RTI application was rejected claiming that the information is confidential without citing any exemption section - CIC: PIO to provide information regarding certain points and respond to a particular point as per the provisions of the RTI Act
Appellant submitted that he had applied for registration for import of “Chlorpropham Technical” but the same was not given; he filed an application under RTI Act seeking certain information about the same - PIO did not provide any information claiming that the entire note sheet is confidential without citing any exemption section of the RTI Act - CIC: PIO to provide information sought as per certain points of the RTI Application and respond to the request for information, regarding a particular point in keeping with the provisions of the RTI Act
According to the appeal, the Appellant filed an RTI Application on 21.5.2013, seeking information on 3 points concerning the application of his company for import of “Chlorpropham Technical under Section 9 (3)”. Vide his reply dated 8.7.2013, the CPIO stated that “entire note sheet relating to the internal proceedings of CIB & RC cannot be provided being confidential. You are hereby requested to mention if any, specific information needed”. The CPIO did not cite any specific Section of the RTI Act under which information on note sheets was being denied, except for stating that this information was “confidential”. He did not respond to the queries at serial no. 2 and 3 of the RTI application. The Appellant filed an appeal to the First Appellate Authority on 1.7.2013. The FAA responded on 31.7.2013, stating that the CPIO had informed him that a reply had already been communicated to the Appellant. He added that considering the above submissions of the CPIO, he was of the view that the appeal was of “no relevance”. Aggrieved with the reply of the FAA, the Appellant approached the CIC in 2nd Appeal on 28.9.2013.
2. We heard the submissions of the Appellant and the Respondents. The Appellant submitted that he had applied in 2012 for registration for import of “Chlorpropham Technical”. However, registration had not been given. The RTI queries related to that application. On being asked about the specific Sections of the RTI Act, under which the CPIO had denied information, the representative of the Respondents said that he was not in a position to cite a specific Section. We note that information has been denied merely by stating that it is “confidential”. This is not a valid ground for denial of information under the RTI Act. Having considered the submissions made before us, the CPIO is directed to provide the information sought as per points No.1 and 2 of the RTI Application to the Appellant. He is also directed to respond to the request for information, made at point No. 3 of the RTI Application, in keeping with the provisions of the RTI Act, 2005. He is further directed to provide information / response as per above directions within 30 days of the receipt of this order.
3. With the above directions, the appeal is disposed of.
4. Copies of this order be given free of cost to the parties.
Citation: Dr. Brijesh Shukla v. Central Insecticide Board and Registration Committee in File No. CIC/LS/A/2013/002457/SH