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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))
S.No. HIGH COURT CASE DATE OF JUDGMENT JUDGMENT
31 Civil Writ Petition No. 4340 of 2014 HIGH COURT OF PUNJAB AND HARYANA
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25 Mar, 2014 Munish Kumar Sharma vs State of Haryana & Ors.

In the present case, the Petitioner filed an Writ for quashing the selection and appointment of respondent Nos. 3 to 5 as the State Information Commissioners. The petitioner contended that the selection and appointment of respondent Nos. 3 to 5 is in violation of the statutory provisions as pick and choose policy has been adopted by the Statutory Committee because the petitioner asserts that he is more qualified than the selected respondent Nos. 3 to 5. The Court held that:
'' it cannot be a ground to set-aside the recommendations made by the Search Committee especially when it is not merit alone, which would be the determinative factor but there are other considerations as well. The mandate of the statute having been duly complied with and there being no violation of any statute/instructions, the Court, in exercise of its writ jurisdiction under Article 227 of the Constitution of India, would not go into the comparative assessment of merit of the candidates and scrutinize the same. The power of judicial review in such matters is limited and has to be exercised by the Court with due care and caution and not merely on the asking of the candidate without there being supportive material to substantiate such contention. The assertion of the petitioner that consent of the leader of opposition is mandatory, without which no recommendation of the Committee constituted under Section 15(3) of the RTI Act would be in accordance with law, cannot be accepted as there is no such mandate under the statute. In the light of the above, the present writ petition is not maintainable and deserves to be dismissed with heavy costs. However, a lenient view is being taken and the writ petition is dismissed''.
32 W.P. (C) 845/2014 HIGH COURT OF DELHI
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05 Feb, 2014 Shail Sahni vs Sanjeev Kumar And Ors.

The Petitioner filed an RTI Application seeking huge information from then CPIO and subsequently filed writ seeking expeditious disposal of petitioner's appeal under RTI Act as well as a direction to respondents to pay amount of Rupees 3,01,000/- as compensation. The Petitioner has also prayed for a direction to take disciplinary action against respondent No. 1.

The Hon'ble High Court of Delhi referred the judgement of Hon'ble Supreme Court of India titled as CBSE v Aditya Bandopadhya (2011) 8 SCC 497 held that:
" keeping in view the width and amplitude of the information sought by the petitioner, it is apparent that the prayers in the writ petition are nothing short of an abuse of process of law and motivated if not an attempt to intimidate the respondent. In the opinion of this Court, the primary duty of the officials of Ministry of Defence is to protect the sovereignty and integrity of India. If the limited manpower and resources of the Directorate General, Defence Estates as well as the Cantonment Board are devoted to address such meaningless queries, this Court is of the opinion that the entire office of the Directorate General, Defence Estates Cantonment Board would come to stand still. Misuse of the RTI Act has to be appropriately dealt with, otherwise the public would lose faith and confidence in this "sunshine Act". A beneficent Statute, when made a tool for mischief and abuse must be checked in accordance with law''.
[Section 7(9) Information disclosure of which would disproportionately divert the resources of the public authority].
33 W.P.(C) No. 3660/2012 & CM 7664/2012(stay) HIGH COURT OF DELHI
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13 Sep, 2013 Union of India V.S. Vishwas Bhumburkar

In the present case, the respondent filed an application with the PIO, Ministry of Tourism, seeking an authenticated photocopy along with the file notings of the Project Report for Development of Ayurveda Health Resort and Herbal Garden at Vagamon. which was submitted by the Department of Tourism, Government of Kerala in December, 2005. The PIO before the Central Information Commission stated that the said project report had not been received in the Ministry of Tourism. During the course of hearing before the Commission, the appellant produced a photocopy of a report purporting to be signed by Department of Tourism, Government of Kerala in December, 2005- The PIO confirmed the signatures of the then Joint Secretary, however, stated that there was no trace of the said Report in the Ministry nor any other relevant papers. .The petitioner challenged the order of the Commission primarily on the ground that the RTI Act does not authorize the Commission to direct an inquiry of this nature by the department concern. Though the Commission itself can make such an inquiry as it deems appropriate.

