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RTI: Finance Ministry Rejected Most RTI Applications: CIC Report …


Finance Ministry Rejected Most RTI Applications: CIC Report 
SC: Details Of Marks In Civil Services (Prelims) Examination Cannot Be Disclosed Mechanically Under RTI
File Notings By Junior Officers For Use By His Superiors Not Third Party Information Under RTI Act: Delhi HC
Info panel slaps fine of Rs 75,000 on PF official
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Finance Ministry Rejected Most RTI Applications: CIC Report 

The Finance Ministry rejected highest number of RTI applications received by it during 2016-17, the year in which it had implemented demonetisation of Rs 1000 and Rs 500 currency, the annual report released by the Central Information Commission on Friday said. …

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SC: Details Of Marks In Civil Services (Prelims) Examination Cannot Be Disclosed Mechanically Under RTI

Feb 22, 2018 : Dtf.in 
NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has held that raw and scaled marks awarded to candidates in Civil Services (Prelims) examination cannot be disclosed under the Right to Information Act, 2005, and has set aside the Delhi High Court’s order.
The respondents-writ petitioners were unsuccessful candidates in the Civil Services (Preliminary) Examination, 2010. They approached the High Court for a direction to the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) to disclose the details of marks (raw and scaled) awarded to them in the Civil Services (Prelims) Examination 2010. The information in the form of cut-off marks for every subject, scaling methodology, model answers and complete result of all candidates were also sought. Learned Single Judge directed that the information sought be provided within fifteen days. The said view of the Single Judge was affirmed by the Division Bench of the High Court.
Hon’ble Supreme Court has ruled as under:-
“Weighing the need for transparency and accountability on the one hand and requirement of optimum use of fiscal resources and confidentiality of sensitive information on the other, we are of the view that information sought with regard to marks in Civil Services Exam cannot be directed to be furnished mechanically. Situation of exams of other academic bodies may stand on different footing. Furnishing raw marks will cause problems as pleaded by the UPSC as quoted above which will not be in public interest.”
(Emphasis Added.)

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File Notings By Junior Officers For Use By His Superiors Not Third Party Information Under RTI Act: Delhi HC

Feb 21, 2018 : Dtf.in 
Hon’ble Delhi High Court has recently ruled that Section 8 of the Act provides for exemption from disclosure of certain information and none of the provisions of Section 8 provides for blanket exemption that entitles the respondent to withhold all notings on a file. 
The petitioner had challenged the order dated 04.09.2013 passed by the Central Information Commission. Briefly stated, the petitioner had filed an application dated 06.11.2010 under the Right to Information Act, 2005 seeking certain information including the certified copy of a report sent by the then Governor of Karnataka to the Union Home Ministry relating to the political situation in the State of Karanataka and for imposing President’s Rule in that State. The petitioner had also sought information as to what action had been taken by the Government of India on the said report and also the file notings in respect of the said report.
The said information was declined to the petitioner. The petitioner filed an appeal before the the First Appellate Authority (FAA) under Section 19 (1) of the Act, but was not successful. Aggrieved by the order passed by the FAA, the petitioner preferred a second appeal under section 19(3) of the Act, which was stated to be pending consideration before the CIC.
In the meantime, the petitioner filed another application dated 07.06.2012 under the Act, inter alia, seeking the information, including complete details of file notings made on the above said file number as on date, list of the officers with their designation to whom before the said file is placed. Also provide me the noting made by them on the said file, etc.
It has, inter alia, been ruled by Hon’ble High Court as under:-
“8. ….. the file concerning the petitioner‟s application cannot, obviously, be considered confidential/secret. Admittedly, this is also not the case of the respondents; they do not claim that the notings on the file relating to the petitioner‟s application dated 06.11.2010 have been classified as secret or confidential.
9.  In view of the above, the impugned order, inasmuch as it holds that the information sought for by the petitioner is exempt from disclosure under Section 8(1)(e) of the Act, cannot be sustained.
10   The contention that notings made by a junior officer for use by his superiors is third party information, which requires compliance of section 11 of the Act, is unmerited. Any noting made in the official records of the Government/public authority is information belonging to the concerned Government/public authority. The question whether the information relates to a third party is to be determined by the nature of the information and not its source. The Government is not a natural person and all information contained in the official records of the Government/public authority is generated by individuals (whether employed with the Government or not) or other entities. Thus, the reasoning, that the notings or information generated by an employee during the course of his employment is his information and thus has to be treated as relating to a third party, is flawed.
11.  Section 8 of the Act provides for exemption from disclosure of certain information and none of the provisions of Section 8 provide for blanket exemption that entitles the respondent to withhold all notings on a file.”
The impugned order has been set aside by Hon’ble Delhi High Court. The matter has been remanded to the CIC to consider afresh. The CIC has been requested to pass a final order as expeditiously as possible and preferably within a period of three months from the date of the order.
More: Copy of Order >>> Delhi HC Judgement dated 12.02.2018 – Paras Nath Singh Vs. Union of India >>> RTI Judgments

