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RTI >> Judgments >> High Court >> Exemption >> Fiduciary Relationship
Supreme Court(Fiduciary Relationship)/ CIC(Fiduciary Relationship)
S.No. HIGH COURT CASE DATE OF JUDGMENT JUDGMENT
1 Writ Petition Nos. 9971, 10731 and 10732 of 2013
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19 Apr, 2018 Appellants: The State of Maharashtra Vs. Respondent: The Chief Information Commissioner and Ors.

RTI Application sought certified or true copies of information regarding proposal dated 26/7/06 submitted by ACP, ATS alongwith, investigation papers before Addl. DGP Shri Sanjeev S. Dayal(L. & O) for obtaining Sanction Order u/s. 23(2) of MCOC Act, 1999 and Police Manual. His application was rejected by the Information Officer resorting to provisions of Section 8(1)(g) of the Right to Information Act. The applicant thereafter, approached the first Appellate Authority. His appeal was also dismissed. He approached Chief Information Commissioner by way of second appeal. This appeal was disposed of by the impugned order whereunder the petitioners were directed to give copies of the police manual to respondent No. 2 as well as upload the same on the website of the Maharashtra Police.

Mrs. Thakur, learned AGP relying upon the provisions of section 8(1)(e), (g) and (h) and 8(2) submitted that the police manual is confidential document and same cannot be made available to respondent No. 2 neither the same can be uploaded on the website of the Maharashtra Police.

The Hon’ble High Court judgement said “RTI Applicant in the present case is not seeking any information as contemplated under section 8(1) (e), (g) and (h). Police Manual cannot be equated with the information and therefore, there is no impediment in giving copies thereof to him. Sub-section 8(2) has no application in the present facts and circumstances of the case. Judicial note can be taken of the fact that police manual is Government publication and copies of same are easily available. We therefore, do not find any error in the impugned order. The petitions are devoid of any merits. The same are accordingly dismissed”.
2 W.P.(C) 7845/2013
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12 Feb, 2018 PARAS NATH SINGH vs UNION OF INDIA

The contention that notings made by a junior officer for use by his superiors is third party information, which requires compliance of sec 11 of the act, is unmerited. Any noting made in the official records of the Govt/public authority is information belonging to the concerned Govt /public authority……….the reasoning that the notings or information generated by an employee during the course of his employment is his information and thus has to be treated as relating to a third party, is flawed.
3 W.P. (C) 7431/2011
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17 Mar, 2015 Union Public Service Commission vs Dr. Mahesh Mangalat

Union Public Service Commission vs Dr. Mahesh Mangalat
The RTI application sought information about Names,
designation and address of the members of the Selection Committee.
The matter considered was whether disclosure of personal information of the interviewers of the UPSC selection committee falls within the purview of exceptions provided under Section 8 of the RTI Act?

The Court set aside the order of CIC in so far as directing the disclosure of the names of the Selection Committee Members along with their designation and addresses.
The matter of 'fiduciary relationship' has been dealt by the Hon''ble Court in paras 24 & 25 of the judgement
4 Writ Petition No. 7056 of 2013
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26 Nov, 2014 Chalisgaon Education Society Vs. State Information Commissioner

Chalisgaon Education Society Vs. State Information Commissioner
The information sought vide RTI application dated 5.5.2010, was in relation to about 27 subjects during the period of 1996 upto 2010.The issue is regarding non- implementation of the directions of the High Court to establish a multi-member State Information Commission.

The single judge bench remitted the matter to Chief Justice to place the matter before a larger bench.
5 W.P. (C) 272/2012
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20 Nov, 2014 National Insurance Company Limited & Anr. vs M.S.H. Beig

National Insurance Company Limited & Anr. vs M.S.H. Beig
The respondent filed an application and sought the Information about answer sheet, question papers, answer key, marks assessment sheet.
The Information was denied by the CPIO on the ground that the information sought by the respondent was exempt from disclosure by virtue of section 8(1)(e) of the Act. The CIC allowed the respondent's appeal and directed NIC to provide a copy of the answer sheet or provide an inspection of the answer sheet to the respondent. The CIC also directed NIC to provide the respondent with the question papers along with answer key to the questions (model answers). The NIC had preferred the present petition.

