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RTI >> Judgments >> High Court >> Exemption >> Matters Under Investigation
Supreme Court(Matters Under Investigation)/ CIC(Matters Under Investigation)
S.No. HIGH COURT CASE DATE OF JUDGMENT JUDGMENT
1 Writ Petition Nos. 9971, 10731 and 10732 of 2013 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) 3543/2014 16 Dec, 2014 ADESH KUMAR Petitioner Vs UOI and ORS

The applicant sought information about the prosecution case including the copies of letters/notings.
The request for the aforesaid information was rejected by the CPIO
claiming that there was no obligation to provide the same by virtue of
Section 8(1)(h) of the Act. The appeal preferred by the petitioner before
the FAA was also rejected and the second appeal preferred by the petitioner before the CIC also met the same fate. The petitioner has challenged the said order passed by the CIC.
The impugned order passed
by the CIC is set aside by the Delhi High Court and the matter is remanded to the CIC to consider it
afresh in view of the aforesaid observations.
3 W.P. (C) : 1243/2011 & C.M. No. 2618 / 2011 (for stay) 13 Jul, 2012 UPSC Vs. R.K. Jain

Section 8(1)(h) — Information disclosure of which would impede the process of investigation
The respondent sought the inspection of the records, documents, note sheets, manuscripts, records, reports, office memorandum, part files and files relating to the proposed disciplinary action and/or imposition of penalty against a Central Excise and Customs Officer and also inspection of records, files, etc., relating to the decision of the UPSC thereof — the CPIO declined to provide the same on the ground that the information was of personal nature, disclosure of which has no relationship to any public activity or interest.
The CIC directed the CPIO to invite the Appellant on any mutually convenient date within 15 working days from the receipt of this order and to show him the relevant records in the possession of the UPSC for his inspection. The Petitioner has assailed the decision of the CIC
The Hon'ble High Court of Delhi held that the Petitioner in the present case, being a constitutional body and thereby a "public authority" under the Act, cannot claim the exemption of personal information qua itself and its officials under section 8(1)(j). Even otherwise, its act of tendering advice to the concerned Ministry on matters relating to disciplinary proceedings against a charged officer is in discharge of a public duty entrusted to it by the law itself, and is thereby a public activity. The disclosure of such information cannot be regarded as invasion of his privacy. The Hon'ble High Court further, held that the information sought relates to the note sheets and final opinion rendered by the UPSC regarding imposition of penalty/punishment on the charged officer. Such information, as is evident from a plain reading, relates to notings and opinion post investigation i.e., after the investigation is complete. Disclosure of such information cannot, be any means whatsoever be held to "impede the process of investigation" which could be raised only when an investigation is ongoing. As such the exemption under section 8(1)(h) of the RTI Act also cannot be raised in by the petitioner in the present case.
4 WP (C) 7930 of 2009 30 Nov, 2009 Addl Commissioner of Police Vs CIC

To claim exemption under section 8(1)(h) it has to be ascertained in each case whether the claim by the public authority has any reasonable basis. Onus under section 19(5) of the RTI Act is on the public authority. The section does not provide for a blanket exemption covering all information relating to investigation process and even partial information wherever justified can be granted. Exemption under 8(1)(h) necessarily is for a limited period and has a end point i.e when process of investigation is complete or offender has been apprehended and prosecution ends. Protection from disclosure will also come to an end when disclosure of information no longer causes impediment to prosecution of offenders, apprehension of offenders or further investigation.
Total Case uploaded: 4