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RTI >> Judgments >> CIC >> Exemption >> Personal Information
Supreme Court(Personal Information)/ High Courts(Personal Information)
S.No. CIC CASE DATE OF JUDGMENT JUDGMENT
1 CIC/NINSA/A/2017/183689-BJ 22 Apr, 2019 Dr. Arvind Kumar Verma Vs. CPIO, National Institute of Ayurveda Madhav Vilas Palace Amer Road, Jaipur – 302002

Information Sought
The Appellant vide his RTI application sought information on 05 points regarding the completion of MD Degree by one Dr. Nirankar Goel from the Respondent Institution, whether he had regularly and continuously pursued the education from 1982 to 1985, etc.

Decision
Moreover, in Union of India v. R. Jayachandran WP (C) 3406/2012 dated 19.02.2014 the Hon’ble High Court of Delhi had held that passport details, copies of birth certificate and copies of records of educational qualification are personal information, the disclosure of which would cause unwarranted invasion of privacy of individuals unless there was an overbearing public interest in favour of disclosure.

The Commission also referred to the decision of the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India in Central Board of Secondary Education and Anr. Vs. Aditya Bandopadhyay and Ors, SLP(C) NO. 7526/2009 wherein it was held as under:

"Indiscriminate and impractical demands or directions under RTI Act for disclosure of all and sundry information (unrelated to transparency and accountability in the functioning of public authorities and eradication of corruption) would be counterproductive as it will adversely affect the efficiency of the administration and result in the executive getting bogged down with the non-productive work of collecting and furnishing information. The Act should not be allowed to be misused or abused, to become a tool to obstruct the national development and integration, or to destroy the peace, tranquillity and harmony among its citizens. Nor should it be converted into a tool of oppression or intimidation of honest officials striving to do their duty. The nation does not want a scenario where 75% of the staff of public authorities spends 75% of their time in collecting and furnishing information to applicants instead of discharging their regular duties. The threat of penalties under the RTI Act and the pressure of the authorities under the RTI Act should not lead to employees of public authorities prioritising 'information furnishing' at the cost of their normal and regular duties."

Furthermore, the Hon’ble Supreme Court in the matter of ICAI vs. Shaunak H. Satya (2011) 8 SCC 781 dated 02.09.2011 had held as under:

“26. We however agree that it is necessary to make a distinction in regard to information intended to bring transparency, to improve accountability and to reduce corruption, falling under Section 4(1)(b) and (c) and other information which may not have a bearing
on accountability or reducing corruption. The competent authorities under the RTI Act will have to maintain a proper balance so that while achieving transparency, the demand for information does not reach unmanageable proportions affecting other public interests, which include efficient operation of public authorities and government, preservation of confidentiality of sensitive information and optimum use of limited fiscal resources”

The Appellant was not present to contest the submissions of the Respondent or to establish the larger public interest in disclosure which outweighs the harm to the protected interests.

2 CIC/DENAB/A/2017/167556 11 Mar, 2019 Shri Ashok Rameshbai Mistry Vs. CPIO, Dena Bank, Surat, Gujarat.

Information sought
The issues under consideration arising out of second appeal dated 18.09.2017 include non-receipt of the following information raised by the appellant through his RTI application dated 20.03.2017and first appeal dated 04.05.2017:
(i) Provide informative list of the Name of NPA Borrower’s loan Account No. along with Capital interest & total remain dues by Bank.
(ii) Provide informative list of the Name of NPA Borrowers along with Case No. failed at Debt Recovery Tribunal (DRT) at Ahmedabad and any other court of law to recover remain dues from them by Bank.
(iii) I would like to peruse and to take legally certified extract of any portion of above relevant rules & regulation according to my request under RTI Act 2005 and, so you are requested to mutually decide the date, time & venue for such purposes.

Decision
The appellant remained absent and respondent Mr. Rahul Priyadarshi, Chief Manager (Legal), Dena Bank, Surat, attended the hearing through video conferencing. The respondent submitted that the information sought by the appellant does not concern him and the appellant did not describe the purpose of seeking such information. The cumulative information relating to NPA accounts was provided to the appellant vide letter dated 12.04.2017.