Info panel slaps fine of Rs 75,000 on PF official

February 12, 2018
The Central Information Commission has slapped a penalty of Rs 75,000 on the Central Public Information Officer (CPIO)-cum-Regional Provident Fund Commissioner (Pension), Delhi, for not furnishing documents sought under the RTI Act.
As per order, the penalty will be recovered from the salary of the CPIO, Mukesh Kumar, in five equal instalments. The first instalment will be paid by March 18, while the deadline for the last instalment is July 18. …

FIR against 8 sub-registrar office employees

February 06, 2018
Eight officials in the Devanahalli sub-registrar office are in the dock for allegedly misplacing a document pertaining to landowners.
Based on directions from the Information Commission, the Director General and Inspector General of Police has directed the Devanahalli police to register an FIR against eight officials — both retired and serving — under Section 9 of the Karnataka State Public Records Act. …

CIC hauls up man for RTI ‘bombardment’

Timesofindia.indiatimes.comService Law
Jan 27, 2018
NEW DELHI: The Central Information Commission (CIC) has come down hard on an applicant for filing multiple applications with a view to harass the public authority.
Information commissioner Yashovardhan Azad called out the actions of the applicant, who had filed a slew of pleas after a dispute with a neighbour. “The commission notes that the appellant is a habitual litigant and has been raising myriad queries about numerous complaints he has filed before various public offices. …

RTI used mostly to settle personal scores: Information Commissioner Bimal Julka

Jan 23, 2018
NEW DELHI: The Right to Information Act, conceived as a tool for the common man to make the government more accountable towards administration and governance, has in the past few years seen an “unfortunate shift”.
The number of people filing RTI applications asking about how government schemes are being implemented has shrunk, and it has largely become a weapon to dig out private details about people to settle personal scores, information commissioner Bimal Julka told state commissioners at a meeting on Saturday. …

RTIDenying Information For Lack Of Aadhaar Violates RTI Act: Central Information Commission

December 28, 2017
New Delhi:  Denial of information for the lack of Aadhaar card is a serious breach of right guaranteed under the RTI Act and amounts to harassment of the applicant, the Central Information Commission has held.
The Commission has imposed maximum penalty under the act on the then RTI handling officer of the Housing & Urban Development Corporation (HUDCO) for not providing information on gifts purchased by it and expenses incurred by its CMDs on the grounds that identification documents were not provided by the applicant. …

RTIWoman files RTI for estranged husband’s caste, CIC in a fix

Dec 27, 2017
NEW DELHI: A woman’s request for the caste certificate of her estranged husband has put the CIC in a fix. The request for the certificate, which the woman claimed was for her child, is not allowed under the RTI Act, as it is information about a third party. The CIC however, has directed the Northern Railway to seek the estranged husband’s consent to allow sharing of the information for the sake of his child’s future. …


Providing illegible documents amounts to denial of information: CIC

Dec 11, 2017 : Dtf.in 
A perusal of the CIC’s Interim shows that the appellant had alleged that the CPIO was causing delay in resolving his seniority issue which has resulted in reduction of his salary by Rs. 17,000 (approximately). The Commission found that the appellant has a genuine case, as giving illegible documents amounts to denial of information.
Accordingly, the CPIO was, inter alia, directed to explain why the Public Authority should not be directed to pay compensation to the appellant for providing illegible documents, within 15 days from the date of the order. Further, the Public Authority has been directed to return the amount of Rs. 176 deposited by the appellant.
The case is posted by Hon’ble Information Commissioner for compliance proceedings on 04.01.2018.
See the CIC Decision >>> Selected Decisions of Central Information Commission (CIC)

