Information regarding someone who had been absconding from duty over a long period - the relevant file was under the lock and key of some other officer – CIC: the performance of an employee is primarily a matter between the employee and employer
1. In his RTI application, the Appellant had sought a large number of information regarding one Rangadhar Naik who, according to the Appellant, had been absconding from duty over a long period of time. The CPIO had informed him that no information was readily available. Thereafter, he had preferred an appeal but the Appellate Authority did not pass any order. In the meanwhile, the Appellant had also come to the CIC and we had remanded his complaint to the Appellate Authority to enquire into the complaint.
2. During the hearing, the CPIO concerned informed us that the relevant file was not available since it was under the lock and key of some other officer who was the Appellate Authority at the relevant time. He further informed us that he had specifically requested that officer to give him the file so that he could provide the desired information but never received it. That is highly objectionable. If that is true, the then Appellate Authority who was in possession of the relevant records would be held guilty for denying the information to the Appellant in time.
3. Now, however, as far as the desired information is concerned, the facts are as follows. In the Girish Deshpande case, the Supreme Court has held that "the performance of an employee/officer in an organisation is primarily a matter between the employee and 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." Much of the information sought in the present case would squarely fall in the category of personal information as held by the Supreme Court. Nevertheless, there are some other items of information which would not fall in this category and, therefore, should be disclosed. Therefore, we direct the CPIO to provide to the Appellant within 10 working days of receiving this order the information in response to item number 1, 2, 4, 5 and 7 of his RTI application.
4. The appeal is disposed off accordingly.
Chief Information Commissioner
Citation: Sh. Akhaya Kumar Mohanty v. Ministry of Information & Broadcasting in File No.CIC/SM/A/2013/000188