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RTI >> Judgments >> CIC >> Exempted Organisation
Supreme Court(Exempted Organisation)/ High Courts(Exempted Organisation)
1 CIC/CBRUI/A/2017/156884/SD
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08 May, 2019 Radha Mohan Sharma Vs. CPIO, Central Bureau of Investigation, 1, Tilak Marg, C – Scheme, Jaipur – 302005.

Information Sought
The Appellant sought details of action taken on the compliant dated 08.04.2017 regarding alleged irregularities committed in allotting LPG Distributorship by officers of Indian Oil Corporation Ltd. at Kishangarh Renwal, Tehsil Sambhar, Jaipur and in particular against Ranjeet Singh.

Commission observes that the reliance placed by CPIO on the earlier decisions of the coordinate benches to substantiate the view that CBI is only obliged to provide information relating to allegation of corruption against its own employees does not hold good. In this regard, reference shall be had of a recent judgment of Hon’ble Delhi High Court in the matter of CPIO, Intelligence Bureau Vs Sanjiv
Chaturvedi [W.P.(C) 5521/2016 & CM No. 23078/2016] dated 23.08.2017, wherein the following was held:

“29. The plain reading of the proviso shows that the exclusion is applicable with regard to any information. The term "any information" would include within
its ambit all kinds of information. The proviso becomes applicable if the information pertains to allegations of corruption and human rights violation. The proviso is not qualified and conditional on the information being related to the exempt intelligence and security organizations. If the information sought, furnished by the exempt intelligence and security organizations, pertains to allegations of corruption and human rights violation, it would be exempt from the exclusion clause.

30. The proviso ‘Provided that the information pertaining to the allegations of corruption and human rights violations shall not be excluded under this subsection’ has to be read in the light of the preceding phrase ‘or any information furnished by such organisations to that Government’.

31. When read together, the only conclusion that can be drawn is that, if the information sought pertains to allegation of corruption and human right violation, it would be exempt from the exclusion clause, irrespective of the fact that the information pertains to the exempt intelligence and security organizations or not or pertains to an Officer of the Intelligence Bureau or not.” (Emphasis Supplied).

The aforesaid ratio laid down with respect to the Intelligence Bureau is squarely applicable to the case of CBI also.

A copy of this order is marked to the Director, CBI reiterating the following advice issued in two earlier orders in File No. CIC/CBRUI/A/2017/180556/SD and
CIC/CBRUI/A/2017/180749/SD dated 29.04.2019 on the aforesaid issue:

“Further, Commission finds that the incorrect connotation ascribed by the CPIO to the proviso to Section 24(1) of RTI Act that it is only applicable to cases involving CBI’s own employees may result in gross violation of the provisions of RTI Act by the Respondent office in future. In this regard, a copy of this order is
marked to the Director, CBI advising him to appreciate the necessity of sensitizing their CPIOs regarding the scope and ambit of RTI Act and that of Section 24 in particular by way of appropriate workshops etc.”

As regards, Appellant’s contention in the Second Appeal that the subject matter concerns allegations of corruption, Commission does not find any substantive material on record in support of his claim. Moreover, Appellant has also not availed the opportunity of hearing to plead his case and mere claim of corruption
or human rights violation is not adequate to attract the proviso to Section 24(1) of RTI Act.

2 CIC/NIAGE/A/2017/102237/CBRUI/SD+
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07 May, 2019 S Jaiswal Vs. CPIO, Central Bureau of Investigation, Guwahati – 786001.

Information Sought
The Appellant sought copy of documents through 6 points pertaining to the action taken by HOB, CBI, ACB, Betkuchi / Guwahati on his application dated 26.05.2016 followed by reminder dated 03.08.2016 and 03.10.2016 addressed to Asst. Commercial Manager working under N.F. Railway etc with respect to order dated 25.06.2015 in RC No. 3(A)/2014-GWH.

This bench of the Commission in an earlier decision in File No. CIC/CBRUI/A/2017/181246/SD dated 23.04.2019 has extensively dealt with the same contention as raised by the Appellant with respect to the above referred decisions of a coordinate bench. The following was held therein:

“Commission observes that the contention of the Appellant based on the earlier decision of the coordinate bench in File No. CIC/SM/C/2011/000129/SG
dated 04.07.2011 that the Notification No. F.No.1/3/2011-IR dated 09.06.2011 of Govt. of India is erroneous, cannot be taken into consideration. It may be noted that Section 24(2) of RTI Act categorically provides as under:

‘24. Act not to apply to certain organizations.—

(2) The Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, amend the Schedule by including therein any other intelligence or security 2organisation established by that Government or omitting therefrom any organisation already specified therein and on the publication of such notification, such organisation shall be deemed to be included in or, as the case may be, omitted from the Schedule.’

