Should the site plan and location map of a mall be disclosed under RTI?
The appellant sought information regarding a cinema hall converted into a mall like the current property status, copy of the sanctioned map, the demolition action report and the criteria set by MCD for construction of mall and Cineplex, the details of FAR allotted by the town planner, the conversion policy and the charges on land use from cinema premises to the Cineplex / mall etc. The Public Information Officer (PIO) supplied part information and informed the appellant that the copy of the sanctioned plan along with the file can be provided after the third party permission. The PIO informed that the appellant can also inspect the relevant building plan file and the copy of the requisite documents will be supplied on depositing of the charges as per the provisions of the RTI Act. During the hearing, the PIO stated that the third party has objected to releasing the information.
In the first hearing, the Central Information Commission (CIC) pointed that the PIO must determine whether the information sought by the appellant is exempt as per the provisions of section 8(1) of the RTI Act and then take a decision and should not refuse to give the information merely on the ground that third party had raised an objection. The Commission directed the PIO to give notice to the third party to show the Commission if the information sought by the appellant is exempt under section 8(1) of the RTI Act.
The second hearing was adjourned and in the third hearing, the third party gave a written submission claiming that the information is exempt under section 8(1)(d), 8(1)(e) Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, there shall be no obligation to give any citizen, information available to a person in his fiduciary relationship, unless the competent authority is satisfied that the larger public interest warrants the disclosure of such information; & 8(1)(j). The third party also argued that the plan is intellectual property of the Architect and also disclosing it could lead to endangering the physical safety of the persons who would be using these buildings.
View of CIC
The Commission upheld the refusal of the plan while directing the PIO to give a copy of the site plan and the area chart to the appellant.
Citation: Mr. R. L Makhija v. Municipal Corporation of Delhi in Decision No. CIC/SG/A/2012/000352/18878
RTI Citation : RTIFI/2012/CIC/491
Click here to view original RTI order of Court / Information Commission