Is the National Heart Institute Hospital a charitable organisation?
The appellant filed an application under the Right to Information (RTI) Act with the Income Tax (IT) seeking information relating to National Heart Institute Hospital. The Public Information Officer (PIO) stated that the sought information was related with the third party and he sent notice under section 11(1) Where a Central Public Information Officer or a State Public Information Officer, as the case may be, intends to disclose any information or record, or part thereof on a request made under this Act, which relates to or has been supplied by a third party and has been treated as confidential by that third party, the Central Public Information Officer or State Public Information Officer, as the case may be, shall, within five days from the receipt of the request, give a written notice to such third party of the request and of the fact that the Central Public Information Officer or State Public Information Officer, as the case may be, intends to disclose the information or record, or part thereof, and invite the third party to make a submission in writing or orally, regarding whether the information should be disclosed, and such submission of the third party shall be kept in view while taking a decision about disclosure of information: of the RTI Act. The third party clarified that they are not carrying on any commercial activity and requested the PIO not to disclose any information to the appellant. The PIO denied the information under section 8(1)(e) Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, there shall be no obligation to give any citizen, information available to a person in his fiduciary relationship, unless the competent authority is satisfied that the larger public interest warrants the disclosure of such information; and section 8(1)(j) Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, there shall be no obligation to give any citizen, information which relates to personal information the disclosure of which has no relationship to any public activity or interest, or which would cause unwarranted invasion of the privacy of the individual unless the Central Public Information Officer or the State Public Information Officer or the appellate authority, as the case may be, is satisfied that the larger public interest justifies the disclosure of such information: Provided that the information which cannot be denied to the Parliament or a State Legislature shall not be denied to any person. of the RTI Act. The First Appellate Authority (FAA) observed that the appellant wanted to know whether the National Heart Institute Hospital is registered as a charitable hospital or not. He directed the PIO to disclose as to whether the above entity is filing its returns of income as a charitable Trust or not, without disclosing details of the returns filed.
During the hearing the before Central Information Commission (CIC) the appellant submitted that he has not received any information from the PIO even after the directions of FAA. He further submitted that a penalty should be imposed on the PIO for failure to provide information. The public authority did not attend the hearing.
View of CIC
The Commission observed that the PIO has failed to provide a specific response to the orders of the FAA, thereby showing a complete disregard for the provisions of the RTI Act. The CIC issued a show cause notice to the PIO for failure to provide a response to the appellant in the wake of the directions of the FAA.
Citation: Mr. Gajendra Pratap Singh v. JDIT (E) & Addl.DIT (E) in File No. CIC/RM/A/2012/000617
RTI Citation : RTIFI/2013/CIC/1312
Click here to view original RTI order of Court / Information Commission