Should names of scientists evaluating the research paper be disclosed under RTI?
The appellant had written a research paper on Fit Technology and sent it to the Cabinet Secretary. The Cabinet Secretary referred the paper to DST which had transmitted it to NASI. Later he filed an application under the Right to Information (RTI) Act with the National Academy of Sciences India (NASI) seeking the copy of his paper received by NASI, the names of the scientists who evaluated and reviewed and commented on it. He also wanted the comments given on his paper.
During the hearing before the Central Information Commission (CIC), The Public Information Officer (PIO) submitted that the copies of the comments of the examining scientists have already been supplied to the appellant but argued that the names of the examining scientists cannot be disclosed to the appellant as per the policy of NASI.
View of CIC
The Central Information Commission (CIC) agreed that disclosing the names of the scientist would compromise their position as they may come under pressure in their future assignments and may create ill will and acrimony between them and the appellant. The Commission rejected the appeal stating that the information is barred from disclosure under section 2(g) of the RTI Act.
It appears that reference to section 2(g) is a typographical error which may be read as section 8(1)(g).
Citation: Mr. Vipin Kumar Sonakia v. National Academy of Sciences India in File No. CIC/LS/A/2013/000049
RTI Citation : RTIFI/2013/CIC/1050
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