Seeking particulars of the officers who handled the gratuity matter of the appellant’s deceased husband - information was denied u/s 8(1)(j) & 8(1)(g) – Respondent: her husband is not eligible for exgratia payment - CIC: appeal dismissed
O R D E R
1. The appellant filed an RTI application on 1072012 seeking certain information/clarifications regarding the attending of gratuity application of late Shri J.O. Kanchan and other details.
2. The CPIO responded on 1082012, denying the information to the appellant under section 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 on the grounds that the matter was subjudice and no larger public interest was involved. The appellant filed an appeal with the first appellate authority (FAA) on 2282012. The FAA responded on 692012 and rejected the appeal under section 8(1)(g) Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, there shall be no obligation to give any citizen, information, the disclosure of which would endanger the life or physical safety of any person or identify the source of information or assistance given in confidence for law enforcement or security purposes; of the RTI Act. The appellant approached the Commission on 17102012 in a second appeal.
3. I heard both the parties through videoconferencing. The appellant referred to his RTI application of 1072012 and stated that he had sought information from the bank about the particulars of the officers who had handled the gratuity matter of the appellant’s husband who was an employee of the respondent organization. The appellant said that the appellant’s husband had been subjected to departmental proceedings also and the manner in which the retirement benefits of her husband had been handled including the gratuity benefits showed that the bank officials were prejudiced against her husband. The appellant said that the bank’s prejudice against her husband is evident in the fact that the officials who attended the hearing before the Assistant Labour Commissioner (ALC) were not supposed to attend but they went. The appellant said that the records will show that the officers in question went before the ALC but they have also marked their presence in the bank.
4. The appellant stated that her husband passed away in the year 2006 but she wants to get the correct facts about why did the bank treat her husband unfairly in the matter of gratuity payment and this has triggered of 5 points in the RTI application.
5. The respondent stated that the 5 points have been replied to in the response dated 1082012 and that the FAA has upheld it and that he has nothing further to add. The respondent stated that the appellant through this hearing has opened up the matters that are already settled. The respondent stated that the 5 points in the RTI application essentially pertained to matters: (a) the gratuity; and (b) the exgratia. The respondent explained that whereas gratuity is applicable to all employees, generally speaking, who retired after putting in the normal length of service but exgratia payment is an amount for which the eligibility comes in certain situations and cases. The respondent explained that the appellant knows that her husband is not eligible for exgratia payment. In so far as the gratuity is concerned, the respondent stated that this matter has been settled and finalized on 1112013.
6. The respondent has cited two Commissions’ orders vide decision nos. CIC/OK/A/2008/01135/SG/1322, dated 2812009 and CIC/OK/C/2007/00362 & 367 dated 512008, stating it has been recorded that the appellant is seeking a large amount of unrelated information with a view to harassing the public authority.
7. Action taken by the respondent is in conformity with the RTI Act.
8. The decision of the FAA is upheld. Appeal is disposed of. Copy of this order be given free of cost to the parties.
Citation: Ms Shashikala v. Canara Bank in Decision No. CIC/VS/A/2012/001634/05088