Adverting to the aforesaid provision, this bench of the Commission opines that it has no locus standi in gauging the intention of the Central Government for placing CBI under the exemption of Section 24(1) of RTI Act, as it will be akin to questioning the veracity of legislative intent behind the provision of Section 24(2) of RTI Act. It is not the case that DoPT went beyond its jurisdiction in issuing the averred notification and therefore for the Appellant to question the authority of DoPT in this context is completely unwarranted and preposterous.

As regards the role of the Commission in interpreting Section 24 of the RTI Act, an observation of Hon’ble Delhi High Court in the matter of Dr. Neelam
Bhalla vs Union Of India & Ors [W.P.(C) 83/2014] dated 03.02.2014 is quite relevant, which is as under:

‘4. Having heard learned counsel for the petitioner, this Court is of the view that once the CIC has held that DRDO is an exempted organisation under Section 24 of RTI Act and the information sought does not pertain to corruption and/or human rights violation, it was not open to the CIC to carve out any further exemption....’ [Emphasis Supplied]

If we squarely apply the aforesaid ratio to the case at hand, i.e if the Commission begins assessing the decision of the Central Government in having exercised its power under Section 24(2) of the RTI Act, it will also amount to
carving out further jurisdiction by the CIC, which is not enshrined in the Act. Moreover, even by imputing academic undertone to the discussion on the intent of Central Government in the inclusion of CBI to the Second Schedule, Commission would be impliedly interpreting the scope and ambit of Section 24(2) of RTI Act.”

The aforesaid establishes that the decision in File No. CIC/SM/C/2011/000117/SG dated 01.07.2011 and File No.
CIC/SM/C/2011/000129/SG dated 04.07.2011 is immaterial to this case.

As regards, Appellant’s contention of human rights violation is concerned; the same appears to be far stretched. Yet, Commission draws Appellant’s attention to a judgment of Hon’ble Delhi High Court in the matter of The Central Public Information Officer, Central Bureau of Investigation, New Delhi vs. Central Information Commission And Anr. dated 02.02.2018, wherein it has been held as under:

“8. The contention advanced on behalf of respondent no.2 is unmerited. The information sought for by respondent no.2 pertains to a service matter and the same cannot by any stretch be termed as "violation of human rights".

9. The expression “Human Rights’’ denotes certain inalienable rights which every individual has by virtue of being a member of the Human Family. In
December, 1948, the U.N. General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In December, 1965 the UN General Assembly adopted two covenants for observance of Human Rights: (i) The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; and (ii) Covenants on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. India is a party to the said covenants.

10. India has also enacted The Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993 to provide for better protection of human rights and matters connected therewith or incidental thereto. The expression “Human Rights‟ is defined under Section 2(1)(d) of the said Act to mean "the rights relating to life, liberty, equality and dignity of the individual guaranteed by the Constitution or embodied in the International Covenants and enforceable by courts in India".

11. The expression „Human Rights Violation‟ as used in proviso to Section 24(1) of the Act cannot be read to extend all matters where a person alleges violation of fundamental rights. Plainly, the said expression cannot be extended to include controversies relating to service matters. The grievances that the petitioner has in respect of the disciplinary proceedings in question do not fall under the ambit of human rights violations. [Emphasis Supplied]

12. In Director General and Anr vs Harender: WP(C) 5959 of 2013 decided on 16.09.2013, a co-ordinate bench of this Court had held that ‘No violation of human rights is involved in service matters, such as promotion, disciplinary actions, pay increments, retiral benefits, pension, gratuity, etc.’ [Emphasis Supplied]

Keeping in view the totality of circumstances discussed above, Commission finds no scope of intervention in the matter and upholds the reply of the CPIO.

3 CIC/DIREN/A/2018/142919-BJ
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09 Jan, 2019 Dr. Nutan Thakur Vs. CPIO and DD, Directorate of Enforcement

Information requested
Various points regarding news items published with regard to Ministry of finance and their correctness.

As the public authority was exempted under the second schedule section 24 the stand taken by public authority of exemption under section 24 was approved.
4 CIC/INBRU/A/2017/118048
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07 May, 2018 Dinesh Vs Bureau of Immigration, IB

ISSUE : The appellant had requested the Public Authority to provide him his own arrival and departure details as the stampings in the Passport were not legible. He required this information to defend himself in a case in which allegedly he was falsely implicated.The PA rejected his request on the ground that IB was an exempted organization under section 24 of the RTI Act and corruption/human rights violation issues were involved.
DECISION : …………a man preparing for his self defense in penal proceedings exercised his basic human right. Any impediment in the same would invariably be a breach of human right. …….It is not necessary that the breach of human rights has to be conclusively proved by the information seeker. A credible allegation of breach of human right which weighs favorably with the Commission warrants disclosure of information..
Had the stamps affixed on the passport of appellant been clearly identifiable no need would have arisen for seeking information from the public authority. The present case can also be viewed as a simple case of hardship which needs a sympathetic redressal by the public authority.
In the facts of the present case the applicant is not seeking information related to any third party but his own travel details to prove his innocence in a criminal proceeding. ………declining a fair opportunity to arrange for material of self defense would certainly breach the human right of the applicant.
Provide complete information sought within four weeks.
5 CIC/LS/A/2012/001368
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25 Jul, 2017 SVS Gahlot Vs. PIO, National Technical Research Organisation