The Commission after adverting to the facts and circumstances of the case, hearing the respondent and perusal of the records, feels that the respondent has provided part of the desired information to the appellant. The Commission agrees that the remaining information including the names and account number of the NPA burrowers may not be furnished as the same are held in fiduciary capacity. The same are exempted under sub-section (1) (e) of section 8 of the RTI Act. In view of the absence of the appellant to controvert the contentions of the respondent, the response given by the respondent may be accepted. Accordingly, the appeal is dismissed.
3 CIC/ERAIL/C/2017/115802/SD 08 Jan, 2019 Ramesh Ojha Vs. CPIO, Sr. Divl. Personnel Officer, Divisional Railway Manager’s Office, Division Howrah

Information requested
The Complainant sought to know personal details including full name, educational qualification as well as copies marks sheet and certificates form matriculation to highest academic degree, copy of date of birth certificate, name of father as per documentary evidence, permanent address as per service record etc of Shri S K Mukherjee, Sr. DEE(G)/ER/HWH Divn and Shri B K Pan, former Sr. SEE/ER/HWH.

Decision
Commission observes from the perusal of facts on record that the CPIO’s reply is grossly inappropriate as she has offered inspection of such documents to the Complainant that would amount to disclosure of personal information of third parties exempt under Section 8(1)(j) of RTI Act. In doing so, CPIO has also failed to seek consent of the concerned third parties as per Section 11 of the RTI Act.

In this regard, the Commission draws the attention of CPIO on a judgment dated 31.08.2017 of Hon’ble Supreme Court in the matter of Canara Bank Vs. C S Shyam in Civil Appeal No.22 of 2009; wherein the scope of Section 8(1)(j) of the Act in service matters of government employees has been further exemplified.

Adverting to the aforementioned ratio, CPIO is warned to exercise due caution in future.
4 CIC/PNBNK/A/2017/146670 07 Jan, 2019 Smt. Bharpai Vs. CPIO, Punjab National Bank, Circle Office, Karnal, Haryana

Information Requested
The appellant filed an application under the Right to Information Act, 2005 (RTI Act) before the Central Public Information Officer (CPIO), Punjab National Bank, Circle Office, Sector-12, Urban Estate, Karnal, Haryana seeking information pertaining to the pension account of her husband, Shri Karan Singh.

Decision
The Commission, after hearing the submissions of both parties and perusing the records, observes that the appellant has sought information pertaining to the pension account of Mr. Karan Singh who is alive. Hence, the information sought for relates to the personal information of a third party, the disclosure of which has no relationship to any public interest and would cause an unwarranted invasion of the privacy of the third party. Hence, its disclosure is exempted under Section 8(1)(j) of the RTI Act. In view of this, no further intervention of the Commission is required in the matter.
5 CIC/IAIRF/A/2018/105306/SD 03 Jan, 2019 Raju Sindhu Vs CPIO, Directorate of Personal Services

Information requested
The Appellant sought details regarding air warriors conferred with Presidential medals, Chief and Vice Chief of Air Staff commendations as well as out of turn promotions for the Mt. Everest expeditions in 2005 and 2011; air warriors and board of officers who have been given out of turn promotions for the Mt. Everest expedition team in 2005 and 2011 etc.

Decision
Except the information covered under section 8(1)(j) of the Act the remaining information was provided by the CPIO.

The CIC while agreeing with the CPIO stated the following :-
Commission observes that apprehensions of the Appellant are devoid of any merit in light of the submissions of the CPIO. Moreover, if the citations are claimed to be available in public domain, Commission advises the Appellant to access this part of the information from the public domain itself. The appeal is disposed of accordingly.
6 CIC/POSTS/A/2018/133951 31 Jul, 2018 Shri Santosh Singh Vs. CPIO, Department of Posts

Information Sought
The appellant sought information regarding Smt. Malti Devi, W/o Late
Rajendra Prasad Singh who was appointed on 24.02.1987 on compassionate grounds after her husband’s death. He specifically sought for the husband’s name given by her at the time of her retirement on 08.02.2015; certified copies of her educational qualification; during her service whether she intimated about second marriage or not, if yes, details of the same etc. The CPIO on 15.02.2018 provided information on point nos. 1, 3, 4 and 5 and on point no. 2 the information sought was denied as her personal information. The appellant approached this Commission.

