Inspection of original challan filed by police/ traffic police under RTI
The appellant filed an application under the Right to Information (RTI) act with the Karkardooma Courts, New Delhi seeking information against five points in respect of the challans that were produced before the court on various dates, which were filed by the police/ traffic police. He also wanted to inspect the documents in which the Delhi police personnel have filled in columns 1 and 2 in respect of the original challans which have been deposited in the court. The Public Information Officer (PIO) enclosed the required information. On appeal, the First Appellate Authority (FAA) gave an opportunity for hearing wherein the respondents submitted that they had supplied part of the desired information. However, some of the information i.e. inspection of registers/ documents were hit by Rule 7(vi) of the DDC, RIR, 2008 and hence could not be supplied. The Rule 7(vi) refers to ‘The information to be sought relates to judicial proceedings or judicial functions or the matters incidental or ancillary thereto’. The FAA directed the PIO to supply part of the information to the Applicant in a consolidated form.
During the hearing before the Central Information Commission (CIC), the appellant contented that till the time the challans are placed before the presiding Judge, they cannot be considered as part of judicial proceedings. The respondents explained that challans are brought to the court on the dates mentioned and are disposed of by the judge on the same day. Hence there is no pending case and therefore the minute they are brought to the Court they are considered as part of the judicial proceedings. The appellant stated that the purpose for which he is seeking the information is to prove that a number of challans do not actually reach the court and are not disposed of by the Judge since the officials outside the Court ensure that they are lost after taking bribe. He further stated that he wants to inspect the register so as to ascertain how many cases are pending and since when. The respondent referred to two rules being followed by the Court:
Rule 8(vii) The Public Information Officer or the Assistant Public Information Officer, shall always keep in mind, while dealing with an application relating to courts that Section 4(1)(d) Every public authority shall provide reasons for its administrative or quasi-judicial decisions to affected persons. of the Act does not apply to judicial proceedings conducted by a court or a tribunal as it refers to only administrative and quasi-judicial decisions.
Rule 8(xii) Where the Public Information Officer or the Assistant Public Information Officer, intends to disclose the information covered by Section 8(2) Notwithstanding anything in the Official Secrets Act, 1923 (19 of 1923) nor any of the exemptions permissible in accordance with sub-section (1), a public authority may allow access to information, if public interest in disclosure outweighs the harm to the protected interests. of the Act, he or she shall do so only with the permission of the District judge.
View of CIC
The Central Information Commission (CIC) observed that the supply of information sought by the appellant will in no way affect the decision to be taken by the Judge and cannot be considered as part of judicial proceedings. The Commission further stated that such information must definitely be allowed to be disclosed in public interest especially in the light of the appellant’s contention that there are individuals waiting outside the Court who are willing to take money for obstructing the challan from being produced before the Judge. The Commission directed the PIO to provide the complete information to the appellant as sought by him in his RTI application.
Citation: Mr. Bhupesh Gupta v. Karkardooma Courts in File No: CIC/AD/A/2012/001523
RTI Citation : RTIFI/2012/CIC/670
Click here to view original RTI order of Court / Information Commission