The appellant sought information relating to implementation of an order regarding appellant’s arrears. The CPIO refused it under the provision of Section 24(1), Second Schedule to the Right to Information Act, 2005, claiming that NTRO is exempted from providing any such information. The FAA on 24.02.2016 upheld the decision of the CPIO.
The Commission directs the respondent authority to provide certified copies of the information as sought within 15 days and also issued shoe cause notice to CPIO, National Technical Research Organization why maximum penalty should not be imposed against him/her for illegally denying information.
6 CIC/VS/A/2015/003303/SD
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08 Dec, 2016 Harendra Kumar vs Chief Engineer, Project Himank

Section 24 — BRO — Act not to apply to certain organizations — the Commission held that BRO is exempt under RTI Act to provide information except in cases of allegations of corruption and human right violations. It is incumbent on the part of the Organisation to ensure that there is probity and transparency in functioning of Mess for different ranks so that satisfactory service is provided to the employees. DG BRO may take corrective measures to ensure the above.
7 CIC/CC/A/2015/901257/SD
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24 Oct, 2016 Anita Vashisht Vs. Defence R & D Organisation, New Delhi

Section 24 Act not to apply to certain Organizations Section 24(1) proviso Information pertaining to the allegations of corruption and human rights violations the Commission held that in view of the supporting documents there appears to be a prima-facie case of allegation of corruption. It does not take a lot of deliberation to estimate the veracity of such dealings of a public official which have an apparent undertone of vested interest. The facts raises a reasonable doubt regarding the legality of such a deal placed by the official of DRDO and the same squarely qualifies the proviso to Section 24(1) of the RTI Act as the representative of the Appellant has provided a substantial ground to prove the allegation of corruption. The Commission directed the CPIO to provide information as sough in the RTI Application to the Appellant.
8 CIC/LS/C/2013/000057/SD
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03 Aug, 2016 Anand Kumar Vs. Defence R & D Organisation, New Delhi

Section 24 Act not to apply to certain Organizations Section 24(1) proviso Information pertaining to the allegations of corruption human rights violations DRDO the Commission rejected the contention of the Appellant that denial of service related information amounts to violation of human rights and upheld the submission of the CPIO.
9 CIC/VS/A/2015/000102/SB
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07 Jun, 2016 T.R Dagar vs Central Industrial Security Force, New Delhi

Section 24 Act not to apply to certain organisations. Central Industrial Security Force (CISF).
The Commission held that it is aware that under section 24(1) r/w Second Schedule of the RTI Act, CISF has been declared an exempt organization. Hence, the provisions of the RTI Act are not applicable to the CISF except when the information pertains to allegations of corruption or human rights violations. However, the High Court of Delhi in W.P. (C) 7453/2011 dated 09.10.2013 (Union of Indian v Adarsh Sharma) had held that:
“5. .. ...if an information of the nature sought by the respondent is easily available with the Intelligence Bureau, the agency would be well advised in assisting a citizen, by providing such an information, despite the fact that it cannot be accessed as a matter of right under the provisions of Right to Information Act....

It is again made clear that information of this nature cannot be sought as a matter of right and it would be well within the discretion of the Intelligence Bureau whether to supply such information or not....
The fact that the respondent has already provided some information to the appellant, the Commission would like the CISF to consider the request of the appellant and provide information to the extent possible to the appellant.
10 CIC/VS/A/2015/000585/SB
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02 Jun, 2016 Lal Bahadur Ram vs Assam Rifles, Shillong

Section 24 Act not to apply to certain organisations. Assam Rifles.

The Commission held that Assam Rifles has been exempted from the provisions of the RTI Act as per section 24(1) of the RTI Act except in cases of corruption and human rights violations. The information sought by the appellant does not pertain to any operational, technological or technical issues of the Assam Rifles and relates to the number of vacancies for the posts of Barber, cobbler, washermen, painter, cook and sweeper in the year 2011.