Decision
Mr. S.P. Rai, Suptd. of Offices and CPIO, submitted that the information sought by the appellant pertains to 1987 and in not currently available at their office. He also stated that since the appellant sought information such as name of
Smt Malti Devi’s husband and details about her husband’s second marriage, the Public Authority sought consent from Smt. Malti Devi, as per procedure under Section 11(1) of RTI Act, as that was third party information, and she objected to disclosure.

The applicant claimed that he had relationship with her husband and also entangled in property disputes. He alleged that after death of their relative, his wife Malti Devi took his job and after some time, married to another person. After considering the contentions of the appellant, the Commission concludes that appellant has no right to information about the public servant Smt Malti Devi’s private life.

This case stands as an example of right invocation of Section 8(1)(j), which the Commission rarely came across. Amidst thousands of cases of misuse of Section 8(1)(j), this CPIO has rightly rejected the information request to properly secure the right to privacy of his retired colleague. A woman who took the job under compassionate grounds after death of her husband will not lose her right to remarry, which is again part of her cherished right to life. As wife, she is entitled to the property of her husband, as per succession laws and also the job under this category as per the rules and policy of public authority. The contention of appellant that she cannot marry another person as she was holding the job of her first husband, or should disclose whose name she gave as her husband at the time of
retirement is illegal. Her marriage or remarriage has nothing to do with the public employment, public activity, and sans any public interest. This RTI application is totally devoid of any public purpose and absolutely motivated by selfish material interests.
7 CIC/SBIND/A/2017/103744 19 Apr, 2018 Ashok Pandit Vs CPIO, SBI, Khagaria, Bihar

ISSUE : The applicant sought the total number of KCC loans sanctioned from 5/8/16 till date along with the certified copy of the Land Possession Certificate and land receipts. No information was provided by the CPIO.
DECISION : Total number of KCC loans sanctioned for the period requested for to be given. However, LPC and land receipts are personal information of the third parties i.e the borrowers which is held by the bank in a fiduciary capacity the disclosure of which is exempted under sections 8(1)(e) and (j) of the RTI Act,2005.
8 CIC/PMOIN/A/2017/124760 19 Feb, 2018 Soni Eramath Vs CPIO, PMO

ISSUE : The applicant sought information as to whether Hon’ble President of India has administered the oath of office to the Prime Minister of India in the name of 'Mr Narendra Modi'.
The respondent stated that they had given a reply to the appellant vide their letter dated 6/1/17 indicating that the oath was administered to the Hon’ble Prime minister of India as per the provisions of the Constitution of India. The respondent further stated that Aadhar card/voter card of the Hon’ble PM cannot be revealed as per exemption under section 8(1)(j) of RTI Act, 2005
DECISION : The action/steps taken by the respondents in giving response to the RTI application is satisfactory.
9 CIC/SA/A/2016/001710/MP, CIC/SA/A/2016/001715/MP 05 Dec, 2017 Ajay Kumar Vs N I T Patna

ISSUE : The appellant had sought for details of medical bills and LTC availed by Dr Ashok , Director NIT as per proforma provided by the appellant. Not satisfied with the information provided by the CPIO, the appellant filed an appeal before the FAA. The FAA did not seem to have adjudicated on the appeal.
DECISION : The Commission directed the CPIO to provide to the applicant only the total amount of LTC claimed by Dr Ashok, Director NIT as per available record, excluding the names of family members and complying with the provisions of the RTI Act within 7 days.
10 CIC/CBODT/C/2016/299248/BJ CIC/CBODT/C/2016/299253/BJ CIC/CBODT/C/2016/299257/BJ CIC/CBODT/C/2016/299258/BJ CIC/CBODT/C/2016/300147/BJ CIC/CBODT/C/2016/300149/BJ CIC/CBODT/C/2016/300150/BJ CIC/DITIN/C/2016/299250/BJ 31 Jul, 2017 Mr. Radha Raman Tripathy Vs CPIO, Income Tax Department, Jharkhand

The Complainant vide his RTI application sought information on 02 points regarding total number of CAs and Advocates against whom cases had been filed before their disciplinary authorities for cancellation of practicing licenses, list of such cases, etc. The Commission observed that the responses provided by the CPIO were in total contradiction and disregard to the provisions of the RTI Act, 2005. Hence, the Commission, directs the CCIT, Ranchi to conduct an enquiry either by himself or through a nominee officer of senior rank and send an enquiry report to the Commission. It was observed that the action taken by the CPIO in relation to the information sought needs to be examined carefully by the CCIT, Ranchi so that the fundamental right of the information seeker is fully respected and protected.
11 CIC/POSTS/A/2017/312558 31 Jul, 2017 N J Patil vs PIO, Department of Posts