The Hon’ble High Court of Delhi held that:
'' the Commission would also have the jurisdiction to direct an inquiry into the matter wherever it is claimed by the PIO/CPIO that the information sought by the applicant is not traceable/ readily traceable/ currently traceable. Even in a case where the PIO/CPIO takes a plea that the information sought by the applicant was never available with the Government but, the Commission on the basis of the material available to it forms a prima facie opinion that the said information was in fact available with the Government, it would be justified in directing an inquiry by responsible officer of the department /office concerned. Whether in a particular case, an inquiry ought to be made by the Commission or by the officer of the department / officer concerned is a matter to be decided by the Commission in the fact and circumstances of each such case. It is, therefore, directed that a through and meaningful inquiry in terms of the provisions of the directions of the Commission be carried out by an officer not below the rank of a Joint Secretary to the Government within eight weeks from today and a copy each of the said report shall be provided to the Commission as well as to the respondent''.
34 W.P.(C) 5232/2013 HIGH COURT OF DELHI
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23 Aug, 2013 Inderjeet Singh Vs. Central Public Information Officer, NCDRC & Anr.

In the present case, the applicant requested for copies of an Application, rejoinder etc.,of a decided cases before the National Conumer Redressal (NCDRC) forum. A perusal of Regulation 22 of Consumer Protection Regulation, 2005 leaves no doubt that no third party can inspect the record of any decided petition/revision petition/review petition etc. The validity or otherwise of the said Regulation cannot be questioned in a proceeding under RTI Act. Since no inspection by a third party is permissible under the Regulations and there would be no occasion for supplying the copy of the procedural method, rule, fees etc. for this purpose. The Writ dismissed..
35 WP No. 3650 of 2012
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08 Jan, 2013 Kausa Education & Charitable Trust & Ors. Vs. Maharashtra State Information Commission & Ors.

Section 7(1) - Supply of Information-

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 authorities 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 to respondent No. 5, an ex-employee of the petitioners- the petitioners contended that what could not have been done directly is sought to be achieved indirectly, thereby the powers or jurisdiction under the RTI Act are being exceeded & legal rights of the petitioners are violated.
The Hon’ble Bombay High Court held that a direction by respondent No. 1 in its order dated 10th February 2012 to respondent No. 2 to use any of those powers for procuring information from the petitioners 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 has not been given necessary opportunity of hearing before passing of impugned order. The impugned order is passed without hearing the petitioners.
36 Writ Petition No. 325 of 2009 HIGH COURT OF BOMBAY
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14 Dec, 2012 Kashinath Shetye Vs. PIO, The Superintendent of Police & ORs.

In this matter, Hon'ble High Court held that, the Applicant making request for information shall not be required to give any reason for requesting the information. The petitioner has assailed the impugned order on the ground that respondent no. 3 whilst passing the impugned order has misread the provisions of the RTI Act in holding that the petitioner has to give reasons as to why such information was required from the Authorities.
The Hon’ble Bombay High Court, Goa Bench, held that on plain reading of the said provisions the question of giving any reasons or showing any nexus as to why such information is sought by a citizen is not at all sustainable. Hence, the finding of the respondent no.3 to the effect that the petitioner has to show the nexus as to why such information is required is erroneous and deserves to be quashed and set aside..
37 WP(C) 499/2012 & CM 1059/2012 WP(C) 1138/2012 & CM 2462/2012 WP(C) 1144/2012 & CM 2486/2012 HIGH COURT OF DELHI
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09 Nov, 2012 Union of India & ORs. Vs. Col. V.K. Shad, Union of India & Anr. Vs. Col P.P. Singh, Union of India & Ors.

