Seeking details regarding inclusion of Bull in the list of performing animals
The appellant filed an application under the Right to Information (RTI) Act with the Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) seeking copies of all the file noting and other related documents leading to the inclusion of the Bull in the list of performing animals in the official notification issued under the provisions of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act. He also wanted the report submitted by the Committee formed pursuant to the order of the Delhi High Court at said date. The Public Information Officer (PIO) denied the information on the ground that matters relating to the subjects were before various courts.
During the hearing before the Central Information Commission (CIC), the appellant argued that the PIO was wrong in denying the information because there was no express instruction of any court of law not to disclose the information. The respondent submitted that the information was not disclosed because many cases were pending before various courts on this very subject and the disclosure might adversely affect the pending cases.
View of CIC
The Commission held neither the PIO nor the First Appellate Authority (FAA) has explained which matter was pending before what court and how that has any relation to the desired information. Under the RTI Act, no information can be denied only because it is the subject matter of a case pending before a court of law. Only such information can be refused which has been expressly forbidden by a court of law from disclosure. The Commission ruled that neither the PIO nor the FAA has alluded to any such order passed by any court. The CIC directed the PIO to provide the sought information to the appellant.
Citation: Mr. Ajay M. Marathe v. Ministry of Environment and Forest in File No. CIC/SM/A/2013/000248
RTI Citation : RTIFI/2013/CIC/1391
Click here to view original RTI order of Court / Information Commission