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RTI >> Judgments >> Supreme Court >> Preamble
High Courts(Preamble)/ CIC(Preamble)
1 20 Feb, 2018 Union Public Service Commission and Ors. Vs. Respondent: Angesh Kumar and Ors.

Information Sought:
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.
In Para 10 Supreme Court stated that the:
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. However, if a case is made out where the Court finds that public interest requires furnishing of information, the Court is certainly entitled to so require in a given fact situation. If Rules or practice so require, certainly such Rule or practice can be enforced. In the present case, direction has been issued without considering these parameters.
In view of the above, the impugned order(s) is set aside and the writ petitions filed by the writ Petitioners are dismissed
2 16 Dec, 2015 RBI Vs Jayntilal N Mistry

Information Sought:
a) Procedure Rules and Regulations of Inspection being carried out on Cooperative Banks
b) Last 20 years inspection (carried out with name of inspector) report on above bank and action taken report.
c) Period required to take action and implementations

CPIO Reply:
The Information sought is maintained by the bank in a fiduciary capacity and was obtained by Reserve Bank during the course of inspection of the bank and hence cannot be given to the outsiders. Moreover, disclosure of such information may harm the interest of the bank & banking system. Such information is also exempt from disclosure under Section 8(1) (a) & (e) of the RTI Act, 2005.

FAA also agreed with the CPIO's reply.

CIC's Decision:
The CIC directed the petitioner to furnish that information since the RBI expressed their willingness to disclose a summary of substantive part of the inspection report to the respondent

Decision by Supreme Court:
The Hon’ble Court concurred with the decision of CIC that “The RBI would therefore be well advised to be proactive in disclosing information to the public in general and the information seekers under the RTI Act, in particular”.

The main issue was whether information sought under RTI Act, 2005 can be denied by RBI and other banks to the public on the grounds that the information relates to economic interest, commercial confidence, fiduciary relationship with other bank on the one hand and public interest on the other. It is maintained that RBI is supposed to uphold the public interest and not the interest of individual banks. RBI is clearly not in any fiduciary relationship with any bank.

Observations relating to “Preamble”:
In para 42 of the judgement, the Hon’ble Court observed that “The RTI Act, 2005, as noted in its very preamble, does not create any new right but only provides machinery to effectuate the fundamental Right to Information. The institution of the CIC and the SICs are part of that machinery.
The preamble also inter-alia states “…
democracy requires an informed citizenry and transparency of information which are vital to its functioning and also to contain corruption and to hold Governments and their instrumentalities accountable to the governed.”.
3 02 Sep, 2011 The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India vs Shaunak H. Satya & Ors.

Decision by Supreme Court:
Para 26 "We however agree that it is necessary to make a distinction in regard to information intended to bring transparency, to improve accountability and to reduce corruption, falling under section 4(1)(b) and (c) and other information which may not have a bearing on accountability or reducing corruption. The competent authorities under the RTI Act will have to maintain a proper balance so that while achieving transparency, the demand for information does not reach unmanageable proportions affecting other public interests, which include efficient operation of public authorities and government, preservation of confidentiality of sensitive information and optimum use of limited fiscal resources."
4 09 Aug, 2011 Central Board of Secondary Education and Anr Appellants vs Aditya Bandopadhyay and Ors

In para 33 of the judgement, the Hon’ble Supreme Court observed that “The Act seeks to bring about a balance between two conflicting interests, as harmony between them is essential for preserving democracy. One is to bring about transparency and accountability by providing access to information under the control of public authorities. The other is to ensure that the revelation of information, in actual practice, does not conflict with other public interests which include efficient operation of the governments, optimum use of limited fiscal resources and preservation of confidentiality of sensitive information. The preamble to the Act specifically states that the object of the Act is to harmonise these two conflicting interests. While sections 3 and 4 seek to achieve the first objective, sections 8, 9, 10 and 11 seek to achieve the second objective.
Total Case uploaded: 4