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RTI >> Judgments >> High Court >> Disposal of Request
Supreme Court(Disposal of Request)/ CIC(Disposal of Request)
1 Writ Petition No. 1367 of 2012 (M/S) 03 Apr, 2018 Appellants: Arvind Kumar Lohani and Ors. Vs. Respondent: Uttarakhand State Information Commission and Ors.

RTI applicant sought certain information from the petitioners who are said to be Information Officers as appointed under the Act. The information regarding almost all the points, for which, the information was sought was answered, but still, the applicant feeling dissatisfied with the information provided preferred an Appeal before the Appellate Authority. The Departmental Appellate Authority/Commissioner had called upon the applicant to appear before the Appellate Authority and to put up his version in support of his appeal but he deliberately avoided to participate in the proceedings and he did not appear before the Departmental Appellate Authority. On account of non participation in the Appeal, the Appeal was dismissed by the. On the allegation of non-supply of the information as well as the Appellate Order, Second Appeal was filed before the Uttarakhand State Information Commissioner. The Second Appellate Authority directed to issue show cause notice against the Public Information Officer as to why a penalty may not be imposed against him. Simultaneously, there was also a direction to issue show cause notice against the Information Officer calling upon his explanation as to why an order may not be passed under Section 19(8)(ka) for directing to conduct a departmental inquiry against him. It is this order which was challenged by the petitioner No. 1 in his personal capacity by availing the professional services of the office of the Chief Standing Counsel and its machinery.
4. The issue which was for consideration before the Hon’ble High Court was whether on imposition of penalty on the Public Information Officer, as appointed under the Right to Information Act of 2005, the penalty provided u/s. 20, which happens to be a liability in persona could be challenged, by him in person, by availing the professional services of the Chief Standing Counsel and its machinery and state money can be used for the said purpose, contrary to the provisions and purpose of their appointments under Legal Remembrance Manual.
The present case was filed by the then Public Information Officer, who has been imposed upon a penalty u/s. 20 of the Right to Information Act, 2005 by the impugned order under challenge. He has preferred the writ petition against the impugned order, where a penalty of Rs. 10,000/- has been imposed upon him in his individual capacity.
The Court felt that once a penalty is imposed u/s. 20 of the RTI Act on the Information Officer, as constituted u/s. 5 of the Act, it would be the officer in person responsible for the penalty, as such, if the officer concerned feels aggrieved against the imposition of penalty and wants to agitate the cause before a superior court, he could do so in his individual capacity and for the said purpose, he can only file a writ petition after engaging a private counsel and not through an Additional Chief Standing Counsel or Chief Standing Counsel, as defined under the L.R. Manual. As such, this Court feels that this writ petition as preferred by the petitioner in his individual capacity could not have been filed through the office of the Chief Standing Counsel.
For the above reason the writ petition was dismissed on this ground itself, leaving it open for the petitioner to engage a private advocate and to file writ petition.
2 WP (C) 624 of 2017 24 Jan, 2017 BB Dash Vs CIC

The CPIO is to provide the information sought and in case the information is not liable to be provided on account of it being exempt, give sufficient reasons for denying the supply of information. Denial of information can only be in terms of the Act.
3 CWP No. 1989 of 2013 07 Nov, 2016 Harmesh Singh Jassi vs Central Information Commission and Ors.

Section 7 (1) Supply of Information. The petitioner filed RTI application and sought information in respect of certain documents which were 23 to 26 years old. The defence of the respondent-Board in the written statement is that at that point of time, the selection process was being conducted by the Oil Selection Board, which has been dismantled way back and, therefore, the record is not traceable.

The Hon'ble High Court of Punjab and Haryana held that a valid and justifiable reason has been given by the respondent-Board on account of the fact the Oil Selection Board stood dismantled and the record is not traceable. Non-supply of the information is on a valid and justifiable reason and no further directions are liable to be issued which cannot as such be enforced.
4 CWP No. 17094 of 2012 26 Oct, 2016 Dr. Anil Pannikker vs Central Information Commission, New Delhi and Ors.

