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RTI >> Judgments >> High Court >> Exemption >> Commercial Confidence etc..
Supreme Court(Commercial Confidence etc..)/ CIC(Commercial Confidence etc..)
1 07 Sep, 2017 Jasmeet Kaur vs State of Uttarakhand & Ors.

Section 8(1) (d) Commercial Confidence. The petitioner contended that the information sought by her husband are not covered under the RTI act and information relating to her salary, posting etc. are personal in nature.

The Hon'ble High Court of Uttarakhand held that the nature of information sought by husband of the petitioner is not covered under any of the exemption given under section 8 of the RTI Act.
2 04 Oct, 2016 Kuldeep Singh vs The Central Information Commission and Ors.

Section 8(1)(d) Commercial Confidence. The petitioner filed an RTI application and sought the certified copy of the Answer Sheet; Model Answer Key, relating to the answer sheet; certified copy of the complete Merit List, in reference to the selection. The answer key was provided to the petitioner. The certified copy of the merit list in reference to the selection to the clerks was denied on the ground that it could not be provided under section 8(1)(d).

The Hon'ble High Court of Punjab and Haryana held that a perusal of the section 8(1)(d) would go on to show that it pertains to information including commercial confidence, trade secrets or intellectual property etc. which is not the case in the present circumstances. Therefore, the information has been wrongly denied without any valid justification.
3 20 Mar, 2015 Dr. A. Aiamperumal vs. The Government of Tamil Nadu represented by its Secretary, Department of Health

The prayer was to direct the respondents/Public Authority to produce copy of the question paper, answer key and answer sheet bearing Roll No.16843 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 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.

The examining body is bound to provide access to an examinee to inspect and take copies of his evaluated answer books, even if such inspection or taking copies is barred under the rules/bye-laws of the examining body or clauses to this effect are part of the prospectus governing the examinations.
4 27 Aug, 2014 Rekha Chopra vs State Bank of Bikaner & Jaipur

Section 8(1)(d) Commercial Confidence. The CPIO of respondent bank refused to provide the information sought by the petitioner in respect of its customer inter alia on the ground that the same was held by the bank in a fiduciary capacity and was exempted under section 8 of the RTl Act. - Whether a bank is obliged to disclose information pertaining to its customers in response to an application made under the RTl Act?

The Hon'ble High Court of Delhi held that the respondent bank is not obliged to provide any information to the petitioner in respect of the account of the said trust. The submission of the petitioner that the respondent bank is liable to disclose the information sought is larger public interest also cannot be accepted.
5 14 Aug, 2014 Union Public Service Commission vs Manoj Kumar Singh

Section 8(l)(d) Commercial Confidence. The CIC directed the petitioner to provide certified copies of the evaluated answer sheet of the Hindi paper as well as inform the respondent as to the cut off / qualifying marks both for the Hindi and English tests paper taken by the respondent as a part of the Civil Services Main Examination, 2010. The petitioner submitted the first question, whether certified of the evaluated answer sheets ought to be supplied to the candidate is pending before the Supreme Court in SLP (Civil) No. 33761/2012 which was preferred by the petitioner against an order dated 03.08.2012 passed by Kerala High Court in W.P. (C) No. 37734/2010 whereby the petitioner was directed to supply a copy of the evaluated answer sheets to the candidates and further submitted that it would abide by the decision in the said Special Leave Petition and in the event the petitioner does not succeed before the Supreme Court, the answer sheets if available would be provided to the respondent.

The Hon'ble High Court of Delhi held that the petitioner would provide copies of the evaluated answer sheets to the respondent in the event the petitioner does not prevail before the Supreme Court in SLP No. 33761/2012. In respect of the second question, whether the petitioner is obliged to disclose the cut off/ qualifying marks for the said subjects is concerned the directions of the CIC to communicate the cut off/qualifying marks for Hindi and English with respect to Civil Services Main Examination, 2010 is upheld.
6 06 Dec, 2013 Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) Vs. Arun Kumar

Section 8(1)(d) Commercial Confidence – the Hon’ble High Court of Delhi held that in the mater of CBSE & others vs. Aditya Bandopadhyay & Others the Apex Court has upheld the rights of examinee to have the inspection as well as copy of his answer-book, even if the rules and regulations of the examining body prohibits such inspection and/or copy. In view of the authoritative pronouncements of the Apex Court, no fault can be found with the directions given by the Commission to the petitioner.
7 08 Mar, 2013 THDC India Limited Vs. T. Chandra Biswas

Section 8(1)(d)-Commercial Confidence- the Hon’ble High court of Delhi held that the right to obtain her own ACRs inherent in the respondent which cannot be denied to the respondent under the provisions of sections 8(1)(d),(e) and (j) of the RTI Act. The Honble High Court held that information with regard to DPC proceedings cannot come within the ambit and scope of any of three exclusions i.e. commercial confidence, trade secret and intellectual property. The information regarding assessment of employees by a DPC is neither commercial in nature nor is it a trade secret or intellectual property which could harm the competitive position of another employee i.e. a third party.
8 21 Nov, 2012 Reliance Industries Ltd. & Anr. Vs. The Chief Information Commissioner & Ors.

Section 8(1)(d) - Commercial Confidence - Section 8(1)(e) - Fiduciary Relationship
Whether the provisions of Sections 8(1)(d) and 8(1)(e) of the RTI Act are ultra vires, unconstitutional and violative of Article 14 of the Constitution of India?