The appellant sought information on copies of documents indicating delivery of register letters to the addressee of Chorwad, Tal, Parola, Dist. Jalgaon by post of Chorwad or of Parola. CPIO denied information under section 8(1)(j) of RTI Act, 2005 and the same was upheld by the FAA. Being dissatisfied, the appellant approached this Commission. The Commission directs the respondent authority to provide complete information to the appellant and warns the CPIO not to further misuse the exemption clause Section 8 of RTI Act, within 15 days from this date. The Commission directs the CPIO, Superintendent of Post Office, Jalgaon Postal Division, to show-cause why maximum penalty should not be imposed against him for illegally denying the information to the appellant.
12 CIC/VS/A/2015/003304/SD 31 Jul, 2017 Md Matior Rahman Vs. CPIO, HQ 21 Mtn Div, PIN – 908421 C/O 56 APO

The Appellant sought various information through 27 points regarding the management, functioning, curriculum, teaching, non-teaching staff etc of Red Horns Pubic School.

CPIO is directed to provide information which is available with him/her or which he/she can access from management of the School as per the queries of the RTI Application subject to the exemptions of Section 8 of the RTI Act. CPIO shall particularly invoke Section 8(1)(j) of the RTI Act for denying personal details of third parties like academic qualifications, permanent address etc. sought vide query no. 7 and 15 of the RTI Application. Since as per above observations, RTI queries are largely unspecific, CPIO is not obligated to provide clarifications or opinions or such information which is not available in material form. In such cases, CPIO shall state categorically that information cannot be provided.
13 CIC/DDATY/A/2017/108688 31 Jul, 2017 Shri Rajinder Kumar Mahajan Vs. PIO, DDA

Vide RTI application dated 22.03.2016 addressed to CPIO, Dy. Director (CS), the appellant sought information regarding complaint filed by the Member of NPSC Coop Group Housing Society Ltd. Dwarka with Chief Engineer, DDA, Dwarka for taking action against the Management Committee/Society for carrying out repair and rehabilitation of society building structure.

The Commission held that the issue involved requires due attention of the civic authorities as it is a complaint regarding act of endangering the security and safety of the residents of the society in question. The respondent public authority shall take appropriate steps to conduct inspection of the site and furnish an action taken report clearly bringing out the extent of damage of building under reference. Needful be done within 5 weeks of receipt of this order.
14 CIC/AB/A/2016/000890-AB 25 Jul, 2017 Rekha Rani Vs CPIO, North Central Railway, DRM’s Office

The appellant sought information on 3 points, relating to her husband’s salary and allowances, name of the wife noted in the PF account of the husband and in the railway Pass and her entitlement for maintenance from the husband’s salary. The CPIO did not provide reply to the applicant.

CIC upheld the decision of CPIO under section 8 (1)(j).
15 CIC/RK/C/2016/000011 20 Jul, 2017 Shri Blair Rodrigues Vs. CPIO, Goa Shipyard Limited, Vasco-De-Gama, Goa-403802.

The complainant filed an application under the Right to Information Act, 2005 (RTI Act) before the Central Public Information Officer (CPIO), Goa Shipyard Limited, Goa seeking information on six points including, inter-alia, (i) copies of various Parliamentary questions received from 01.01.2014 to 31.12.2014 and (ii) copies of replies furnished to these Parliamentary questions.

The Commission, after hearing the submissions of both the parties and perusing the records, observed that information sought has been incorrectly denied by invoking exemptions under Sections 8(1)(c), 8(1)(i) and 8(1)(j) of the RTI Act, which are not applicable to the facts of the present case since the information sought in point nos. (a) and (b) of the RTI application, pertains to Parliamentary questions and their replies, and this cannot be said to be exempted under the RTI Act as once the questions are laid on the table of the Parliament, the same can be published and therefore, are available in public domain. The Commission with regard to point nos. (c) to (f) of the RTI application observes that information pertaining to grievance redressal, number of grievances received and copy of the promotion letter issued does not relate to personal information of a third party. Hence, the same has been incorrectly denied under Section 8(1)(j) of the RTI Act.
Total Case uploaded: 177