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RTI >> Judgments >> High Court >> Miscellaneous (Law of Precedence, Compliant and Appeal, Freedom of Speech, Transparency in admission/selection)
Supreme Court(Miscellaneous (Law of Precedence, Compliant and Appeal, Freedom of Speech, Transparency in admission/selection))/ CIC(Miscellaneous (Law of Precedence, Compliant and Appeal, Freedom of Speech, Transparency in admission/selection))
16 LPA No. 543/2014 & CM No. 13601/2014 HIGH COURT OF DELHI
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07 May, 2015 Master Rajat Mann Vs. Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University and Ors

The applicant sought copies of the Optical Mark Reader (OMR) answer sheets, question paper and answer keys of the MBBS entrance examination..

The Court directed the University to review its policy / rules / regulations qua question papers, answer key and OMR answer sheets of the student concerned and to take a decision under the RTI Act, within a period of three months.
In this case Hon'ble Court has extensively discussed various other related issues/cases also in para 6 & 7 of the Order.
17 W.P. No. 7157 of 2015 and M.P. Nos. 1 and 2 of 2015 HIGH COURT OF MADRAS
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20 Mar, 2015 Dr. A. Aiamperumal vs. The Government of Tamil Nadu

The prayer was to direct the respondents/Public Authority to produce copy of the question paper, answer key and answer sheet of the Applicant for the PG degree MD/MS/Diploma/6 year (NS) and MDS courses for the year 2015-2016 entrance examination which was held on 01.03.2015 and permit the petitioner to challenge the key answers before the Court.

The argument of PA relied on instructions in the Clause 32 of thr prospectus circulated to the candidates that they will not be allowed to take back the question booklet and that any request for provision of photocopies of the question booklet, answer sheet or answer key will not be entertained.
Hon'ble High Court allowed the Writ Petition as prayed for, by the Applicant..

In this Case, Hon'ble High Court extensively discussed the issue of releasing OMR Sheet/Question Paper/Key etc., of various examination, vide Para 6 of the Order.
18 Writ Petition No. 310 of 2014 HIGH COURT OF BOMBAY
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13 Mar, 2015 The University of Pune, Ganeshkhind vs State of Maharashtra & Ors.

In this Case, the Applicant has challenged the Order of SCIC under Section 18 of the RTI Act to issue direction to the public authority/ University of Pune to delete/correct certain clause in the Circular issued by the Vice Chancellor, University of Pune, to effect the evaluated, re-evaluated answer books be preserved by the University for a period of three months from the date of declaration of the results of the examinations concerned.
The Hon'ble High Court of Bombay held that if the rules and regulations governing the functioning of the respective public authority require preservation of the information for only a limited period, the applicant for information will be entitled to such information only if he seeks the information when it is available with the public authority. The power of Information Commission under section 19(8) of RTI Act to require public authority to take any such steps as may be necessary to secure compliance with the provisions of the Act, does not include a power to direct the public authority to preserve the information for any period larger than what is provided under the rules and regulations of the public authority. The contention that there is an implied duty on the part of every public authority to maintain the information for a minimum period of twenty years and make it available whenever an application was made in that behalf was rejected, has based on complete misreading and misunderstanding of section 8(3) of the RTI Act. The period for which any particular records or information has to be maintained would depend upon the relevant statutory rule or regulation of the public authority regarding preservation of records. If a candidate seeks to avail re-evaluation of his answer-books, then such candidate is required to comply with the procedure and time schedules set out in Circular in this regrd. Consequently, the directions to 'Correct' clause I (iv) in Annexure-A to Circular No.239 of 2013, was not warranted. There is still no power to be found in Section 18 of the RTI Act, under which the directions for 'deletion/correction' of Circular No.239 of 2013 issued by the Vice Chancellor in exercise of powers conferred upon him by Section 18(8) of the M.U. Act can be issued. The impugned order dated 27 December 2013 made by SCIC is set aside.
19 Writ Petition No. 6961 of 2012 HIGH COURT OF BOMBAY
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27 Feb, 2015 Vivek Vishnupant Kulkarni versus The State of Maharashtra, through Chief Secretary, Mantralaya, Mumbai & SIC

The issue was in respect of missing records in the Urban Development Ministry, Government of Maharashtra.
The Court ordered to: '' (i) initiate criminal investigation procedure; (ii) lodge FIR and to complete the investigation as expeditiously as possible and preferably within the period of six months from the date of registration of the first information report and (iii) pay compensation of Rs.15,000/- to the petitioner''.
20 LPA 444/2012 & CM No.10451/2012 (for stay) HIGH COURT OF DELHI
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27 Feb, 2015 Prem Lata, CPIO, Trade Marks Registry vs Central Information Commission & Ors.