The Hon'ble High Court of Delhi held that the impugned order passed by CIC insofar as it directs disclosure of question paper and answer key (model answers) is set aside.
The matter of 'Section 8(1)(e) Fiduciary Relationship' has been dealt by the Hon'ble Court in para 3.3 of the Judgement
6 W.P. (C) 5478/2014
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27 Aug, 2014 REKHA CHOPRA vs STATE BANK OF BIKANER & JAIPUR

REKHA CHOPRA vs STATE BANK OF BIKANER & JAIPUR
The petitioner applied under the RTI Act to the CPIO of the respondent bank seeking the information reg. opening of bank account etc. with respect to Manraj Charitable Trust - a society registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860. 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 Right to Information Act, 2005. Delhi HIgh Court held that the submission of the petitioner that the respondent bank is liable to disclose the information sought in larger public interest cannot be accepted.
The matter of 'fiduciary relationship' has been dealt by the Hon'ble High Court in paras 5, 8 & 9 of the Judgement.
7 W.P. (C) 903/2013
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08 Jul, 2014 THDC India Limited vs R.K. Raturi

THDC India Limited vs R.K. Raturi
Section 8 (1)(e) Fiduciary Relationship.
The petitioner sought the photocopies of the DPC proceedings including the comparative grading statement pertaining to the recommended candidates as well as ACRs of the appellant himself for the period mentioned by him in his RTI application. The petitioner contended that the information directed to be released pertaining to other employees of the petitioner is being held by the petitioner in fiduciary capacity and would amount to disclosure of personal information- the petitioner further contended that information sought for pertains to third party and provisions of sections 11(1) and 19(4) of the RTI Act would be applicable.

The Hon’ble High Court of Delhi held that this Court is of the opinion that the finding of public interest warranting disclosure of the said information under sections 8(1)(e) and 8(1)(j) of the RTI Act and the procedure contemplated under sections 11(1) and 19(4) of the RTI Act are mandatory in nature and cannot be waived. In the present case, CIC has directed the petitioner to provide DPC minutes to the respondent without considering the defence of the petitioner under section 8(1)(e) of the RTI Act and without following the procedure specified under sections 11(1) and 19(4) of the RTI Act. No findings has been given by CIC as to whether public interest warranted such a disclosure. The matter is remanded back to CIC for consideration of petitioner’s defences under sections 8(1)(e) and section 8(1)(j) of the RTI Act and if the CIC is of the view that larger public interest is involved, it shall thereafter follow the third party procedure as prescribed under sections 11(1) and 19(4) of the RTI Act.
The matter of "8 (1)(e) Fiduciary Relationship." has been dealt by the Hon'ble HIgh Court in paras 3, 4, 11 & 14 of the judgement
8 CWPs No. 6675, 6676, 6677, 6678, 6679, 6680, 6681, 6682, 6683, & 6624 of 2013
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01 Mar, 2014 State Bank of India versus CIC & Another

State Bank of India versus CIC & Another
The RTI application sought the names of the Reporting, First and Second Review/Accepting Authority of the applicant.
The Court observed that the exemption is from disclosure to a third party and not to the employee. Information relating to posting, transfer and promotion of clerical staff of a Public Sector Undertaking (Bank) does not pertain to any fiduciary relationship of the bank vis-à-vis its employees, within the dictionary meaning of the word fiduciary.
The matter of 'fiduciary relationship' has been dealt by the Hon''ble Court in paras 3, 25, 27 & 30 of the judgement
9 W.P. (C) 6508/2010
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29 Oct, 2013 UPSC vs. Major Singh

UPSC vs. Major Singh
Section 8(1)(e) –Fiduciary Relationship- the applicant sought Particulars (name, qualification & experience) of (eligible) applicants etc. The Hon’ble High Court of Delhi held that no finding has been recorded by the Commission that it was in the larger public interest to disclose the information with respect to the qualification and experience of other shortlisted candidates. In the absence of recording such a finding the Commission could not have directed disclosure of the aforesaid information to the respondent.
The matter of 'fiduciary relationship' has been dealt by the Hon''ble Court in para 5 of the judgement
10 W.P. (C) 4661/2011
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21 Oct, 2013 UPSC Vs. Tarsem Lal

UPSC Vs. Tarsem Lal
Section 8(1)(e) Fiduciary Relationship- The RTI application sought (i) the copies of office notings recorded in the file of UPSC as well as the copies of the correspondence exchanged between UPSC and the Department by which its advice was sought, (a) the date of the noting and the letter, as the case may be; (b) the name and designation of the person recording the noting and writing the letter and; (c) any other indication in the noting and/or correspondence which may reveal or tend to reveal the identity of author of the noting/letter, as the case may be. The Hon'ble High Court directed that when sought by a person to whom the said notings and correspondence pertain, have to be provided to him after removing from the notings and correspondence, It was further directed that if the notings and/or correspondence referred above contains personal information relating to a third party, such information will be excluded while providing the information sought by the applicant.
The matter of 'fiduciary relationship' has been dealt by the Hon''ble Court in paras 5 & 7 of the judgement
11 W.P. (C) 4079/2013
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10 Oct, 2013 Union Public Service Commission Vs. G.S Sandhu & Ors.

