Feedback   New User   Login      
Tax Management India. Com TMI - Tax Management India. Com
Acts / Rules Notifications Circulars Tariff/ ITC HSN Forms Case Laws Manuals Short Notes Articles SMS News Highlights
        Home        
Extracts
Home List
← Previous Next →

Union Public Service Commission Versus G.S. Sandhu, Shatmanyu Sharma, Sh. Sahadeva Singh And K.L. Manhas

2013 (10) TMI 1478 - DELHI HIGH COURT

W.P.(C) 4079/2013, W.P.(C) 2/2013, W.P.(C) 8/2013 And W.P.(C) 5630/2013 - Dated:- 10-10-2013 - V.K. JAIN, J. For the Petitioner : Mr Naresh Kaushik and Ms Aditi Gupta and Mr Vardhman Kaushik, Advs. For the Respondent : Mr Subhiksh Vasudev, Adv., Mr Praveen Singh, Adv with respondent in person. And Counsel JUDGMENT V.K.JAIN, J. 1. The issue involved in these petitions as to whether the copies of office notings recorded on the file of UPSC and the correspondence exchanged between UPSC and the Depa .....

X X X X X X X

Extract - Part text only
Click here to Access Full Contents

X X X X X X X

him before the First Appellate Authority. Since the appeal filed by him was dismissed, the respondent approached the Central Information Commission (hereinafter referred to as the Commission ) by way of a second appeal. Vide impugned order dated 1.5.2013, the Commission rejected the contention of the petitioner - UPSC that the said information was exempt from disclosure under Section 8(1) (e), (g) & (j) of the Right to Information Act (the Act) and directed the petitioner to disclose the fi .....

X X X X X X X

Extract - Part text only
Click here to Access Full Contents

X X X X X X X

aving been denied by the CPIO as well as the First Appellate Authority, the respondent approached the Commission by way of a second appeal. The Commission vide the impugned order dated 26.9.2012 directed the petitioner to provide, to the respondent, the photocopies of the relevant file after masking the signatures of the officers including other identity marks. Being aggrieved, the petitioner - UPSC is before this Court seeking quashing of the aforesaid order passed by the Commission. 3. In W.P( .....

X X X X X X X

Extract - Part text only
Click here to Access Full Contents

X X X X X X X

charge-sheet against the respondent. The petitioner being aggrieved from the said order is before this Court by way of this petition. 4. In W.P(C) No.8/2013, the respondent before this Court sought information with respect to the advice given by UPSC in a case of disciplinary proceedings instituted against him. The said information, however, was denied by the CPIO of UPSC. Feeling aggrieved, the respondent preferred an appeal before the First Appellate Authority. The appeal, however, came to be .....

X X X X X X X

Extract - Part text only
Click here to Access Full Contents

X X X X X X X

hich seeks its advice and the information provided by the Department is held by UPSC in trust for it. The said information, therefore, is exempted from disclosure under Section 8(1)(e) of the Act (ii) the file notings and the correspondences exchanged between UPSC and the department seeking its advice may contain information relating not only to the information seeker but also to other persons and departments and institutions, which, being personal information, is exempt from disclosure under Se .....

X X X X X X X

Extract - Part text only
Click here to Access Full Contents

X X X X X X X

ssed by the person against whom the note was recorded. Such an information, therefore, is exempt from disclosure under Section 8(1)(g) of the Act and (iv) the notings recorded by UPSC officer on the file are only inputs given to the Commission to enable it to render an appropriate advice to the concerned department and are not binding upon the Commission. Therefore, such information is not really necessary for the employee who is facing departmental inquiry, since he is concerned only with the a .....

X X X X X X X

Extract - Part text only
Click here to Access Full Contents

X X X X X X X

e larger public interest warrants the disclosure of such information; xxx (g) information, the disclosure of which would endanger the life or physical safety of any person or identify the source of information or assistance given in confidence for law enforcement or security purposes;; xxx (j) information which relates to personal information the disclosure of which has no relationship to any public activity or interest, or which would cause unwarranted invasion of the privacy of the individual .....

