Seeking guidelines, terms and conditions governing association of Development Officers with LIC – PIO: this was commercial information critical to the performance of the LIC and disclosure would hurt its commercial interests - CIC: plea of PIO accepted
1. Appellant submitted RTI application dated 09 August 2012 before the CPIO, LIC of India, Central Office, Mumbai seeking information related to publication of certain information on the official website of LIC.
2. Vide CPIO Order dated 12 September 2012, CPIO denied the requisite information stating that no specific information was sought as provided under Section 6(1) of the RTI Act, 2005 under all the points and the application is in the nature of a list of suggestions and therefore does not fall under the ambit of “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.
3. Not satisfied by the PIO’s reply, the Appellant preferred First Appeal to the First Appellate Authority dated 11 October 2012.
4. Vide FAA Order dated 02 November 2012, the FAA upheld the decision of the CPIO.
5. Being aggrieved and not satisfied by the above response of the Public Authority, the Appellant preferred Second Appeal before the Commission.
6. Matter was heard today. Respondent as above were heard via videoconferencing from Mumbai. Appellant made submissions from Sitapur. It was submitted by the respondents that full and complete information regarding the rules and guidelines governing Development Officers and other employees of the Corporation as well as their terms and conditions of employment had been placed on the official website of the Corporation. However since the agents were not employees of the public authority, the guidelines, terms and conditions governing their association with the Corporation had not been disclosed. It was submitted that agents performed commercial activities on behalf of the Corporation at the grassroot level on the basis of a contract signed between the agent and the Corporation and the terms and conditions governing their association with the Corporation formed part of the commercial information which was critical to the performance of the LIC of India as the insurance business was highly competitive. It was pleaded by the respondents that the insurance agents were required to work in a very dynamic environment by the very nature of their functions and that any disclosure pertaining to their functioning would hurt the commercial interests of the LIC of India.
7. After hearing both parties Commission accepts the plea made by the respondent.
Accordingly appeal is dismissed.
(Smt. Deepak Sandhu)
Information Commissioner (DS)
Citation: Shri Ankit Srivastava v. LIC of India in Appeal: No. CIC/DS/A/2012/002559