Section 7(1) Supply of Information. Section 19(8)(b) Award of Compensation. The petitioner had sought information regarding the appointments made qua the posts of Senior Scientists alongwith Principal Scientists and all RMP posts advertised by the respondent No.3; details had also been sought regarding numbers of candidates whose applications had been rejected; the names of the candidates who were not called for interview is also asked for and the details of the ones selected. The CPIO denied the relief on the ground that various types of the information has been asked and a fresh request should be made for specific information.

The Hon'ble High Court of Punjab and Haryana held the information has been denied only on the ground that it is vast and cannot be supplied or not specific. The said reasoning cannot be justified in any manner. The particulars of the information are very specific what was asked for and is not that the period is so expansive that the information could not have been supplied. The same has unnecessarily been denied by the respondent-Board without any valid justification. The respondent-Board shall supply the information within a period of four weeks from the receipt of the copy of this order. The respondent-Board shall also pay Rs. 10,000/- as compensation to the petitioner under section 19(8)(b) of the RTI Act, on account of the unnecessary objections raised, which has been to the detriment of the petitioner.
5 Special civil application No. 7232 of 2016 03 May, 2016 Dhaval Kumar Kiritkumar Patel Vs. Director & 2

Petitioner filed RTI application before the CPIO and sought information about number of manuscripts stated to have been catalogued by National Manuscript Commission the information was denied by the CIC as well as on the ground that those are the manuscripts of which the respective authors are owners and that such persons are holding copyrights in respect of those information manuscripts

The Hon’ble High Court of Gujarat held that the reasoning supplied by the CIC can be said to be eminently just and proper inasmuch as the functions of the authorities under the RTI Act is delimited to passing orders regarding supply of information to the applicant asked for under the act and to oversee in right to information jurisdiction that the PIO or the Appellate Authority has discharged its functions.
6 W.P. (MD) No. 4324 of 2016 07 Apr, 2016 K.K. Ramesh Vs. The Chief Secretary, State of Tamil Nadu, Secretariat, Chennai

The petitioner has filed the writ petitioner under Article 226 of the Constitution of India to issue a Writ of Mandamus, directing the respondent to publish all the Government Department Orders (G.O.) Notifications and Rules, Circulars in Internet to enable the public, to know the welfare schemes and other matters of public interest.

The Division Bench of the Hon’ble Madras High Court held that the RTI Act, empowers the authority to decide, as to which detail can be disclosed or not. If the aggrieved person has any grievance over non-furnishing of the details, relating to any specific matter, it is always open to such aggrieved person, to approach the Forum, under the said Act. Publication of all the details of welfare schemes, framed from time to time, may take some time, but in terms of section 4(2) of the RTI Act, such dissemination of information, would enable the public to have easy access to information and minimum resort to use of RTI Act. It reduces the work of Public Information Officer of all the Departments and also cost effectiveness. However, dissemination of such information is subject to the restrictions imposed in the said Act. As the Government have already taken appropriate action in this regard, there is no need to issue any Mandamus, to the Chief Secretary, Government of Tamilnadu, except to observe that implementation of G.O.(D)No.22, Information Technology (B4) Department, dated 11.07.2014, be done in letter and spirit.
7 W.P. (C) 5251/2014 & CM Appl. 10427/ 2014 14 Jan, 2016 Power finance Corporation Ltd. Vs. Sushma Singh & Ors.

The petitioner stated that the CIC in non-compliance petition has erred in directing inspection of records which was not originally ordered and further stated that the CIC had directed the petitioner to disclose the documents which are in the exclusive power and possession of another authority, namely, GRIDCO.