The issues involved in the case are:
(i) Whether or not the file noting and the opinion of the JAG branch fall within the provisions of section 8(I)(e) of the RTI Act?
(ii) Whether any information can be denied under Army Rule, 184?
The Hon'ble High Court of Delhi held that: (i) the Person, who generate the notes in the file or the opinions, would have to be, in one sense, the beneficiaries of the said information. In an institutional set up, it can hardly be argued that notes on file qua a personnel or an employee of an institution, such as the Army, whether vis-a-vis his performance or his conduct, in any manner, can benefit the person, who generates the note or renders an opinion. As a matter of fact, the person who generates the note or renders an opinion is presumed to be a person who is objective and not conflicted by virtue of his interest in the matter, on which, he is called upon to deliberate. If that position holds, then it can neither be argued nor can it be conceived that notes on file or opinions rendered in an institutional setup by one officer qua the working or conduct of another officer brings forth a fiduciary relationship. The denial of the information under section 8(1)(e) of the RTI Act is misconceived and untenable;
(ii) The possessor of information being a public authority, i.e., the Indian Army it could only deny the information, to the seeker of information who are respondents in the present case, only if the information sought falls within the exceptions provided in Section 8 of the RTI Act. The argument of the petitioners that the information can be denied under Army Rule, 184 or the Do PT instructions dated 23.06.2009 are completely untenable in view of the over-riding effect of the provisions of the RTI Act. Both the Rule and the Do PT instructions have to give way to the provisions of Section 22 of the RTI Act. Therefore, one would have to examine the provisions of Section 8(1)(e) of the RTI Act. Petitions dismissed.
[Section 22 – Overriding effect of the RTI Act – Army Rule, 184].
38 C.W.P. No. 10981 of 2012 (O&M) HIGH COURT OF PUNJAB AND HARYANA
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30 Oct, 2012 Ved Parkash and others Petitioners Vs State of Haryana and others Respondents

In this case, the Hon'ble Court held that,
"Merely because more than one citizen had sought information by filing a joint application when their cause of action is same, it cannot be rejected holding that the same was filed by group of persons. The ultimate object is to avoid multiplicity. In case more than one individual can file separate application for same relief, they can always file a joint application''.
39 W.P. (C) No. 13090 of 2006 HIGH COURT OF DELHI
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11 Jul, 2012 Union Bank of India Vs. Central Information Commission & Ans

in the present case, the respondent by way of an application under section 6 of the RTl Act sought the disclosure from the CPIO of all the letters sent by the former President of India, Shri K.R. Narayanan, to the then Prime Minister, Shri A.B. Vajpayee, between 28th February, 2002 to 15th March, 2002 relating to "Gujarat riots" — the CPIO denied the request in terms of section 8(1)(a) of the RTI Act — the Full Bench of the CIC, upholding the contentions of respondent no. 2 passed an order/judgment dated 8th August, 2006, calling for the correspondences, disclosure of which was sought by the respondent no. 2 under the provisions of the RTl Act, so that it can examine as to whether the disclosure of the same would serve or harm the public interest, after which, appropriate direction to the public authority would be issued — Whether the Central Information Commission can peruse the correspondence/letters exchanged between the former President of India and the then Prime Minster of India for the relevant period from 28th February, 2002 till 1st March, 2002 in relation to "Gujarat riots" in order to decide as to whether the disclosure of the same would be in public interest or not and whether the bar under Article 74(2) will be applicable to such correspondence which may have the advice of Council of Minister or Prime Minister?
The Delhi High Court held that there is a complete bar under Article 74(2) of the Constitution of India as to the advice tendered by the Ministers to the President and, therefore, the respondent No. 1, CIC cannot look into the advice tendered by the President to the Prime Minster and consequently by the President to the Prime Minister or Council of Ministers. The plea of the respondents that since the RTI Act has come into force, whatever bar has been created under Article 74(2) stands virtually extinguished is not tenable. The plea is not legally sustainable and cannot be accepted. -The Commission under the RTI Act has no such constitutional power which is with the High Court and the Supreme Court under Article 226 & 32 of the Constitution of India, therefore, the interim order passed by the CIC for perusal of the record in respect of which there is bar under Article 74(2) of the Constitution of India is wholly illegal and unconstitutional. The order dated 8th August, 2006 passed by CIC is set aside.
40 W.P.(C) 3382/2012 HIGH COURT OF DELHI
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14 Jun, 2012 PRESIDENT’S SECRETARIAT Vs NITISH KUMAR TRIPATHI

