PIO has to establish as to how the disclosure will impede the investigation
The appellant filed an application under the Right to Information (RTI) Act with the Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) of India seeking information pertaining to the charge sheets issued to two persons who were the applicant's senior and subordinate at the same time. The Public Information Officer (PIO) denied the information under section 8(1)(h) Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, there shall be no obligation to give any citizen, information which would impede the process of investigation or apprehension or prosecution of offenders; of the RTI Act stating that the final orders pertaining to the abovementioned charge sheets were still pending and disclosure of the requested information would impede the process of investigation or apprehension or prosecution of offenders. Applicant preferred appeal before the First Appellate Authority in which he stated that information sought by him is related to the disclosure of charge sheets only and not to any matter of enquiry proceedings, findings of PO/IO or any matter pertaining to final order etc. The FAA rejected the appeal stating that the reference charge sheets were still pending for final orders as well as the enquiry related to the appellant was also under process and the enquiries for which information has been sought are related to each other as all these disciplinary proceedings are part of same vigilance case. Thus information sought may impede the process of investigation or apprehension.
The Central Information Commission (CIC) directed the PIO to send written submission to establish how the disclosure of sought information will impede the process of investigation. The PIO submitted that this being the cluster of cases many of the employees were involved with separate angles and the information which is sought may or may not be fully or partially applicable while deciding action against each employee. He also stated that at this stage the inquiry of the case is complete but the matter is still pending with the disciplinary authority.
View of CIC
The CIC observed that the PIO had not established as to how the disclosure of the charge sheets issued to the two above mentioned persons can in any way influence the judgment of the competent authority with whom the matter is now pending for final orders. The Commission directed the PIO to provide the requested information to the appellant.
Citation: Mr. Suryakant M. Khamar v. LIC of India in Appeal: No. CIC/DS/A/2011/004123
RTI Citation : RTIFI/2012/CIC/744
Click here to view original RTI order of Court / Information Commission