The Hon’ble High Court of Delhi held that since the impugned order is based on allegations in both the non-compliance petitions this Court is of the opinion that there has been violation of principles of natural justice. Consequently, the impugned order is set aside and the matter is remanded back to the CIC. The Registry of the CIC is directed to evolve a procedure by virtue of which applications for non-compliance of CIC orders are numbered and different applications are placed in separate files so that this sort of confusion does not arise in future.
8 CWP No.22623 of 2011 09 Mar, 2015 Vinod Kumar Versus State Information Commission of Haryana and others

The petitioner sought information regarding the records of the selected candidates against advertisement for a particular post. However, the same was denied by CPIO. The State Information Commission on second appeal, only allowed him to inspect the records. The petitioner filed writ petition seeking copies of the records.

The Court observed that if the petitioner can show that any unqualified candidate has been selected, for the purpose of ‘public interest’, it is not illegal for the petitioner to seek the educational and other details of the selected candidates.

It was held that the petitioner can inspect the necessary records with the Public Authority on any working day and, can be provided whatever copies he requires on payment of the requisite fees.
9 LPA 275/2014 22 Apr, 2014 Paras Jain vs Institute of Companies Secretaries of India

Section 7(1) Supply of Information. Right to Information (Regulation of Fee and Cost) Rules, 2005 Rule 4. Guidelines issued by the respondent for providing certified copies of answer books to students.

The Hon'ble High Court of Delhi held that it is trite that an executive instruction if in violation of a statutory rule or a regulation must yield to the statutory rule or regulation. The demand by the respondents from the petitioner to pay fee in sum of? 500/- per subject/answer book copy whereof is sought is not sustainable. Guideline No. 3 notified by the respondent is quashed and declare that for the answer sheets copy whereof is sought by the appellant he shall be charged fee as per Rule 4 of the Right to Information (Regulation of Fee and Cost) Rules, 2005.
10 WA. Nos. 6195-99/2013 (S-RES) 08 Jan, 2014 D. Shivu & Ors. Vs High Court of Karnataka & Anr.

Section 7(1) Supply of Information. Recruitment of Civil Judges (Jr. Dn.) in the State of Karnataka. The appellants along with other unsuccessful candidates had inter alia sought a declaration that the holding of viva-voce for the selection of post of Judge (Jr. Dn.) without permitting the candidates to peruse their answer scripts was unjust and arbitrary; also sought a direction to the respondents to furnish to them the answer scripts and for revaluation of the answer papers in the subjects in which they had failed. The respondents contended that there was no lapse or illegality in the selection process and the Karnataka Judicial Service (Recruitment) (Amended) Rules, 2011 (the Rules) did not provide re-totalling or providing photo copies of the answer scripts or revaluation. The Learned Single Judge dismissed the writ petitions as far as revaluation of the answer scripts were as the Rules do not provide for the same. Also there was no allegation of any or irregularity in the matter of valuation of the answer scripts. The Division High Court of Karnataka upheld the decision of the Learned Singe dismissed.
11 W.P. 33290(W) of 2013 20 Nov, 2013 Mr. Avishek Goenka vs Mr. Asish Kumar Roy, Ms. Gargi Mukherjee

The petitioner submits, the authority may not insist upon the detailed address particularly when the applicant would provide a particular post box number that would automatically conceal their identity to the public at large.
We have considered the relevant provisions of the statute. Section 6(2) of the Right to Information Act, 2005 would clearly provide, an applicant making request for information shall not be required to give any reason for requesting the information or any other personal details except those that may be necessary for contacting him.
12 C.W.P. No. 3852 of 2012(O&M) 21 Aug, 2013 Raj Singh V.S. State Public Information Commissioner, Haryana and Ors.

