Central Information Commission Disposes Appeal Seeking Personal Information From PIO

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Image Source: Jagran Josh

Facts

The Appellant filed an RTI Application on 30th August 2018 seeking information about the letter bearing No. F.11 (365) 87/LSB (R) /2548 dated 24th May 2012. The PIO responded to the RTI application on 15th October 2018.

The Appellant was not satisfied with the PIO’s response so he filed for an FAA on 20th December 2018. FAA order was provided on 30th January 2019 and it was in support of the response from the PIO. The Appellant was not satisfied with the FAA order so, he filed for a Second Appeal. The CIC received the Second Appeal on 5th March 2019. The Second Appeal was on the grounds that correct information was not given to the Appellant.

Arguments Advanced

The Appellant was present at Court during the hearing. Mr Rajesh Kumar, Jr Assistant and Representative of PIO, Deputy Secretary and Land and Building Department represented the Respondents. Both parties were present at Court. The Appellant stated that he had not received the required information. The Respondents stated that information letter bearing No. F.11 (365) 87/LSB (R) /2548 dated 24th May 2012 was given only to the property owner but later when the department had received the information, it provided that information to the Appellant on 15th October 2018. The Appellant opposed the statement made by the PIO, stating that the PIO does not have any proof regarding the same.

It was found that the information letter was addressed to Mr Raj Kumar. The Commission asked the Appellant how he is concerned with this letter and his relation to Mr Raj Kumar. The Appellant replied stating that Mr Raj Kumar is his maternal uncle. The Appellant further stated that he did not have any authority letter from Mr Raj Kumar right now. The Appellant further argued that based on Section 6 (2) of the RTI Act any individual can seek information from any public authority and that individual does not need a specific reason for the same.

Court Observations

The Commission referred to the case of the Supreme Court of India vs Subash Chandra Agarwal to understand the meaning of “personal information”. The Commission did this as the Appellant was trying to get information from a third party without any authorized letter from that third party. The Commission also analyzed Section 8 (1)(j) of the RTI Act to understand the true meaning of personal information.

The Commission also used the judgement Har Kishav vs. President Secretariat, wherein the Court stated that whenever an individual seeks personal information from a third party, it is necessary for that individual to establish his reasons for the same to establish the bonafides of the applicant.

Decision

The Commission observed that the Respondents have already provided the required information to the Appellant via inspection. However, if the Appellant is not satisfied with the information provided to him, he needs to get an authorized letter from Mr Raj Kumar. After obtaining the authorized letter, the PIO will be forced to provide the necessary information to the Appellant.

The Commission directed the PIO to make an affidavit stating that the letter bearing No. F.11 (365) 87/LSB (R) /2548 dated 24th May 2012 has never been received in their office and the required information has not been withheld from disclosure. The affidavit must be sent to the Commission and its endorsed copy must be sent to Appellant by the PIO within 15 days after this order. Hence, the Commission disposed of the appeal.

 Click here to read the judgement.


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