Information relating to a house was denied after taking action u/s 11 - FAA: provide information after waiting for 90 days as third party has a right to file appeal - CIC: opportunity to third party has already been provided, disclose the information
1. Appellant submitted RTI application dated 22 The provisions of this Act shall have effect notwithstanding anything inconsistent therewith contained in the Official Secrets Act, 1923 (19 of 1923), and any other law for the time being in force or in any instrument having effect by virtue of any law other than this Act. December 2011 before the CPIO, Estate Office, U.T., Chandigarh seeking information relating to House No.65, Sector 8A, Chandigarh.
2. Vide CPIO Order dated 18 January 2012, the disclosure of the requested information was denied to the appellant after taking action as prescribed under section 11 of the Act.
3. Not satisfied by the CPIO’s reply, the Appellant preferred First Appeal to the First Appellate Authority dated 13 June 2012.
4. Vide FAA Order dated 23 August 2012, the FAA directed the concerned CPIO to provide the information and documents to the appellant after waiting for 90 days as the present owners (Third Party) have right to file appeal before the Central Information Commission.
5. Being aggrieved and not satisfied by the above response of the Public Authority, the Third Party preferred Appeal before the Commission.
6. Matter was heard today. Respondent, as above, was present in person. The third party applicant as well as the original information seeker who preferred the RTI application did not appear.
7. We have carefully perused the facts on record and particularly the decision of the FAA dated 23.8.2012 which is a Speaking Order and records the details of the case. Keeping in view the fact that the information seeker namely Smt. Gurindesh Sandhu is the wife of late son of late Dr. Col. Thakar Singh and sister in law of the other two third party objectors Mrs. Kirron Kher and Mrs. Kanwal Thakar Singh, prima facie this matter pertains to family property. It is recorded in the order of the FAA referred to above that the RTI applicant has provided four documents which are listed in the order which support her contention that the property No. 65, Sector8A, Chandigarh is in fact HUF property as declared by Lt. Col. Thakar Singh himself before the Income Tax Department and also before the Court in a Civil Suit. While this Commission will not go into the merits of this case we agree with the arguments put forth by the FAA in favour of disclosure of the requested information and direct the CPIO to allow disclosure of the requested information to the appellant. The CPIO has already taken action as required under Section 11 of the Act and therefore, the formal procedures prescribed under the Act to provide equal opportunity to third party stand satisfied.
8. Information to be provided within three weeks of receipt of the orders.
(Smt. Deepak Sandhu)
Chief Information Commissioner
Citation: Smt. K.T. Singh, Smt. Kirron Kher, Lt. Col (Retd.) Thakar Singh, v. Estate Office, UT Chandigarh in Appeal: No. CIC/DS/A/2012/002509