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RTI >> Judgments >> CIC >> Proactive/Suo Moto Disclosure
Supreme Court(Proactive/Suo Moto Disclosure)/ High Courts(Proactive/Suo Moto Disclosure)
1 06 Jun, 2019 Shri Deepak Singh Vs. PIO, Dy. Director of Education (SW-A), Vasant Vihar, New Delhi-110057.

Information Sought
The Appellant claims to have sought vital information in order to ascertain the extent of implementation of various benevolent schemes of Govt. of NCT of Delhi which provide for free school uniform and books for pupils coming from Economically Weaker Sections of the society. Besides this, the Appellant has also sought to know about the policies and guidelines framed by Govt. to achieve the object of the social schemes. Information is claimed be sought in larger public interest.

Both the parties are heard. The Appellant submits that (a.) The
deliverables or the benefits guaranteed under the various policies of GNCTD regarding the assistance extended to pupils belonging to EWS category are not clear. He submits that there is hardly any public awareness about the entitlement of grants in aid guaranteed under the various schemes and due to lack of awareness, the actual beneficiaries in many cases are unable to avail of the aid. He alleges that in some cases, schools acting as intermediaries are usurping the resources meant for the needy students. In this backdrop, the Appellant claims to have sought the following information vide RTI application dated 04.08.2017 about various Schools under the aegis of Directorate of Education Delhi.

1. For how many years for children under the Economically Weaker Section, books and clothing are given free of cost per year according to the given class or give details of how much money has been given.

2. Under the Economically Weaker Section, the number of children per year and the expenditure incurred on them should be given.

3. Children under the Economically Weaker Section will be provided book free of cost and clothes every year or only for the first year. The details of each year are should be given.

4. Under the Economically Weaker Section, will all the schools spend all the money to their own or a guide line has been given by the Government; the
copy of the guide line should be given.

5. The school's pre-class 3 (+) books and the cost of clothing should be explained.

In some of the queries, the Appellant also sought information about identity of the beneficiary students in various schools. Respective PIOs replied to the Appellant. However the Appellant remained dissatisfied and the present Second Appeals were filed by the Appellant seeking complete information.

The issue pressed in the present Second Appeals is no longer res integra. What can be disclosed and what is to be redacted has already been determined by this bench vide order dated 29.05.2019 passed in Smt. Amita Joshi versus PIO, Dy. Director of Education (East) : Appeal No. CIC/DIRED/A/2017/142823. The relevant portion of the decision
is reproduced herein after:

…………….Upon a query from the Commission, the PIO submits that the Dte. Of Education promotes various aid programmes for the advancement of the pupils hailing from economically weaker groups. The free books, uniforms and other concessions vary from school to school. Rates of reimbursement of tuition fee is also different for private schools operating from lands allotted in aid by GNCTD and private schools which have not received any grant or indirect concession from Govt. As far as the revelation of the names of beneficiary students, the PIO claims protection under Section 8(1)(j) of the RTI Act. Since the Appellant is not present, her views could not be ascertained.

The Commission finds no impediment in revelation of statistical data relating to beneficiaries of distribution scheme of free books and school uniforms to students under EWS category. However, the Commission finds that it would not be in best interest of beneficiary students, who also being a third party have their respective Right to Privacy and Right not to be Identified. The Appellant has not set up a case of larger public interest which would outweigh the harm of infringement of privacy of various beneficiary students. The Commission is quite alive to the fact that any public spirited person would want the students coming from economically weaker sections to get their share under benevolent schemes of the State. Revelation of statistical data would aid the better administration of such schemes but revelation of names of beneficiaries, in all probability could lead to an embarrassing situation for them. More so, in view of the large number of beneficiaries, it would not be pragmatic for the PIO to undertake an exercise under Section 11 of the RTI Act seeking comments from respective third parties.

Accordingly, the Commission directs the PIO to furnish numerical data on point no. 2 only within 3 weeks of receipt of this decision.