The Commission observed that the CIC vide order No. CIC/LS/A/2012/001290 dated 28.082012 held that "Suffice to say that it has been the consistent view of this Commission that exemption is available to the exempted organization only in respect of technical/ technological/ operation matters and not in respect of establishment related matters". The Commission directed the respondent to provide information as sought by the appellant within a period of two weeks from the date of receipt of a copy of this decision.
11 CIC/CC/A/2015/002634
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18 May, 2016 S. Saraswati Vs. Cabinet Secretariat, New Delhi

Section 24 — Act not to apply to certain organization — Cabinet Secretariat —
The appellant stated that she wanted to know that under what circumstances her candidature was not considered for the post of Ayah for the direct recruitment during financial year 2006-07 & 2007-08 — the Commission held that the sought for information can be provided to the appellant using suitably severability clause in section 10(1) of the RTI Act. The respondent is directed to provide to the appellant, information as per request in the RTI application but there shall be no obligation to disclose details relating to third parties and any details which impinge on the security of the organisation.
12 CIC/SA/C/2016/000089
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21 Apr, 2016 Sanjiv Chaturvedi Vs. Ministry of Environment & Anr

Section 24 Act not to apply to certain organizations Intelligence Bureau.
The Commission held that both the CPIO's have put forward stale and feeble defences without understand the purport of section 24, in spite of interpretational directions by High Courts. Claiming that he was duty to follow provisions of RTI Act, the CPIO of MoEF has selectively cited one High Court order conveniently ignoring judgments of several High Courts which very lucidly explained that there are several categories formation need to be given even by the organizations exempted under section 24 of the Act. The IB report more a secret, as it has already gone in to public domain with Government filing affidavits in Courts of law, media coverage, RTI applications and responses thereof.

Thus on questions of fact and of law, the IB report cannot be withheld from appellant. The Commission directed the IB or MoEF to provide certified copy IB report relating to the appellant, sought through RTI application.
13 CIC/SS/A/2013/001025
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18 Dec, 2013 Pulumoni Duwarah Paul vs Indo Tibetan Border Police Force

The appellant through her RTI application sought copy of preliminary inquiry report which was conducted in relation to death of her newly born female baby due to negligence of doctors in the ITBP Base Hospital. The CPIO denied information under Proviso (I) to Section 24 of the RTI Act.
The Commission held that there is a merit in the contention put forth by the appellant that she may be provided a copy of ROE in respect of departmental enquiries against the doctors and staff nurse, since this is a matter concerning life and liberty and hence falls under the category of human rights violation as contained in proviso (1) of section 24 of the RTI Act. Hence, the appellant is entitled to get a copy of ROE as sought for through her RTI application. The Commission directed the CPIO to provide an authenticated copy of ROE, which has been completed against two doctors and one staff nurse, to the appellant free of cost.
14 CIC/SS/A/2013/000809
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02 Dec, 2013 G. Mammen vs Seema Suraksha Bal

The appellant states in his RTI application that he was an employee of Dandakaranya Project of Government of India under Ministry of Home Affairs during the period from 5.1.1962 to 13.4.1977 and that he did not receive his pensionary benefits based on his service rendered. The appellant also states that as per Judgement dated 25.8.2000 of Division Bench of Hon'ble High Court of Kerala and Judgment dated 12.12.2007 of the Hon'ble Supreme Court of India many employees of the Central Government under Ministry of Home Affairs who rendered a minimum service of ten years or above have been paid proportionate pension. The appellant sought to know from the respondent at point no. (1) whether any official under MHA resigned or otherwise left service after rendering service of a minimum of ten years of service has been paid minimum pension. At point (2) the appellant sought to know whether beneficiaries of the Judgment referred to above have since been paid pension and at point (3) the appellant sought to know the dates of payment of pensionary benefits to the said beneficiaries of Judgement. 3. The CPIO replied vide letter dated31.8.2012 wherein the respondent stated that BSF is an exempted organisation as per section 24 of the RTI Act.— the Commission held that the information sought mainly pertains to service matter ie. pension benefits etc. The information sought does not pertain to allegations of corruption or human rights violation. The appeal disposed off accordingly.
15 CIC/SM/C/2011/001564
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14 Sep, 2012 Shri Subhash Chandra Agrawal vs CPIO, Cabinet Secretariat, Rashtrapati Bhawan, New Delhi

The appellant sought information relating to the appointment of Sh. Sanjeev Tripathi in the RAW which is an exempted organization. Hence, requested information cannot be disclosed – it is contended that the appointment under the Central Government are made with the approval of the competent authority and in terms of the Recruitment Rules framed specifically for each post. The Commission held that there is no doubt that while the details about his other appointments in the RAW made by the organization itself need not be disclosed, his appointment as Secretary of that organization will have to be disclosed having been processed in the Cabinet Secretariat or any other public authority of the Government. The CPIO of the Cabinet Secretariat to provide the copies of all the desired records and documents in respect of appointment of Sh. Sanjeev Tripathi as Secretary to the RAW.
Total Case uploaded: 19