Information regarding the fixation of pension, nominee, etc. of a retired DSP of CBCID was denied claiming that it is the personal information of the third party who has objected to disclosure on a notice u/s 11 – CIC: denial u/s 8(1)(j) upheld
The present appeal, filed by Dr. R. Veerasekharan against Office of the Principal Accountant General (Accounts & Entitlements), Chennai, was taken up for hearing on 12.02.2014 via videoconferencing when the Respondents were presentat NIC VC facility at Chennai through Shri Ravi Chandran, FAA and Shri V.Karthikeyan, CPIO. The Appellant, who was notified to be present at NIC VC facility at Trichy, was however not present.
2. The Appellant through an RTI application dated 02.06.2012 sought certain information regarding the fixation of pension of one Shri Gokul Sagar, retired DSP of CBCID, Chennai. This application included queries, such as who is nominated as wife of Shri Gokul Sagar for the purpose of his pension; please confirm, if Mrs.Vasanthi is Shri Gokul Sagar’s nominee as wife; whether the fixation of Shri Shri Gokul Sagar’s pension is done in accordance with the provision of law; please confirm is there any amount of cheating involved in the fixation of pension etc.
2. The CPIO through his letter dated 06.07.2012—preceded by an interim reply dated 12.06.2012—declined the disclosure of information to the Appellant on the ground that it relates to personal information of the third party, disclosure of which has no relation to any public activity or interest, while also mentioning that the third party, Shri Gokul Sagar, in response to notice issued to him u/s 11(1) Where a Central Public Information Officer or a State Public Information Officer, as the case may be, intends to disclose any information or record, or part thereof on a request made under this Act, which relates to or has been supplied by a third party and has been treated as confidential by that third party, the Central Public Information Officer or State Public Information Officer, as the case may be, shall, within five days from the receipt of the request, give a written notice to such third party of the request and of the fact that the Central Public Information Officer or State Public Information Officer, as the case may be, intends to disclose the information or record, or part thereof, and invite the third party to make a submission in writing or orally, regarding whether the information should be disclosed, and such submission of the third party shall be kept in view while taking a decision about disclosure of information: of the RTI Act, has objected to the disclosure of the information.
3. Aggrieved by this reply of the CPIO, the Appellant filed an appeal dated10.07.2012 before the Appellate Authority which the Appellate Authority disposed of vide his order dated 01.08.2012 upholding the CPIO’s view.
4. The Appellant then filed the present appeal before the Commission.
5. On consideration of the submissions and on perusal of records, the Commission concurs with the Respondents’ decision that the information sought by the Appellant relates to ‘personal information’ of third party disclosure of which has no relationship to any public activity or interest. Disclosure of such information would also cause unwarranted invasion of privacy of third party/individual. Moreover the Appellant has not established any bonafide public interest warranting the disclosure of this information. Thus the information in question here attracts exemption under section 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 and cannot be directed to be
Chief Information Commissioner
Citation:Dr. R. Veerasekharan v. Accounts & Entitlements in Case No. CIC/SM/A/2013/000810SS