The Appeal is partly allowed in said terms.

The decision as aforesaid applies to the present case also. Names and identity of the beneficiary students cannot be revealed under the RTI Act. However, the Commission finds that the submissions of the Appellant that the beneficiary groups and the citizen audit groups are not fully aware of the policy and guidelines issued from time to time regarding assistance given to EWS students by GNCTD, merits consideration. It would be in larger public interest that the public at large is allowed access to vital information churned out in execution of various schemes of Education Dept. for the benefit of EWS.

The Commission hereby in exercise of the powers conferred under Section 19(8) of the RTI Act directs the Nodal CPIO, Directorate of Education, GNCTD to proactively place the following information in public domain as well as on its website under a clear heading.

• All policies & circulars issued under the EWS as well as other social schemes for Education of under privileged children, children belonging to minorities & schemes under affirmative action – shall be uploaded on website of the Department duly categorized to facilitate wider dissemination of information.
• Statistical data, not limited to grants / books / uniforms /scholarships etc. issued, – preferably arranged school wise of the beneficiaries of various schemes of the GNCTD. Nothing revealing the identity of the beneficiary shall be placed in public domain. The Public Authority shall ensure that such data from year 2017-18 onwards is put in public domain and should be regularly updated from time to time.

The aforesaid directions shall be complied within 8 weeks of receipt of this order. Needless to say, the Directorate shall collate all relevant data from all schools which are mandated to implement the various schemes initiated by GNCTD. The Commission sincerely hopes that such proactive disclosures shall ensure that not only the intended beneficiaries avail their rights under the various schemes in an effective manner but shall also help to contain instances of corruption, grievances and repeated RTI applications on the same subject.

A report indicating compliance of the present decision shall be filed by CPIO, Directorate of Education, GNCTD before the Commission by 20.08.2019 failing which, penal proceedings shall ensue. Let a copy of the present decision be sent to the office of Principal Secretary, (Education), GNCTD for information and ensuring necessary compliance.

The Appeal is disposed off in aforesaid terms.

2 05 Jan, 2019 Mr. Kantilal B. Chavda Vs. CPIO, Central University of Gujarat, Sector – 29, Gandhinagar Gujarat – 382030

Information Sought
Information relating to procurement regarding respect of suppliers / vendors etc.

The Commission noted that the fundamental principles enshrined in the preamble to the RTI Act requiring the Public Authority to facilitate and build an informed citizenry and bring about transparency of information which was vital to its functioning as also to contain corruption and instill a sense of responsibility and accountability in its functioning was not addressed adequately in the aforesaid matters. Keeping in view the facts of the case and the submissions made by the Respondent, the Commission advises the Vice Chancellor / Registrar of the Respondent Public Authority to suo motu disclose the information as narrated in the preceding paragraphs in the public domain in accordance with the provisions of Section 4 of the RTI Act, 2005 for ease and convenience of the stakeholders at large so that the public need not resort to the RTI mechanism for seeking such information as outlined in the aforesaid Court judgements.

The Appeals stand disposed accordingly.

3 11 Jul, 2018 Mr. Raj Kumar Vs. PIO/O/o. the Dy. Commissioner of Police, Establishment / Headquarters,

Information Sought
1. Provide the copy of rules / guidelines/circular/standing over vide which SI Raj Kumar has been kept in sealed cover by the DPC conducted on 30.03.2016.

2. Provide the Rank wise figures of Police personal, whose names have been kept in sealed cover against whom a criminal case is pending investigation i.e. not charge sheeted in court. The information sought is from 01.01.2006 to 31.07.2016.