Section 4 Obligation of Public Authorities.
Whether the information which has suo motu been made available by a public authority through various means of information including internet in fulfillment of its obligation under section 4 of the RTI Act, can be requested for under section 6 of the RTI Act? The appellant has been held guilty of, for not providing the information which was required to be furnished by her as CPIO, for the reason of information having already been placed in public domain i.e. on the website of the Trade Marks Registry. The CIC in this regard has held that it does not concern the CIC, as to whether or not the RTI applicant already had the information which he was seeking through the mode of RTI Act and the only concern was that the appellant as CPIO ought to have replied within 30 days of receipt of the RTI application, irrespective of any other extraneous facts and circumstances. It was further held that it was open for the appellant as CPIO to intimate the said reason to the RTI applicant within 30 days but the appellant having not done so had without any reasonable cause and persistently failed to furnish the information within the time prescribed. The CIC imposed penalty of 25,000/- as well as recommended disciplinary proceedings against the CPIO. The Single Judge of the Hon'ble High Court of Delhi dismissed the writ petition filed by the appellant.

The Division Bench of the Hon'ble High Court of Delhi held that if it were to be held that information already made available under section 4 will have to be again provided under sections 6 & 7, it will on the one hand not advance the legislative intent in any way and on the other hand may allow misuse of the provisions of the Act for extraneous reasons and allowing harassment of CPIOs by miscreants. The only interpretation can be, that the public authority is neither required to provide such information nor required to reject the request on the ground of the information having already suo motu been made available. The reason for which the appellant claimed to have not dealt with the request i.e. of the information having already been made available suo motu and being in public domain, does not find mention in section 8 or 9 of the Act and the request for information was thus not required to be rejected also, under section 7 of the Act. Unfortunately, neither the CIC nor the learned Single Judge have returned any finding on whether the information so requested for had in fact been made available by the Trade Marks Registry suo motu. No means of knowing whether the said defence of the appellant for not dealing with the request, was on merits thereof correct or not. It was necessary for the CIC to decide the said aspect and without deciding which it could not have held that the appellant, without any reasonable cause, failed to furnish the information. The factum of the information sought having already suo motu been made available to public at large, would be a reasonable cause for neither furnishing the information nor required to be rejected. Before imposing any penalty under sections 20(1) or 20(2) of the Act, it is incumbent on the CIC to hold whether the information requested for, was required to be furnished or not and without deciding so, penalty could not have been imposed. Thus, the orders of the CIC affirmed by the learned Single Judge are liable to be set aside on this ground alone.
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02 Feb, 2015 Gurtej Singh Vs. State Information Commission Punjab, and Ors.

Section 6(1) Request for Information. Applicant cannot enlarge the scope of his original application in an appellate stage.

The Hon'ble High Court of Punjab and Haryana held that:
'' it is matter of record and not in dispute that information sought by the petitioner was pertaining to detailed mark sheet of M.A. 1st and 2nd year as well as B.Ed. However, a bare perusal of the application would show that he did not specify the number of candidates about whom he was seeking information. Further, 'the petitioner was trying to improve upon his case while filing the present writ petition. Petitioner cannot be permitted to extend the scope of his original application by specifying number of candidates, at this stage. If the petitioner was not fully satisfied with the information supplied to him, he could have filed another application under RTI Act, seeking remaining information regarding which his application was silent. However, instead of doing so, petitioner has approached this Court by way of instant writ petition, which has been found to be wholly misconceived. Respondent No. 1 committed no error of law, while passing the impugned order and the same deserves to be upheld'.
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27 Jan, 2015 Chandan Kumar Singh Vs. State Of U.P. & 2 Other

Request was to issue directions to CIC to decide appeal in a time bound manner.

The Court held that RTI Act is a self-contained Act. The authorities functioning under which are duty bound to take action within a time bound period. As such there is no need to issue mandamus for this purpose. The writ petition was accordingly dismissed.
23 WP (C) No. 30334 of 2009 (J) HIGH COURT OF KERALA
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07 Jan, 2015 P. V. Suthakaran, Thrissur Vs. The State Information Commission, Kerala,

The Case is as follows:
The respondent submitted a request under Section 6(1) of the Right to Information Act, 2005 before the State Public Information Officer (SPIO) of the Kannur University on 12.7.2007 seeking to furnish copies of two documents; Counter affidavit filed by the Kannur University in W.P.(C). No. 20469/2007 before this court and Reply sent by the University to the Principal Secretary Higher Education Department dated 9.7.2007, in response to calling attention motion made by an MLA in the State Assembly.

