Should the CVC disclose the details of complainant to an applicant?
Enclosing the copy of an anonymous, the RTI applicant alleged that it had been sent by the CVC to the Ministry of MSME. He filed an application under the Right to Information (RTI) Act with the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) seeking information regarding the complainant. The Public Information Officer (PIO) informed the appellant that the complaint was not anonymous and denied the information 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.
During the hearing before the Central Information Commission (CIC), the respondent produced the copies of complaints received in the CVC against the appellant and stated that all these complaints including the one which the appellant had enclosed were received from various complainants. The respondent further submitted that the CVC had forwarded all these complaints to the Ministry concerned for further necessary action and that the status of complaints was not clear i.e. whether the Ministry has enquired into these complaints or not. The respondent stated that the disclosure of the complaints would identify the complainants and might endanger their personal safety.
View of CIC
The Commission noted that if the appellant has been able to get a copy of one complaint from the Ministry he could get the copies of the remaining complaints from there. The Commission held the CVC is bound to protect the identity of the complainant at least until the entire matter is fully investigated into. The Commission rejected the appeal stating that without knowing the status of the complaints the PIO cannot disclose the details of the complaints or the complainants.
Citation: Mr. Bhavesh Kumar Motiani v. Central Vigilance Commission in File No. CIC/SM/A/2012/001447
RTI Citation : RTIFI/2013/CIC/1179
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