Union Public Service Commission Vs. G.S Sandhu & Ors.
Section 8(1)(e) –Fiduciary Relationship – The RTI applicant sought the copies of office notings recorded -
the Hon’ble High Court of Delhi held that (i) the copies of office notings recorded in the file of UPSC as well as the copies of the correspondence exchanged between UPSC and the department by which its advice was sought, to the extent shall be provided to the respondent after removing from the notings and correspondence, (a) the date of the noting and the letter, as the case may be; (b) the name and designation of the person recording the noting and writing the letter and; (c) any other indication in the noting and/or correspondence which may reveal or tend to reveal the identity of author of the noting/letter, as the case may be; (ii) if the notings and/or correspondence referred in (i) above contains personal information relating to a third party, such information will be excluded while providing the information sought by the respondent.
The matter of fiduciary relationship" has been dealt by the Hon'ble High Court in paras 5 & 6 of the judgement
12 WP (C) 2506/2010
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08 Mar, 2013 THDC India Limited Vs. T. Chandra Biswas

THDC India Limited Vs. T. Chandra Biswas
Section 8(1)(e) –Fiduciary Relationship – The applicant sought information with regard to her ACR and 'rating and remarks' of the Reporting and Reviewing Officers alongwith their names. In addition, the rating and remarks made by the Accepting Authority were also sought. Furthermore, information was sought with regard to moderation, if any, being made by the Moderation Committee to the ACRs in respect of the aforementioned periods prior to the deliberations by the DPC, 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 ACRs are meant to inform an employee as to the manner in which he has performed in the given period, the areas which require his attention, so that he may improve his performance qua his work. The Court was not persuaded by the argument of the petitioner that the information with regard to the DPC proceedings would fall within the exception provided under section 8(1)(d) of the RTI Act. It held that the 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.
The matter of fiduciary relationship has been dealt in paras 5(iii), 10 & 11 of the judgement
13 Civil Writ Petition No. 4930 of 2011
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07 Mar, 2013 K.K. Sharma V.S. State of Haryana & Ors

K.K. Sharma V.S. State of Haryana & Ors
Section 8(1)(e)-
The Petitioner filed RTI application seeking information relating to certain officers in the nature of the account number /name of the Bank in which the salary of the Officers is being sent, copies of TA bills, copies of GPF/PPF statement of the officers with effect from the date of their joining till March, 2009, copies of LTC bills and supply of PAN number of the officers along with full details of the income tax deposited year - wise – the SPIOP informed the petitioner that consent of the officer concerned with regards to disclosure of information had been sought and two officers had objected as regards to the supply of information citing the bar contained in sections 8(1)(e) and (j) of the RTI Act. Response from the other officers was still awaited and as such, it was not possible to supply the information sought

The Hon’ble High Court of Punjab and Haryana held that the provisions of RTI Act would not be available to a disgruntled employee seeking information as regards public officials which is otherwise personal in in nature on account of furtherance of a personal vendetta.
The matter of 'fiduciary relationship' has been dealt by the Hon'ble High Court in paras 7 & 8 of the judgement.
14 W.P. (C) 7248/2012 & CM No. 18689/2012 (for stay)
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21 Nov, 2012 RELIANCE INDUSTRIES LTD AND ANR Vs. THE CHIEF INFORMATION COMMISSIONER AND ORS W.P. (C) 7248/2012 & CM No. 18689/2012 (for stay)

RELIANCE INDUSTRIES LTD AND ANR
Vs. THE CHIEF INFORMATION COMMISSIONER AND ORS
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 are 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.
The matter of 'fiduciary relationship' has been dealt in the judgement
15 WP(C) 499/2012 & CM 1059/2012 WP(C) 1138/2012 & CM 2462/2012 WP(C) 1144/2012 & CM 2486/2012
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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.

Union of India & ORs. Vs. Col. V.K. Shad, Union of India & Anr. Vs. Col P.P. Singh, Union of India & Ors.
Section 8(1)(e) – Fiduciary Relationship – Army Rule, 184
(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.

The matter of 'fiduciary relationship' has been dealt by the Hon'ble High Court in paras 9, 10, 12, 14, 15, 17, 18, 19, 22 & 23 of the judgement.

Observation of the HC:
The question of law is whether the petitioners are obliged to furnish information to respondent which is retained with them in the record, in the form of file notings as also the opinion of the JAG found in the records of the respondent, under the relevant provisions of RTI Act,2005.
Employee of an institution 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 set up by one officer qua the working or conduct of another officer brings forth a fiduciary relationship. It is also not a relationship of the kind where both parties required the other to act in a fiduciary capacity by treating the other as a beneficiary. The examples of such situations are found say in a partnership firm where, each partner acts in fiduciary capacity qua the other partners.
Total Case uploaded: 15