In this Case, the Hon'ble High Court held that:
''the donations made by the President of India cannot said to relate to personal information of the President. It cannot be said that the disclosure of the information would cause unwarranted invasion of the privacy of, either the President of India, or the recipient''.
41 W.P. (C) : 11271/2009 HIGH COURT OF DELHI
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01 Jun, 2012 Registrar of Companies & Ors Vs. Dharmendra Kumar Garg & Ans

In the present Case,the respondent sought certain information from the petitioner by filing an application under the provision of the RTI Act. The petitioners contended that the information sought by the respondent querist can be obtained by resorting to section 610 of the Companies Act by paying the requisite fees and a citizen cannot by-pass the procedure and avoid paying the charges prescribed for acquiring the information. On the other hand, the submission of the respondent is that the provisions of the RTI Act have effect notwithstanding anything inconsistent therewith contained in the Official Secrets Act 1923 or Companies Act 1956. Therefore, argued that a citizen has an option to seek information from the ROC, either by resort to Section 610 of the Companies Act or by resort to the provisions of the RTI Act — In the earlier decision the Central Information Commissioner Sh. AN. Tiwari squarely considered the very same issue with regard to the interplay between section 610 of the Companies Act and the rights of a citizen to obtain information under the RTI Act. Sh. AN. Tiwari by a detailed and considered decision held that the information which can be accessed by resort to section 610 of the Companies Act cannot be accessed by resort to the provisions of the RTI Act. The same view was taken by another Central Information Commissioner namely, Prof. M.M. Ansari. The petitioner submitted that the Central Information Commissioner, Sh. Shailesh Gandhi has acted with impropriety while passing the impugned order, by disregarding the earlier orders of the other Central Information Commissioners and by taking a decision contrary to them without even referring the matter to a larger Bench — the Hon'ble High Court of Delhi held that there is nothing inconsistent between the scheme provided under section 610 of the Companies Act and the provisions of the RTl Act. Merely because a different charge is collected for providing information under section 610 of the Companies Act than that prescribed as the fee for providing information under the RTI Act does not lead to an inconsistency in the provisions of these two enactments. Even otherwise, the provisions of the RTI Act would not override the provision contained in section 610 of the Companies Act. Therefore, the later general law cannot be read or understood to have abrogated the earlier special law. Secondly, held that it is a well-settled canon of judicial discipline that a bench dealing with a matter respects an earlier decision rendered by a coordinate bench (i.e., a bench of same strength), and is bound by the decision of a larger bench. If this discipline is breached, the same would lead to complete chaos and confusion in the minds of the litigating public, as well as in the minds of others such as lawyers. If the Central Information Commissioner Sh. Shailesh Gandhi had a different view in the matter — which he was entitled to hold, judicial discipline demanded that he should have recorded his disagreement with the view of Sh. AN. Tiwari, Central Information Commissioner, and, for reasons to be recorded by him, required the constitution of a larger bench to re-examine the issue. He could not have ridden rough shot over the earlier decisions of Sh. AN. Tiwari and Prof. M.M. Ansari, particularly when he was sitting singly to consider the same issue of law The impugned orders passed by Sh. Shailesh Gandhi, Central Information Commissioner quashed.

