PIO: the information regarding the lease deed cannot be disclosed being third party information & exempt u/s 8(1)(j) of RTI Act; The appellant is not co-owner of the building therefore information cannot be given to him - CIC: order upheld
1. The appellant, Shri Jagat Bhushan Gupta, submitted RTI application dated 24 April 2013 before the Central Public Information Officer (CPIO), State Bank of India, Dhampur; seeking information regarding the area on which the Kalagarh Road Dhampur Branch was constructed and total covered area along with its maps and certified copies.
2. The appellant preferred an appeal dated 6 June 2013 (reminder sent on 10.7.2013) to the first appellate authority (FAA) when he did not receive any information from the CPIO concerned within stipulated time period. In response to the appeal; vide reply 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. July 2013, CPIO furnished part information regarding the area and denied the rest u/s 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, 2005. Not satisfied by the CPIO’s reply, the appellant again preferred an appeal dated 7 August 2013 to the first appellate authority (FAA) alleging that he had not been provided complete information by the CPIO concerned. Vide order dated 5 August 2013 & 10 September 2013, FAA upheld the CPIO’s reply, however directed the CPIO to give clear reply, if available in case the appellant presented any document for being the legal owner of the Bank’s premises.
3. Dissatisfied with the response of the public authority, the appellant preferred second appeal before the Commission.
4. The matter was heard by the Commission. The appellant submitted that he had sought information regarding area, maps, certified copies of related records etc. in respect of Dhampur branch but the respondents had denied the information to him. The respondents submitted that the SBI had taken the building for Dhampur Branch on lease from Ms. Anjali Gupta & Ms. Archana Gupta who are landlords of the building. They added further that the information regarding the lease deed cannot be disclosed being third party information and exempt u/s 8(1) (j) of RTI Act, 2005. Further, the construction plan/map is not a part of the lease deed and is not available with bank. The appellant is not coowner of the building therefore information cannot be given to him.
5. The Commission upholds the decision of CPIO/FAA. The Commission directs the CPIO to explain the reason for delay in responding to the RTI application within three days of the receipt of the Commission’s order. The appeal is disposed of.
Citation: Shri Jagat Bhushan Gupta v. State Bank of India in Appeal: No. CIC/VS/A/2013/002133/MP