In the result the writ petition is allowed and order of the 1st respondent is quashed to the extent it holds the petitioner as responsible for the delay of 187 days caused in furnishing copy of document.
24 W.P (C) 1842/2012 HIGH COURT OF DELHI
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19 Dec, 2014 The Registrar, Supreme Court of India vs Subhash Chandra Agarwal And Ors.

The issue involved in the case relate to Section 19(8) - Power of the Commission to recommend certain steps to be taken by the public authority for implementation of the provisions of the RTI Act.
The petitioner have challenged the order passed by CIC directing that records of reimbursement of medical bills of judges of the Supreme Court (whether serving or retired) be maintained separately for each judge so as to ensure that the summary of such expenses for each judge are available separately. The CPIO was directed to place the impugned order before the competent authority so as to ensure compliance of the same. The petitioner contended that the information that can be disclosed or can be directed to be disclosed under the Act is the information which exists and is held by the public authorities in material form and no directions can be issued by the authorities under the Act to the public authorities to create, hold and maintain the information in any other manner. The Act does not cast any obligation on any public authority to collate such non-available information for the purpose of furnishing it to an RTl Applicant.

The Hon'ble High Court of Delhi held that:
'' a direction by the CIC to maintain such records to generate reports, merely because an individual information seeker has sought such information, is not warranted as the same would multiply With each information seeker seeking information in different form. A direction to maintain records in a particular manner must be occasioned by considerations of public interest, which is admittedly absent in this case. Accordingly, the petition is allowed and the impugned order is set aside''.
25 W.P. (C) 6634/2011 HIGH COURT OF DELHI
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04 Dec, 2014 The Registrar, Supreme Court of India vs Commodore Lokesh K. Batra And Ors.

The case relating to Section 4 Obligations of Public Authorities.
The petitioner challenged the order passed by the CIC directing the CPIO, Supreme Court of India to provide information regarding pending cases which had been heard and orders reserved. The CIC had further directed that if the information sought was centrally not available, the necessary arrangement for compiling such information and disclosing the same in public domain should be made. The petitioner contended that the impugned order impinges upon the power entrusted upon the Supreme Court under Article 145 of the Constitution of India to make suitable rules for regulating the practice and procedure of the Supreme Court by directing the authority to maintain the records in a particular manner.

The Hon'ble High Court of Delhi held that:
'' it is the petitioner's stand that it does not maintain the data "in the manner sought for" and thus, has no obligation to provide the same to the respondent No. 1. This stand is, clearly, unsustainable. The information as to cases that have been heard and orders reserved is, undeniably, available with the petitioner. The fact that there may not be any document that provides an analysis or the breakup of the period for which the said cases are pending after the hearing has been completed, does not mean that the said information is not available with the petitioner. The information as to period for which the judgments are reserved would be ascertainable from the orders reserving the said judgments. By virtue of section l of the Act, CIC has the power to direct a public authority for making necessary changes in its practice in relation to maintenance and management of records that is necessary to secure compliance with the provisions of Act. The information that is required to be placed in public domain is specified under section 4(I)(b) of the Act and CIC would have no power to give directions for placing of additional information that is not specified under section 4(1)(b). Thus, the impugned order, to the extent that it requires the information regarding the period for which the judgments are pending after being. reserved, to be placed in public domain, cannot be sustained. However, in cases where certain information is of importance and relevant to public interest, the CIC can issue orders for compliance under section 4(1)(a) of the Act. The petitioner's contention that the directions of the CIC violates Article 145 of the Constitution of India is also without merit. Article 145 of the Constitution of India empowers the Supreme Court to make rules as to practice and procedure of the said court. The impugned order does not in any manner seek to alter, add or amend any practice or procedure of the court. No infirmity with the impugned order in so far as it directs that the records may be maintained in a manner so that the information regarding the period for which the judgements are pending after being reserved, is available with the petitioner in future''.
26 Special Civil Application No. 16480 of 2014 HIGH COURT OF GUJARAT
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14 Nov, 2014 Pankesh Manubhai Patel vs Chief Information Commissioner & Ors.

The case relates to Section 7(9) -Information disclosure of which would disproportionately divert the resources of the public authority.
The petitioner sought information from the CPIO in 14 different columns.
The CPIO denied the information u/s 7(9) of the RTI Act which was upheld by the CIC.
The Hon'ble Gujarat High Court upheld the decision of the CIC. Petition dismissed.
27 Civil writ Petition No. 20192 of 2014 HIGH COURT OF PUNJAB AND HARYANA
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16 Oct, 2014 Krishan Lal Gera vs State Information Commission, Haryana& Ors.

The present case relates to misuse of RTI Act. The petitioner submits that respondent is a habitual offender under the RTI Act and is harassing the petitioner intentionally.