A judicial or quasi-judicial body or Tribunal whose order is challenged in a writ petition (and thereafter possibly in appeal) ought not to itself be impleaded as a party respondent.
42 CWP No. 13740 of 2008 HIGH COURT OF RAJASTHAN
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19 Apr, 2012 RPSC Vs. Jagdish Narain Pandey

Section 22 – Overriding effect of RTI Act-
The respondent – 1 desired information regarding female candidates (general) seeking disclosure of their names, educational qualification having been called for interview, besides a list of female candidates (General) alongwith their names & educational qualifications having been selected; but at the same time, further information seeking disclosure of such candidates out of afore desired female candidates (General) who were holding Gold medals and qualifications of Ph.D., B.Ed. & Slate – the CPIO of the Rajasthan Public Service Commission denied the information under section 8 (1)(d) of the RTI Act and also being third party information the Chief Commissioner, Rajasthan, directed the Petitioner (RPSC) to provide relevant information as desired by the respondent no. 1
The Hon’ble High Court of Rajasthan held that under the provisions of RTI Act, even third party information can also be made available but after due compliance of section 11 of RTI Act. However, in the instant case, since names & address of applicants who were finally selected in the process held by the PSC were not required to be made available and the identity of third party was not to be disclosed, it was not required to comply with section 11 of RTI Act. As regards individual details of such female candidates in general category holding Gold medals and qualification of Ph.D., B.Ed., & SLATE, the authority made it clear that if such information being not consolidated & maintained but has to be made available from the forms of individual applicants, that can certainly be denied in view of section 7(9) of the RTI Act. However, contention advanced by the petitioner about their Regulations which restricts them from making such information available to the private party, it is made clear that in view of section 22 of RTI Act, which has a over-riding effect over such bye-laws framed by the Commission and unless such desired information stands exempted U/s 8, public authorities are under obligation to provide desired information to the person. In the facts of instant case, section 8(1)(d), of which protection has been raised by the petitioner, has no application.
43 LPA No. 900/2010
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23 Mar, 2012 Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd. vs Shri Chander Sekhar

Disclosure of information relating to report of evaluation of tender on financial bids receive from various bidders:-
The court is of the opinion that disclosure of such information which would be part of the evaluation process would still require the third party information procedure under Section 11 of the Act to be followed. As aforesaid, besides the bid price, there may still be information in the bid and which may have been discussed in the evaluation process, of commercial confidence and containing trade secret or intellectual property of the bidders whose bids were evaluated.
44 C.W.P. No. 5900 of 2011. [O&M] HIGH COURT OF PUNJAB AND HARYANA
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12 Dec, 2011 Arjan Singh Petitioner Versus State Information Commission, Punjab

The petitioner applied for copies of the Press Notes dated 04.09.1976 and 18.10.1979 under the Right to Information Act,2005. The respondents have expressed their inability to provide these two documents stating that the same are not available in the records. The High Court held that, It is settled that no information under the Right to Information Act can be generated and whatever information is available on record alone can be supplied to the applicant. That being so, no fault can be found with the impugned order passed by the Authorities under the Right to Information Act.
45 C.W.P. No. 10806 of 2011. [O&M] HIGH COURT OF PUNJAB AND HARYANA
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02 Dec, 2011 Gurcharan Singh Petitioner Versus State Information Commission, Punjab & Ors

The State Information Commission in its order held the CPIO guilty of unexplained delay in supplying the information and a penalty of Rs.250/- per day from 10.11.2010 to 03.03.2011 has been imposed on him. Hon’ble High Court find that the State Information Commission has nowhere held that the petitioner withheld any information deliberately or wilfully and Non-furnishing of satisfactory explanation would not ipso-facto mean that the petitioner withheld the information with a motive or mala-fidely. That being so, the harsh penalty imposed is uncalled for and the same is set aside but with a stern warning to the petitioner to be careful in future and ensure that as and when an application is received under the Act, he shall be obligated to act upon promptly and in any case within the stipulated period.
Total Case uploaded: 63