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RTI >> Judgments >> High Court >> Exemption >> Cabinet Papers
Supreme Court(Cabinet Papers)/ CIC(Cabinet Papers)
1 12 Apr, 2017 Vikas Verma vs The Director (MRTS) & CPIO

Section 8(1)(i) Cabinet papers including records of deliberations of the Council of Ministers, Secretaries and other officers.
The RTI application sought copy of the report, copies of all the correspondence between the respondent and the Enquiry Committee and inspection of the records. The concerned CPIO rejected the request of the appellant under section 8(1)(i) of the RTI Act on the ground that various issues relating to the information which was sought by the appellant had been put before the Empowered Groups of Ministers (EGoM) on Mass Rapid Transit System (MRTS) for its consideration and directions.
The learned Single Judge concluded that the exemption granted from disclosure cannot be defeated by allowing the disclosure of information which have been exempted by the statute.

The Division Bench of the Hon'ble High Court of Delhi held that the papers sought by the appellant are pending consideration of the Cabinet. Accordingly, in view of section 8(1)(i) of the RTI Act, the appellant cannot seek the necessary information that he is seeking at this stage. No reason to interfere with the impugned order. The appeal is dismissed.
2 02 Mar, 2016 Vikas Verma Vs. The Director (MRTS-I) & CPIO, Ministry of Urban Development

MUD, Government of India constituted a two members Enquiry Committee to enquire into the defects in the civil structures of the Delhi Airport Metro Express Line. The petitioner filed an RTI application and sought a copy of the report and supplementary notes submitted by the said Committee along with copies of the correspondence between the MUD and the Enquiry Committee and to also allow inspection of copy of file notings by the officers of the MUD and all records relating to proceedings of the Enquiry Committee.

The Hon’ble High Court of Delhi held that once it is found that as per the rules or the procedure or the decision already taken, the matter has to be considered and decided by the Cabinet. The matter, in the present case, is found to be considered and decided by the Cabinet. The matter, in the present case, is found to be at the stage of “cooking’ for consumption of the cabinet. If it were to be held that the exemption is not available till the papers are before the Cabinet, it would amount to allowing access of information which is otherwise prohibited and defeat the purpose of the exemption. The papers are required to be put up before the Cabinet, whatsoever the delay may be, they cannot be disclosed under the RTI Act at the stage of preparation.
3 21 Nov, 2013 UOI Vs. Rakesh

The applicant sought copies/information pertaining to 26 points of notes, drafts etc.
Hon’ble High Court of Delhi held that since the documents contain only the decision of the Cabinet Committee on Appointments and the material on the basis of the said decision was taken, the said information is required to be disclosed to the respondent.
4 21 Nov, 2013 Union of India V.S. Dr. H.C. Sharatchandra

Section 8(1)(i) Cabinet papers including records of deliberations of the Council of Ministers, Secretaries and other officers-
The respondent filed an RTI application and sought certain information from the CPIO such as copies of the supporting documents relief/considered by the Chairman, Appointment Committee of Cabinet, for approving/not approving candidates, selected by the duly constituted selection committed for selection of Expert Member to National Green Tribunal in interview held on 5th February, 2011- the CIC held that the documents which form part of the Cabinet papers should be disclosed after the decision is taken and implemented and the matter is over. The CPIO was accordingly directed to send the copies of those papers-
The directions given by the Commission to provide copies of the supporting documents based on which PMO had decided on the proposal submitted are not acceptable to the petitioner and the order passed by the Commission is challenged before the Hon’ble Delhi High Court

The Hon’ble Delhi High Court held that the present writ petition is liable to be dismissed since the petitioner is required to disclose the material on the basis of which decision was taken by the Cabinet Committee of Appointments, since, admittedly, the aforesaid decision has already been implemented. The writ petition accordingly dismissed.
5 19 Nov, 2013 Union of India V.S. Pramod Kumar Jain & Anr.

Section 8(1)(i) Cabinet papers including records of deliberations of the Council of Ministries, Secretaries and other officers- Constitution of India-Article 74(2)- Advice tendered by ministers to the President of India – the respondent sought the following information n from the CPIO of the Department of Personnel & Training.
(a) Copies of DPC proceeding and notings of DPC proceedings from the stage of DPC held on 28th March, 2007,approval by ACC and up to the stage of issue of panel bringing out the cause of omission of certain names including mine form the approved panel in respect of promotion of Additional Chief Engineers to the grade of Chief Engineer in MES of the Ministry of Defence against the vacancies for the year 2007-08 for which approved panel for promotion has been issued by E-in-C’s branch vide letter No. B/41021/DPC/CE/2007 – 08/E1 (DCP-1) dated 27 Jun 2007.
(b) Why the main panel is only for 07(seven ) officers where as the vacancies existed was 10(ten) at the time of holding DPC on 28th March, 2007.
(c) Out of the 07 officers included in the panel, only 3 officers are retiring during the year 2007-08 then why the extended panel is for 05 officers.
The aforesaid information was declined by the CPIO on the ground that the information sought by them formed part of Cabinet papers including record if deliberations of Secretaries and other officers which was exempt under section 8(1)(i) of the Act- the CIC relying upon its earlier order directed disclosure of the desired information to the respondent .