Court records can also be obtained under RTI: CIC

Nov 08, 2017 : Umesh Sharma, Advocate, Legalhelplineindia (www.legalhelplineindia.com)
New Delhi. The CIC has ruled that the court records are part of the public documents, hence the same can also be obtained under the RTI Act. The definition of public records is also dealt in Section 74 of the Indian Evidence Act of 1972, which reads as under:
“74. Public documents.—The following documents are public documents :
(1) Documents forming the acts, or records of the acts
(i) of the sovereign authority,
(ii) of official bodies and tribunals, and
(iii) of public officers, legislative, judicial and executive, 1[of any part of India or of the Commonwealth], or of a foreign country; 1[of any part of India or of the Commonwealth], or of a foreign country;
(2) Public records kept 2[in any State] of private documents.”
The CIC appeal was against an order passed by the PIO of district courts wherein the records of the court proceedings were denied to a complainant. CIC has declared him entitled to the records and issued directions to the PIO.
There is a process of  inspection of the court records and granting the certified copies of the court records and every court has a copying agency where anyone can apply for certified copies of the court records as per the rules and obtain the certified copies of the documents of a particular case file. The rules however mandate the distinction between decided and pending cases. The records of a decided case can be granted to anyone on application but for the pending cases, the records can only be obtained by the party concerned. Besides this the records of the court can be summoned to any other court and presented.
Some unanswered questions in this regard still remain determination as to whether the cause list maintained by the courts is a judicial record or a public record? Several statutory, mandatory and administrative registers maintained in the courts are also undefined whether they are judicial records or administrative records. 
Since the court records contain both judicial as well as administrative records containing the personal information of the litigating parties, a thin line of demarcation is to be drawn before disclosing all the information to any third party and making the said records as public records. In some cases, courts specifically pass gagging orders for keeping the records in sealed covers, in some cases such as crime against women the names of the females or victims is not to be disclosed. There are several unanswered questions still to be delved upon. The right to privacy of an individual also needs to be kept in mind while disclosing personal information.
The order passed by CIC will go a long way in establishing transparency. In an era where all the public records should be available online in digital form, this order of CIC is a step forward.

RTICorporate Debt Restructuring (CDR) Cell and Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS) not public authorities under the RTI Act: CIC

Oct 04, 2017 : Dtf.in 
The CIC vide its Decision dated 16.09.2017 has decided that the Corporate Debt Restructuring (CDR) Cell is not a public authority.
The CIC vide its Decision dated 04.09.2017 has decided that the Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS) not a public authority. 
To see copies of the CIC Decisions dated 16.09.2017 and 04.09.2017, please click here.

RTIMaintain order sheets, upload within three days: Delhi HC to Central Information Commission

Sep 24, 2017
In a bid to make the functioning of the country’s transparency watchdog Central Information Commission (CIC) transparent, the Delhi High Court has directed it to maintain a record of daily proceedings and upload it within three days of the hearing a case.
The order came after the CIC told the High Court that most of the cases were decided on the basis of a single hearing and hence, there was no requirement for maintaining the record of daily orders. …

Disclose DHJS exam interview marks under RTI: HC

September 24, 2017 
New Delhi, Sep 24 (PTI) The Delhi High Court has directed its information officer to disclose under the RTI, the marks awarded by an interview panel to candidates of Delhi Higher Judicial Service (DHJS) examination held in 2013. 
The court said when the results of the examination have been placed in public domain, there was no question of claiming any exemption under the Right To Information (RTI) Act. …

RTIAmount charged after delaying the information to be returned

Sep 16, 2017 : Dtf.in
Information regarding the number of outsider postmen at Jalgaon HO and since when they had been discharging their duties along with their names and other particulars, was sought by an information seeker under the Right to Information Act, 2005. CPIO provided point-wise information 25.02.2015. FAA vide his order stated that information on record be supplied within the stipulated period. Being dissatisfied by the response received, the appellant approached this Commission.
The CIC on May 29, 2017 ordered, inter alia, as under:-
“It is wrong to collect huge amount after delaying the response by two months. As per law they cannot charge if they have delayed the response beyond one month. Hence the Commission directs the respondent authority to provide complete information after certifying the documents and return Rs.7,096 to the appellant.”
More: CIC Decision dated 14.09.2017 on the Appeal filed by Shri R.B. Patil Vs. PIO, Department of Posts >>> CIC Decisions

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