Though, it is the prerogative of the employer to proceed against the employee in accordance with the rules but principles of Natural Justice as well requirements of Section 4(1)(d) of the RTI Act require that reasons for every administrative action must be disclosed to the person who is adversely affected. The right of appellant to know reasons for his ordeal assumes greater significance as other similarly situated persons have been promoted by the DPC. The suitability of appellant for promotion is to be evaluated by the DPC. As per the dicta laid by Hon’ble Supreme Court in Union of India (UOI) and Ors. vs. K.V. Jankiraman and Ors. (27.08.1991 - SC): MANU/SC/0445/1991 the DPC recommendations qua a delinquent employee are to be kept in sealed cover till the conclusion of departmental action/ court proceedings. However, specific reasons for keeping recommendations of DPC in sealed cannot be kept in sealed cover. That is, the decision of competent authority to not act upon the DPC recommendations is administrative order and must be supported with reasons, specifically when there is an allegation that other similarly situated persons have been promoted.

The PIO is directed to clarify on query raised on point no. 1.

On point no. 2 wherein the appellant had sought for rank wise statistical/ numerical data of the Delhi Police personnel whose DPC recommendations have been kept in sealed cover. The Commission sees no impediment in disclosure of
the information sought provided names/identity of such personnel is not revealed.

The Commission directs the PIO to furnish information on both points as directed within 2 weeks of receipt of information. Compliance report shall be transmitted to the Commission by 10.08.2018.

The appeal stands allowed.

4 01 Nov, 2016 M V Gode v. PIO, KVS

The appellant sought on 09.11.2013 information about giving away the Presidential Awards to best teacher for the year 2011.
The Commission directed the respondent authority KVS to explain how the committee decides the marks for short listed nominees out of 20 allocated to the Central Awards Committee which entitle the selected candidates to get national award, and disclose from time to time at each year how the candidates were selected or not selected for the final nomination for those awards as per Section 4 of RTI Act, prepare FAQs and answer relating to process and finalisation of nomination for awards and initiate all necessary measures to ensure the transparency in nominations for awards as mandated by Section 4(1)(c) and (d) of RTI Act.
5 03 Oct, 2016 Neeraj Kumar v. PIO, Indian Institute of Technology

The appellant filed RTI Application seeking information regarding reasons for his removal from the post of Assistant Registrar, just a day before completion of his probation period.

CIC held that, Public authorities to provide reasons for its administrative or quasi-judicial decisions to the affected person for his termination. Section 4(1)(d)
6 31 Mar, 2016 Seema Chandra vs Central Reserve Police Force, Assam

Smt. Seema Chandra filed an application 12.06.2014 under the Right to Information Act, 2005 (RTI Act) before the Central Public Information Officer (CPIO), Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), New Delhi seeking information pertaining to salary slips, total emoluments etc of her husband.

The Commission held that in the present case the appellant is seeking pay slip etc. of her husband, the same would not qualify to be personal information of third party.
The Commission directed the respondent to provide information as sought by the appellant within a period of four weeks from the date of receipt of a copy of this order.
7 13 Mar, 2015 Vipin Kumar Agarwal Vs. CPIO, Punjab & Sind Bank

The appellant/complaint requested the CPIO to publish all the required information/disclosures as per the section 4(1)(b)(v) of the RTI Act.

In appeal, the Appellant prayed for a direction to the Respondents under section 19(8)(a) of the RTI Act to publish the mandatory disclosures as required under section 4(1)(b)(v) of the RTI Act.
The CIC held that in his RTI application, the Appellant/Complaint did not seek any specific information but only requested the bank to publish the required information/disclosures as per section 4(1)(b)(v). with regard to his request for direction to the Respondents, under section 19(8)(a), to comply with the requirement of section 4(1)(b)(v) of the RTI Act, the Hon’ble Supreme Court in its Judgment “Chief Information Commissioner Anr. V State of Manipur” has held that the Commissioner while entertaining a complaint under section 18 of the said Act has no jurisdiction to pass an order providing for access to the information. Therefore, the Commission directed the public authority to ensure that it comply at all times with the provisions of section 4 of the RTI Act.
8 16 Jan, 2015 Subhash Chandra Agrawal Vs. Deptt for the Welfare of SC/ST/OBC, Govt of NCT of Delhi

The appellant sought to know the action taken on the report of Delhi Lokayuktha indicting former Chief Minister and some other Ministers of Government of Delhi for spending public money on advertisements and certified copies of certain other documents.