The Hon'ble High Court of Punjab and Haryana held that:
'' this Court is of the considered opinion that in the given fact situation of the case, present writ petition has been found not only misconceived but frivolous as well and the same is liable to be dismissed with costs. It is a matter of record and not in dispute that whatever information was available in the official record, that had already been supplied to the petitioner. It is so recorded by the FAA as well as second appellate authority, while passing their respective impugned orders. This Court feels no hesitation to conclude that petitioner is misusing the process of law, with a view to settle his personal score with respondent No. 3. Nobody can be permitted to misuse the process of law in the manner petitioner is trying. The impugned orders have been found to be based on-correct appreciation of true facts and circumstances of the case and the same deserve to be upheld. Instant writ petition is liable to be dismissed with costs which are quantified at 30,000/-, to be deposited by the petitioner with the Secretary, Haryana State Legal Services Authority Haryana''.
28 W.P.No.26781 of 2013 and M.P.No.1 of 2013
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17 Sep, 2014 The Public Information Officer, The Registrar (Administration), High Court, Madras vs CIC

The first respondent-Commission itself has deprecated the practice of the second respondent herein in overloading the Registry of this Court by making several queries or complaints one after another and following the same under the RTI Act. Having found that the action of the second respondent in sending numerous complaints and representations and then following the same with the RTI applications; that it cannot be the way to redress his grievance; that he cannot overload a public authority and divert its resources disproportionately while seeking information and that the dispensation of information should not occupy the majority of time and resource of any public authority, as it would be against the larger public interest, the first respondent-Commission clearly erred in passing the impugned order in this Writ Petition, directing the petitioner to furnish the details to the second respondent as well as sending a tabular statement listing all the complaints and representations received from the second respondent.
29 W.P. (C) 6088/2014 HIGH COURT OF DELHI
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12 Sep, 2014 Ministry of Railways Through Secretery & Anr. vs Girish Mittal

in the oresent case, the petitioner contended that the CPIO is required to transfer an application for information to the concerned authority and cannot be expected to pursue the matter thereafter and contended that the CIC had erred in imposing penalty on the petitioner.

The Hon'ble High Court of Delhi held that:
'' forwarding an application by a public authority to another public authority is not the same as a PIO of a public authority arranging or sourcing information from within its own organisation. In the present case, undisputedly, certain information which was not provided to respondent would be available with the Railway Board and the CPIO was required to furnish the same. He cannot escape his responsibility to provide the information by simply stating that the queries were forwarded to other officials.
Secondly, held that the plain language of section 20(1) of the Act indicates that it is not necessary that the penalty be imposed by the CIC only while considering an appeal; penalty can also be imposed by the CIC if on inquiry made pursuant to a complaint, it is found that a CPIO has not furnished the information in time or has knowingly given incorrect or incomplete information. Therefore, the jurisdiction exercised by CIC cannot be faulted''.
[Section 6(3) To transfer the RTI application to another appropriate public authority. Section 20(1). Levy of Penalty.].
30 WA. No. 871 of 2013 HIGH COURT OF KERALA
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08 Aug, 2014 K. Natarajan vs State of Kerala.

The appellant was appointed as the Chief Information Commissioner. The Additional Director General of Police (Vigilance & Anti Corruption Bureau) submitted verification report on an allegation against the writ petitioner having influenced, Deputy Superintendent of Police, who was investigating vigilance case registered against the former Chief Minister of Kerala. After receipt of the report from the Additional Director General of Police (Vigilance & Anti Corruption Bureau), the State Government submitted recommendation to the Governor to place the writ petitioner under suspension under section 17(2) of the RTI Act. The Governor, came to the conclusion that the allegation of misbehaviour against the writ petitioner, if proved, are of grave and serious nature justifying his removal from office. The Governor made a reference under section 17(1) of the RTI Act to the Supreme Court for enquiry and report and further directed that till orders are passed on receipt of the report of the Supreme Court, the writ petitioner be suspended from office. The petitioner filed the Writ Petition, which has been dismissed by the learned Single Judge. The appellant submitted that the Suspension can be ordered under section 17(2) of the RTI Act by the Governor only during enquiry, i.e., commencement of enquiry by the Supreme Court on the basis of reference under section 17(1) of the RTI Act.

The Division Bench of the Kerala High Court held that:
" the Governor was fully empowered to place the writ petitioner under suspension after making a reference to section 17(1) of the RTI Act and there is no requirement of law that suspension should be ordered only after enquiry has commenced by the Supreme Court on reference under section 17(1). Section 17 is contemplated to give an to Chief Information Commissioner in enquiry by the Apex Court- Section 1' contemplate giving of an opportunity to the Chief Information z prior to holding of an enquiry. No infirmity in the order of the Governor placing under suspension nor the learned Single Judge committed any error in dismissing Petition''.
Total Case uploaded: 63