Should details regarding complaint filed with CVC be disclosed to the complainant?
The appellant had filed a large number of complaints with the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) under PIDPI. He later filed two applications under the Right to Information (RTI) Act with the CVC seeking copies of the forwarding letters, the investigation reports and the complaint numbers regarding the complaints filed by him. The Public Information Officer (PIO) denied the information under section 8(1)(h) Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, there shall be no obligation to give any citizen, information which would impede the process of investigation or apprehension or prosecution of offenders; and 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 the before Central Information Commission (CIC), the appellant argued that he being himself the complainant, the PIO could not have denied this information to him. The respondent submitted that as per the policy followed in the CVC the confidential section which received such complaints never allowed the disclosure of the details of these complaints in whatever form to protect the identity of the complainant.
View of CIC
The Commission observed that the information seeker himself is the complainant and therefore, the desired information should not be withheld from him. The CIC held that the details of the complaints made under this particular scheme however, cannot be disclosed to third party information seeker. The CIC directed the PIO to obtain the information from the confidential section and provide to the appellant including the details of the complaint numbers and the copies of the forwarding letters by which these complaints had been endorsed to any other authority for further action. Regarding the investigation reports, the CIC ruled that the disclosure of these reports would be subject to the exemption provisions.
Citation: Mr. Rajesh Gouhari v. Central Vigilance Commission in File No. CIC/SM/A/2013/000024 & 25
RTI Citation : RTIFI/2013/CIC/1446
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