X X X X X X X

Extract - Part text only
Click here to Access Full Contents

X X X X X X X

s the department which seeks its advice and the information provided by the department is held by UPSC in trust for the said department or not. The expression fiduciary relationship came to be considered by the Hon ble Supreme Court in Central Board of Secondary Education and Another versus Aditya Bandopadhyay & Ors. [Civil Appeal No.6454 of 2011] and the following view was taken: 21. The term fiduciary refers to a person having a duty to act for the benefit of another, showing good faith an .....

X X X X X X X

Extract - Part text only
Click here to Access Full Contents

X X X X X X X

tage of the beneficiary, and use good faith and fairness in dealing with the beneficiary or the things belonging to the beneficiary. If the beneficiary has entrusted anything to the fiduciary, to hold the thing in trust or to execute certain acts in regard to or with reference to the entrusted thing, the fiduciary has to act in confidence and expected not to disclose the thing or information to any third party. There are also certain relationships where both the parties have to act in a fiduciar .....

X X X X X X X

Extract - Part text only
Click here to Access Full Contents

X X X X X X X

and information, to be retained in confidence, the employer, the official superior or departmental head is expected to hold such personal information in confidence as a fiduciary, to be made use of or disclosed only if the employee s conduct or acts are found to be prejudicial to the employer. 22. ...the words information available to a person in his fiduciary relationship are used in section 8(1)(e) of RTI Act in its normal and well recognized sense, that is to refer to persons who act in a fid .....

X X X X X X X

Extract - Part text only
Click here to Access Full Contents

X X X X X X X

rence to another partner, a director of a company with reference to a share-holder, an executor with reference to a legatee, a receiver with reference to the parties to a lis, an employer with reference to the confidential information relating to the employee, and an employee with reference to business dealings/transaction of the employer. .. The aforesaid expression also came up for consideration of the Apex Court in Bihar Public Service Commission versus Saiyed Hussain Abbas Rizwi & Anr. [ .....

X X X X X X X

Extract - Part text only
Click here to Access Full Contents

X X X X X X X

ions. This aspect has been discussed in some detail in the judgment of this Court in the case of Central Board of Secondary Education (supra). xxx 24...The information may come to knowledge of the authority as a result of disclosure by others who give that information in confidence and with complete faith, integrity and fidelity. Secrecy of such information shall be maintained, thus, bringing it within the ambit of fiduciary capacity... 8. The advice from UPSC is taken by the Disciplinary Author .....

X X X X X X X

Extract - Part text only
Click here to Access Full Contents

X X X X X X X

btaining its advice normally would be the information pertaining to the employee against whom disciplinary proceedings have been initiated. Ordinarily such information would already be available with the concerned employee having been supplied to him while seeking his explanation, along with the charge-sheet or during the course of the inquiry. The UPSC, while giving its advice, cannot take into consideration any material, which is not available or is not to be made available to the concerned em .....

X X X X X X X

Extract - Part text only
Click here to Access Full Contents

X X X X X X X

other than the employee against whom disciplinary proceedings are sought to be initiated or are held, it would be difficult to accept the contention that there is a fiduciary relationship between UPSC and the department seeking its advice or that the information pertaining to such an employee is held by UPSC in trust. Such a plea, in my view, can be taken only when the information is sought by someone other than the employee to whom the information pertains. 9. The learned counsel for the petiti .....

X X X X X X X

Extract - Part text only
Click here to Access Full Contents

X X X X X X X

learned Single Judge of this Court in UPSC versus R.K. Jain [W.P(C) No.1243/2011 dated 13.7.2012, the order passed by the Division Bench was an order dismissing the application for restoration of the LPA and was not an order on merit and, therefore, it was not a decision on any legal proposition rendered by the Court on merit. It was further held that mere prima facie observation of the Division Bench does not constitute a binding precedent. Therefore, reliance upon the aforesaid order in LPA N .....

X X X X X X X

Extract - Part text only
Click here to Access Full Contents

X X X X X X X

re under Section 8(1)(j) of the RTI Act. The first appeal filed by the respondent having been dismissed, he approached the Commission which directed the CPIO to invite him on a mutually convenient date and show the relevant record to him. He was also allowed to obtain photocopies of some of such record. Being aggrieved from the order passed by the Commission, UPSC approached this Court by way of the aforesaid petition and the contention raised by the UPSC was that the aforesaid information was e .....

