 15.11.2011.
2. We heard the submissions of the representative of the Appellant and the Respondents. The Respondents did not cite any specific ground(s) on which they had denied the information under Section 8 of the RTI Act or to justify their claim that the information in question was “personal information”. In response to our query, they confirmed that the scholarship money was being paid from public funds. In this context, we are of the view that information concerning provision of scholarships from public funds cannot be characterised as personal information, as it is a matter of larger public interest. Transparency demands that such information be available in public domain. Accordingly, the CPIO is directed to provide the information sought by the Appellant, based on available records, within thirty days from the receipt of this order, under intimation to the Commission.
3. With the above direction, the appeal is disposed of.
4. Copies of this order be given free of cost to the parties.
Citation: Mh. Ramzan v. Kashi Gomti Samyut Gramin Bank in File No. CIC/SM/A/2012/000180/SH