Under RTI, can vigilance clearance report of third party be disclosed?
The appellant filed an application under the Right to Information (RTI) Act seeking information regarding grant of vigilance clearance for promotion of two persons. One of them was inspector who was promoted as Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) and the other one was sub-inspector (SI) who was promoted to the post of inspector. The appellant wanted to know the name and designation of the officers who granted vigilance clearance to them and a copy of vigilance clearance and recommendation letter sent to Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) for their promotion. He also sought whether the recommendation of Departmental Promotion Committee (DPC) for the promotion of inspector was in sealed cover or not. The Public Information Officer (PIO) provided the appellant with the name and designation of the officers who granted vigilance clearance. He denied the copy of vigilance clearance report on the grounds that the information was confidential in nature. It was informed to the appellant that the appointment of Inspectors of Delhi Police to the rank of ACP (DANIPS) is being made by MHA, however the service particulars of the Inspector were sent to MHA along with his counterparts and that a Joint DE was pending against him and SOA had been served upon him on. Later the Joint DE has been withdrawn on administrative grounds and the same was communicated to MHA.
During the hearing before the Central Information Commission (CIC), the appellant submitted that the respondent has failed to supply the vigilance clearance reports without any justification. The respondent confirmed that the DPC meetings have been held and a decision has already been taken on the vigilance clearance provided in both the cases.
View of CIC
The Central Information Commission (CIC) observed that the PIO had denied the vigilance clearance reports by simply mentioning that it is confidential in nature, he has failed to quote any exemption clause to justify the grounds for denial of this information. The Commission held that since the DPC proceedings are already over and a final decision had been taken, the copies of vigilance clearance cannot be denied. The Commission directed the PIO, Vigilance to provide copies of vigilance clearance reports to the appellant.
Citation: Mr. J.K. Sharma v. Delhi Police, in Case No. CIC/SS/A/2012/000379
RTI Citation : RTIFI/2012/CIC/649
Click here to view original RTI order of Court / Information Commission