Photocopies of documents issued for payment of superannuation pension to her estranged husband were denied as fiduciary information - CIC: it is a confidential document as per Section 44 of the SBI Act, 1955 which is pari materia with the RTI Act
1. The appellant, Smt. Jolly Dasgupta, has submitted RTI application dated 5 November 2012 before the Central Public Information Officer (CPIO), State Bank of India, Kolkata; seeking information regarding photocopies of the documents relating to the PPO No. 07080007212 issued for payment of superannuation pension to her husband including “both halves of PPO books”.
2. Vide reply dated 7 December 2012, CPIO denied the requested information to the appellant on the ground that the pension holder i.e., third party refused to allow the Bank to part with any information or document. Not satisfied with the CPIO’s reply, the appellant preferred appeal dated 7 January 2013 to the first appellate authority (FAA) alleging that she had been wrongly denied the requested information by the CPIO concerned. Vide order 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. January 2013, FAA upheld the CPIO’s decision and also clarified the same.
3. Not satisfied by the above response of the public authority, the appellant preferred second appeal before the Commission.
4. The appellant in her written submission had sought information relating to her husband, Shri Madhusudan Dasgupta’s pension payment order.
5. The CPIO submitted that third party, Shri Madhusudan Dasgupta, had been asked 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 RTI Act, 2005 for the disclosure of information. The third party has denied the disclosure of information to his estranged wife. Hence, the information may not be disclosed as it is kept in fiduciary capacity with the public authority and is a confidential document as per Section 44 of the SBI Act, 1955 which is pari materia with the RTI Act, 2005.
6. The CPIO’s submissions are upheld. The appeal is disposed of.
Citation: Smt. Jolly Dasgupta v. State Bank of India in Appeal: No. CIC/VS/A/2013/000783/M