The Hon’ble High Court of Delhi held that the decision of the ACC in the matter of promotion of a Government servant does not constitute advice of the Ministries to the President within the meaning of Article 74 of the Constitution and, therefore, cannot be withheld if it is otherwise accessible under the provisions of the RTI Act.
6 20 Apr, 2012 R.K. Jain Vs. Union of India & Anr.

Section 8(1)(i) — Cabinet papers including records of deliberations of the Council of Ministers, Secretaries and other officers
The appellant filed RTI application and sought certain information — as per the appellant; there was certain complaints qua corruption against Ms. Jyoti Balasundaram, Member/CESTAT. After examining this complaint, the then President of CESTAT who was former Chief Justice of High Court made certain adverse entries in the ACR of the said Member which pertained to the year 2000-01. According to the appellant, on the basis of the said ACR, Department of Revenue in the Ministry of Finance opened another file with the subject "follow up action on the integrity in the ACR for the year 2000-01 in respect of Ms. Jyoti Balasundaram, Member (Tech), CESTAT." Ultimately, this file was closed without taking any proper action. The appellant on this premise wanted inspection of the file as well as the copies of the Note Sheets and correspondence — the CPIO of CESTAT informed the appellant that the file contained analysis of the ACR of the said Member and claimed it to be exempted under section 8(1)(i) of the RTI Act — the First Appellate Authority rejected the appeal on the same ground — further appeal before the CIC met the same fate as the CIC also held that ACR grades could be disclosed only to the person to whom it relates except in the exceptional circumstances
The Division Bench of the Delhi High Court held that what is important is that the procedure under section 11 (1) of the RTI Act, which is mandatory has to be followed which includes, giving of notice to the concerned officer information whose ACR is sought for. If that officer, in the present case the Ex Member of CESTAT, pleads private defence that defence has to be examined while deciding the issue as to whether the private defence is to prevail or there is an element of overriding public interest which would outweigh the private defence. Since the Single Judge of this Court has already remanded back the matter to the CIC for considering the issue whether, in the larger public interest, the information sought by the Appellant could be disclosed, the appellant can always argue this before the CIC.
7 30 Nov, 2009 UOI Vs CIC

Respondent had asked for inspection of the file/records of Appointments Committee of the Cabinet.
Decision of FAA :
Request rejected by the CPIO and FAA. The FAA made a detailed order stating, inter-alia, that since ACC is the product of the rules framed under Art 77(3)of the Constitution of India, its business (deliberations including the decision whether they are to be made public) are not the subject matter of the decisions of any other authority other than the President of India himself.
Therefore unless these rules framed under Art 77(3) themselves provide for disclosure of information pertaining to the working of the Cabinet and its committees, no disclosure can be made pertaining to them, under the RTI Act. Therefore, the RTI Act has rightly provided for non-disclosure of information pertaining to cabinet papers.
The CIC rejected the above said reasoning.
Decision of the High Court :
Art 77 nowhere prohibits or bans furnishing of information. The only prohibition is mentioned in Art 74(2) of the Constitution….. The query raised obviously does not fall within the protection granted under Art 74(2) of the Constitution and no reliance can be placed on the said Art in the present case.
8 30 Nov, 2009 UOI Vs Sweety Kothari

Respondents sought for copies of advts/recommendations of interview/selection board/ names of persons finally selected as members of ITAT as approved by the ACC.
The CPIO & FAA rejected the request stating that the final selection is approved by the ACC and therefore section 8(1)(i) of the RTI Act was attracted. It was the contention of the public authority that ACC functions under the delegated powers of the Cabinet and for all practical purposes it is co-extensive with the Cabinet’s powers attracts exemption under Section 8(1)(i) of the RTI Act.
Decision of the High Court :
Information seeker is asking for recommendations made by the selection/interview board and not for comments or observations. List of candidates as per the recommendations of the interview/selection board have to be furnished.
Total Case uploaded: 8