The Division Bench of the Delhi High Court held that the sections 8(I)(d) and 8(I)(e) of the RTI Act which carves out an exception to the information exempt from disclosure, is one of the facets of such harmonization of conflicting interest. While information including commercial confidence, trade secrets or intellectual property or made available to Public Authority in fiduciary relation, has in recognition of the principle of "preservation of confidentiality of sensitive information” been exempted from; disclosure, but such exemption is not available when "larger public interest warrants the disclosure of such information". It thus cannot be said that the proviso taketh away what has been given under sections 8(I)(d) and 8(I)(e) - the Hon'ble High Court of Delhi dismissed the petition challenging the vires of sections 8(I)(d) and 8(I)(e) of the RTI Act.
9 16 Jul, 2012 General Manager Finance, Air India Ltd. & Anr. Vs. Virender Singh

Section 8(1)(d) – Commercial Confidence
The respondent sought certain information from the appellant and amongst these the disclosure of the names addresses of the person to whom free air tickets were issued during the period from 01.01.2006 to 31.12.2006 – the PIO of the appellant responded that the disclosure of names of persons to whom such tickets were issued would be detrimental to the commercial interests of the company considering the fierce level of competition that is existing in the Aviation Industry. Also such information is exempted from disclosure under section 8(1)(d) of RTI Act and the same is therefore being denied – the CIC upheld the denial of information – the learned Single Judge observed that the information sought by the respondent did not pertain to a third party; rather it pertains to the public authority itself and identity of persons to whom complimentary tickets are issued by the appellant Air India does not constitute information which can be said to be of commercial confidence or a trade secret and certainly does not constitute an intellectual property. It was held that there is no reason to be secretive about the persons to whom such complementary ticket are issued. It was further held that the appellant had been unable to explain as to how the disclosure of the identity of these persons would harm the commercial interest of the appellant. Accordingly the writ petition was allowed and the appellant Air India was directed to disclose the name of the persons to whom complementary tickets were issued in the year 2006.
The Division Bench of Delhi High Court held that Judicial notice can be taken of the huge influx from time to time of public funds, on the crutches whereof the appellant Air India is functioning. It is even otherwise not disputed that it is a public authority. The issuance of complementary tickets by the appellant is thus obviously at the expense of the public exchequer. We are not impressed with the argument of, the said complementary tickets representing a miniscule proportion of the total number of tickets sold by the appellant. Even otherwise it is not disclosed as to what monetary value the said 1200 tickets represent. The question is not of whether the issuance of complementary tickets without any reason is of a small or of a large amount. The public funds even of a small amount cannot be allowed to be wasted and no public official, as the employees, officers of the appellant are, authorized to meet/dole out personal favour at the cost of public funds. We are therefore in agreement with the learned single Judge that the information sought is not exempted under section 8(1)(d) of the RTI Act.
10 19 Apr, 2012 RPSC Vs. Jagdish Narain Pandey

Section 8(1)(d) – Commercial Confidence
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.
11 23 Mar, 2012 Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd. Vs. Chander Sekhar

Section 8(1)(d) – Commercial confidence – Section 11 - Third party Information
the respondent sought the copy of complaint report of evaluation of tender on the financial bids received from various bidders. The CPIO of the appellant vide letter dated 30.07.2009 declined the request of the respondent for information on the ground that the information sought was of “commercial confidence” in nature and claiming exemption from disclosure under section 8(1)(d) of the RTI act – the CIC allowed the appeal of the respondent and observed (i) that the evaluation process stood completed and thus the commercial position of any of the bidders could not be adversely affected by such disclosure (ii) the exemption under section 8(1)(d) of the RTI Act is not available since the information was already in public domain owing to the finalization and completion of the bidding process and evaluation and cannot pose a threat to the competitive position of any of the bidders; (iii) it was in the larger public interest to disclose such information; (iv) that the non-disclosure agreements were valid only for the “Confidentiality period” i.e. till the opening of the bids – the learned single judge dismissed the writ petition preferred by the appellant impugning the order aforesaid of the CIC.
The Division Bench of Delhi High Court held that in the information of which disclosure is sought relates to or contains information supplied by a third party and which the third party may claim confidential, the third party information procedure laid down in section 11 of the Act is Judge. We are 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 RTI 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. The matter is remanded back to the CIC. The CIC shall issue notice to the parties whose bids are evaluated in the evaluation process information qua which is sought by the respondent and decide the request of the respondent after following the procedure under section 11 of the RTI Act.
12 07 Mar, 2012 Ashok Kumar Goel Vs. Public Information Officer, VAT, Ward No. 64 & Ans.

Section 8(1)(d) – Commercial Confidence – the appellant wanted certain information from the Sales Tax Commissioner in relation to respondent No. 2 firm and therefore he moved application under the provisions of the Act asking for the information such as Month wise various type of Sale and Purchase etc.

The CPIO refused to divulge the aforesaid information invoking the provisions of section 8(1)(d) of the RTI Act – the FAA rejected the first appeal and second appeal was also rejected by the CIC - in the writ petition, the learned Single Judge took the same view and dismissed the writ petition by imposing cost of Rs. 25,000/-.
The Division Bench of Delhi High Court held that the present appeal in nothing but misuse of the process of law and dismissed the same with cost of Rs. 50,000/-
Total Case uploaded: 12