X X X X X X X

Extract - Part text only
Click here to Access Full Contents

X X X X X X X

G.S. Narang was on account of their position as that of a beneficiary and that the position of the petitioner was that of a trustee . The officers concerned who were involved in the opinion/advice making process acted in the discharge of their official/public duties. In any event, as aforesaid, the interest of such an officer can be effectively and sufficiently safeguarded by resort to Section 10 of the Act. 55. Therefore, what emerges from the aforesaid is that opinions/advices tendered/given .....

X X X X X X X

Extract - Part text only
Click here to Access Full Contents

X X X X X X X

- the first being the information disclosure of which would endanger the life or physical safety of any person and second being the information which would identify the source of information or assistance given in confidence for law enforcement or security purposes. The two parts of the clause are independent of each other - meaning thereby that exemption from disclosure on account of danger to the life or physical safety of any person can be ground of exemption irrespective of who had given the .....

X X X X X X X

Extract - Part text only
Click here to Access Full Contents

X X X X X X X

sion used by the Legislature must be given its intended meaning and, in fact, a purposeful interpretation. The expression life has to be construed liberally. Physical safety is a restricted term while life is a term of wide connotation. Life includes reputation of an individual as well as the right to live with freedom. The expression life also appears in Article 21 of the Constitution and has been provided a wide meaning so as to inter alia include within its ambit the right to live with dignit .....

X X X X X X X

Extract - Part text only
Click here to Access Full Contents

X X X X X X X

f assault to physical existence of a person. If in the opinion of the concerned authority there is danger to life or possibility of danger to physical safety, the State Information Commission would be entitled to bring such case within the exemption of Section 8(1)(g) of the Act. The disclosure of information which would endanger the life or physical safety of any person is one category and identification of the source of information or assistance given in confidence for law enforcement or secur .....

X X X X X X X

Extract - Part text only
Click here to Access Full Contents

X X X X X X X

ct of the Section requires such interpretation. 11. In my view, the apprehension of the petitioner that if the identity of the author of the file notings is revealed by his name, designation or in any other manner, there is a possibility of such an employee being targeted, harassed and even intimidated by the persons against whom an adverse noting is recorded by him on the file of UPSC, is fully justified. Though, ultimately it is for the members of the UPSC who are to accept or reject such noti .....

X X X X X X X

Extract - Part text only
Click here to Access Full Contents

X X X X X X X

tected. However, the purpose can be fully achieved by blocking the name, designation or any other indication which would disclose or tend to disclose the identity of the author of the noting. Denying the notings altogether would not be justified when the intended objective can be fully achieved by adopting such safeguards. 12. Personal Information As regards clause (j), it would be difficult to dispute that the exemption cannot be claimed when the information is sought by none other than the per .....

X X X X X X X

Extract - Part text only
Click here to Access Full Contents

X X X X X X X

the ground that it is exempted from disclosure under clause 8(1)(j) of the Act. 13. As regards the contention that the notings recorded by the employees of UPSC are not necessary for the information seeker since he is concerned with the ultimate opinion rendered by UPSC to his department and not with various notings which are recorded by the officer of the Commission, I find the same to be devoid of any merit. While seeking information under the Right to Information Act, the application is not .....

X X X X X X X

Extract - Part text only
Click here to Access Full Contents

X X X X X X X

ersus Aditya Bandopadhyay & Ors. (supra): 37. The right to information is a cherished right. Information and right to information are intended to be formidable tools in the hands of responsible citizens to fight corruption and to bring in transparency and accountability. The provisions of RTI Act should be enforced strictly and all efforts should be made to bring to light the necessary information under clause (b) of section 4(1) of the Act which relates to securing transparency and accounta .....

X X X X X X X

Extract - Part text only
Click here to Access Full Contents

X X X X X X X

mation (unrelated to transparency and accountability in the functioning of public authorities and eradication of corruption) would be counter-productive 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, tranquility .....

X X X X X X X

Extract - Part text only
Click here to Access Full Contents

X X X X X X X

 

 

 

 

 

Discussion Forum
what is new what is new
 


Share:            

|| Home || About us || Feedback || Contact us || Disclaimer || Terms of Use || Privacy Policy || TMI Database || Members ||

© Taxmanagementindia.com [A unit of MS Knowledge Processing Pvt. Ltd.] All rights reserved.

Go to Mobile Version