Section 7(1) The Petitioner had failed an application seeking certain information which he did not receive from the SPIO the State Public Information Commissioner, Haryana has observed that the appellant himself had given a letter which was taken on record confirming receipt of complete information to his satisfaction – The petitioner prays that the impugned order be set aside on the ground that he was pressurised into giving this letter of satisfaction to the competent authority
The Hon’ble High Court of Punjab and Haryana held that such a plea cannot be appreciated in proceedings under |Article 226 of the Constitution of India more particularly when the petitioner has failed to establish such a malice on the part of the authorities which according to him pressurised him into giving the letter which was detrimental to his cause. This would in any case result in a disputed questions of fact and thus this Court does not find any reason to interfere with the order impugned herein.
13 W.P No. 3650 of 2012 08 Jan, 2013 Kausa Education & Charitable Trust & Otrs. V.S. Maharashtra State Information Commission & Ors.

The petitioner claimed that the school run by the trust is private unaided one and, therefore, it is not public authority under the RTI Act- the authority have answered this issue in its favour and its concurrent findings have not been questioned by the respondent who sought information- the appellate authority, however, directed Education Officer (Secondary) to gather the information from the petitioners and to supply it respondent No 5, an ex-employee is sought to be achieved indirectly, thereby the powers or jurisdiction under the RTI Act are being exceeded & legal right of the petitioner are violated –

The Hon’ble Bombay High Court held that a direction by respondent No. 1 in its order dated 10th February 2012 cannot be viewed as excessive. The contention that what is directly prohibited has been achieved indirectly through such a direction or course of action is, misconceived and unsustainable. However, the petitioner have not been given necessary opportunity of hearing before passing of impugned order. The impugned order passed without hearing the petitioners is unsustainable.
14 W.P. 18407 (W) of 2012 18 Dec, 2012 Tanuj Paul Vs. State of West Bengal and Ors.

Answer Script – Re-evaluation – the petitioner made an application seeking information relating to the marks awarded in the written examination as well as in the Person Personality Test in the Mathematics subject – the answer script of the mathematics subject was supplied to the petitioner. The petitioner demonstrated before the Hon’ble High Court that the answer to Question No. 29 has been evaluated to be totally incorrect and, therefore, no mark was awarded. The petitioner annexed the answer script of another examinee wherefore it appears that the said examinee had also answered in the manner similar to that of the petition and was awarded full marks. The discrepancy in evaluation is apparent. The petitioner prayed for re-examination and/or re-evaluation of the answer script, which has been turned down by the School Service Commission, as there is no provision for the same .
The Hon’ble High Court of Calcutta held that there is no justification in denying re-examination and/or re-evaluation of the answer scripts. Since non-symmetry in evaluation of the answer scripts is apparent, the said school service commission should do re-examination and/or re-evaluation of the answer scripts. The Hon’ble High Court relied upon its own earlier unreported judgment, rendered in the case of Sharmistha Maji Vs. The State of West Bengal & Ors. (W.P. 10377 (W) of 2012) decided on October 10, 2012, wherein it was held that in order to achieve the declared goal of promoting “transparency and accountability”, the commission, a public authority, while shouldering responsibility, should evolve a mechanism for re-examination or re-evaluation of the answer scripts. Since the preamble of the RTI Act lays down the scope and purpose of the Act, re-examination or re-evaluation by the Commission would be a concrete step for promoting “transparency and accountability”, as it would dispel doubts about the manner of examination or evaluation of the answer scripts. In order words, merely furnishing an answer script does not promote accountability as the Commission has to explain the method or examination or evaluation which ca be done, if sought for, by a candidate by re-examination or re-evaluation of his answer script thus making the system transparent.
15 C.W.P. No. 4787 of 2011 02 Nov, 2012 Fruit & Merchant Union vs Chief Information Commissioner and others

A perusal of the aforesaid order shows that the same is totally non-speaking. It is lacking not even in reasons for which it was opined that the information sought by the applicant herein does not amount to personal information or trade secrets of a third party, even the facts of the case have not been referred to in detail. In the absence of brief facts and the reasons contained in the order, it is not possible for the next higher court to appreciate as to what weighed with the authority in reaching the conclusion and as to whether there was application of mind by the authority or the order is arbitrary.
Total Case uploaded: 25