Shri Y.K. Ruhela was terminated & the order was modified at the appellate stage from to ‘removal from service’- Appellant had defended the case - Information about the case was denied u/s 8(1)(j) - CIC: order of denial of information upheld
1. The appellant, Shri Sushil Kumar Sharma, submitted RTI application dated 19.09.2013 before the Central Public Information Officer (CPIO), LIC of India, Meerut sought information on 42 points such as whether LIC of India is a public authority, whether Shri Y.K. Rohela, ex-assistant was removed from service, names and designations of all the officers by whom the penalty of termination was imposed, details of cases which were filed against the termination in the Industrial Tribunal, reasons how Mr. Rohela was serving in the LIC upto retirement while he was terminated from service in the year 1985, details of chare sheet issued to Shri Y.K. Rohela, details of his promotion, whether death claim had been obtained by Mr. Vinod Kumar in collusion with Shri Rohela, Whether Shri Rohela was instrumental in preparing the forge death certificate etc..
2. The CPIO vide letter dated 23.10.2013 provided information on Point No. 1 and in response to Point Nos. 2 to 42 the CPIO informed the appellant that these points were directly or indirectly associated with Shri Y.K. Rohela. The information sought was personal in nature and denied u/s 8(1) (j) of the RTI Act. Dissatisfied with the reply of the CPIO, the appellant filed first appeal on 28.10.2013 before the FAA. The FAA vide order dated 25.11.2013 stated that Shri Y.K. Ruhela was terminated vide order dated 1.3.1988 and the penalty of ‘removal from service’ was modified by the Appellate Authority vide order dated 15.11.1989. The FAA further stated that the appellant had himself defended the case of Shri Rohela before the Judicial Authorities and hence he was well aware of all the facts of the case. Following which the appellant filed RTI and the appeal. The LIC of India has a well established system of vigilance, which is manned by competent and honest officers. All matters which require investigation and inquiries were dealt with scrupulously. As far as the matter related to fake death claim under policy No. 25351383 it was referred to the police authorities. The amount of Rs. 298281 stands recovered by the LIC. The allegations against the LIC authorities and officers, in his RTI application were uncalled for and his personal opinion was beyond the ambit of the provisions of the RTI Act.
3. Dissatisfied with the response of the public authority, the appellant preferred the present appeal before the Commission.
4. The matter was heard by the Commission. The appellant submitted that the respondents had provided him incomplete information. The respondents stated that the CPIO replied to the appellant and provided information on Point No. 1 and denied information on remaining points u/s 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. The FAA further passed an elaborate order. In response to Point No. 6 how Shri Rohela was serving the LIC while he was terminated from the service, the respondents stated that his penalty order was modified at the appellate stage from ‘termination’ to ‘removal from service’. The information pertaining to disciplinary proceedings against Shri Rohela cannot be provided to the appellant u/s 8(1) (j) of the RTI Act. They also stated that Shri Rohella had also written to them asking them not to give his personal information.
5. The copy of disciplinary proceedings against Shri Rohela is exempt u/s 8(1) (j) of the RTI Act, in the light of judgement of Hon’ble Supreme Court in the matter of Girish Ramachandra Vs. CIC & Ors dated 3.10.2012, held that copies of all memos, show cause notices and orders of censure/punishment etc. are qualified to be personal information as defined in clause (j) of Section 8(1) of the RTI Act. The Commission observes that the FAA had passed an elaborate order on appellant’s first appeal keeping the provisions of the RTI Act in view, which is upheld. No action is called for on the part of the Commission. The appeal is disposed of.
Citation: Shri Sushil Kumar Sharma v. LIC of India in Appeal: No. CIC/MP/A/2014/000416