The CIC directed the Union of India and Government of Delhi to disclose its policy under Section 4 of the Act, on recommendations of Prof. Madhava Menon Committee and Lokayuktha of Delhi regarding usage of photos of political leaders in advertisements issued by the State.

As the disclosure of information involves policy decision to be taken by the Higher authorities in Government, it is not just and proper to penalise the PIO for non-disclosure of policy, who does not have any role in decision making process and in view of the observations of Delhi Lokayuktha not to issue advise/recommendation to the lower level officers, the Commission finds no ground for imposing penalty on the PIO.
9 15 Jan, 2015 Surendra Kumar Gupta Vs.. Directorate of Training and Technical Education, Government of NCT of Delhi

The appellant sought information with respect to his application for permission/financial assistance to present a paper at a Conference.

The CIC directed the respondent to furnish the basis for not giving permission before the appellant proceeding for attending the conference and the basis for saying that ex post facto permission cannot be given.

The CIC issued showcause notice to the deemed CPIO as to why penalty cannot be imposed on him for not supplying relevant information to the appellant within the prescribed period.
10 14 Aug, 2012 P H Mishra Vs. : Indian Air Force

The appellant is a serving JWO in the IAF. Vide RTI application dated 14.6.2011.He had sought information on 06 paras. The CPIO had provided information on paras 01, 04 & 05. Information regarding para 06 could not provide as the authority letter under reference did not exists on record. CIC had given direction to provide information. Section 4 (1) (b) (ix)
11 23 Mar, 2012 Kirpal Kumar Gambhir Vs. D/o Revenue, O/o the Sub Registrar V, New Delhi

Section 4(2) – Suo moto disclosure of information by the public authority –
The commission directed the PIO to provide a copy of the GPA to the appellant. The Commission further directed the public authority that a copy of the order related to registration of GPA/SPA be put on the website under section 4(2) of the RTI Act in the interest of the general public.
12 08 Sep, 2011 Mr. Saurabh Sharma, New Delhi Vs.: The Additional Commissioner (Education) Municipal Corporation of Delhi

The Complainant has filed the present Complaint under Section 18 of the RTI Act (hereinafter ‘the Act’), with the Commission, contending that certain categories of document including the manuals mandated under Section 4 (1) (b) of the Act 2005, should be available in hard copy at the school. – the school run by Municipal Corporation of Delhi — the Commission directed the public authority to make available certain categories of documents for inspection pertaining to each particular school for the on-going academic session. Section 4(1)
13 18 Mar, 2011 Mr. Rajiv Dutta, New Delhi Vs. The Director (Horticulture), Municipal Corporation of Delhi,

The complainant sought certain information from the respondent relating to regular maintenance of parks under the control of the Horticulture Department of the Respondent Public Authority which would be displayed
proactively on its website as mandated by Section 4 of the RTI Act. CIC directed the public authority to take such steps as may be necessary to secure the compliance with the provisions of the RTI Act. Section 4(1)
14 15 Mar, 2011 Mr. Sanjay Kumar Pathak, New Delhi Vs. Vice Chancellor, Magadh University

The Complainant had filed an RTI application asking for certain information. — CIC held that the it is the obligation on the part of Public Authority to make suomoto disclosure. Section 4(1)
15 09 Dec, 2010 Shri Tarun Bindal Haryana . Vs. : CPIO, Canara Bank,  Delhi, 

The Appellant had wanted several information relating to the practice followed in the Bank in respect of stop payment and dishonouring of cheques. The Commission held that the instructions given in commercial confidence by third party customers of the Bank about stopping payment of their cheques cannot be disclosed as such disclosure might adversely affect their competitive position. Section 8(1)(d) of the RTI Act clearly exempts such information from disclosure. Section 4(1)(b)
Total Case uploaded: 16