Respondent: the appellant is seeking additional information at FAA level & expanding the scope of the RTI application which may not be allowed; the criteria to sanction the donations are available on the LIC website - CIC: appeal dismissed
Information regarding the donations made by LIC to institutions - Appellant: complete and specific information regarding the donations made by the LIC of India (19802013) had not been provided; information sought was essential since public money was involved; the criteria adopted by the LIC in sanctioning the donation amount also had not been disclosed - Appellant also asked for a copy of the Golden Jubilee Fund Memorandum - Respondent: the appellant is seeking additional information at FAA level & expanding the scope of the RTI application which may not be allowed; the criteria to sanction the donations are available on the LIC website - CIC: appeal dismissed
1. The appellant, Shri Ajay Relhan, submitted RTI application dated 30 November 2012 before the Central Public Information Officer (CPIO), Life Insurance Corporation of India, Karnal, seeking information regarding the donations made by the respondent companies to the Government of India, institutions, hospitals etc., through a total of 13 points.
2. Vide reply dated 24 December 2012, CPIO furnished information to the appellant on point nos. a, b, d, i, j & j(i),(ii)(iii); furnished part information on point nos. c and denied its other parts u/s 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; & (j) of the RTI Act, 2005 and denied the rest of the information on the ground that the requested record as defined in Section 2(i) “record” includes. (a) any document, manuscript and file; (b) any microfilm, microfiche and facsimile copy of a document; (c) any reproduction of image or images embodied in such microfilm (whether enlarged or not); and (d) any other material produced by a computer or any other device; and the information as defined under Section 2(f) “information” means any material in any form, including records, documents, memos, e-mails, opinions, advices, press releases, circulars, orders, logbooks, contracts, reports, papers, samples, models, data material held in any electronic form and information relating to any private body which can be accessed by a public authority under any other law for the time being in force; of the RTI Act, 2005 did not exist. Not satisfied with the CPIO’s reply, the appellant preferred appeal dated 17 January 2013 to the first appellate authority (FAA). Vide order dated 27 February 2013, FAA upheld the CPIO’s decision and held that the appellant had expanded his RTI queries at appeal stage which was not permissible.
3. Not satisfied with the response of the public authority, the appellant preferred second appeal before the Commission alleging that he had not been provided with complete information.
4. The matter was heard today via videoconferencing. The appellant, Shri Ajay Relhan, made submissions from Karnal. The respondents, Ms. Mallika Prasad, Secretary (RTI), Ms. Sadhna Dhamane, Chief (Investments), Ms. Padmavati, Secretary (Golden Jubilee Foundation), Shri Ramanujam, Secretary (Investments, M&A) and Ms. Vidya Nair, AO (RTI), made submissions from Mumbai.
5. The appellant submitted that complete and specific information regarding the donations made by the LIC of India (19802013) had not been provided. The information sought was essential since public money was involved. The appellant further insisted that the criteria adopted by the LIC in sanctioning the donation amount also had not been disclosed. He also asked for a copy of the Golden Jubilee Fund Memorandum.
6. The CPIO submitted that the LIC had started its donation programme in the year 2006 only and all the details of the payments made to the organizations, etc., along with the amount sanctioned per project, as maintained by the LIC, had been provided to the appellant (16 pages). The respondents added that the appellant is seeking additional information and expanding the scope of the RTI application at appeal stage, which may not be allowed.
7. The CPIO also submitted that the donation amount was sanctioned by the Executive Committee of the LIC (Central Office) and not by the D.O. or Z.O. The Executive Committee follows the criteria to sanction the donations and the same is available in the LIC of India’s website, the web route of which had been provided in the FAA’s order. The respondents also added that the Golden Jubilee Fund Memorandum insisted upon by the appellant during the hearing was not a part of the RTI application and, therefore, may not be allowed.
8. The Commission accepts the submissions made by the CPIO that the information as held by them has been provided to the appellant. The appeal is dismissed and the case is closed.
Citation: Shri Ajay Relhan v. Life Insurance Corporation of India in Appeal: No. CIC/DS/A/2013/000983/MP