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suresh Singh   29 October 2023

Denying information under rti act

In a Govt undertaking company of central government, I made a complaint against a servant regarding his misbehaviour. A Board of Inquiry has been conducted by the Govt undertaking in which Board called me for statement in inquiry. After few months, I filed a RTI Request to sought an information with all its relevant documents regarding an inquiry. But, the company denied to provide information under section 8(1)(g) & (j) of RTI Act. Can company deny such information which is requested on the complaint made by me as I'm the party of such proceedings. Please guide....



Learning

 15 Replies

T. Kalaiselvan, Advocate (Advocate)     29 October 2023

The company can deny to furnish certain information as prescribed under the referred provisions of law.

However if you are aggrieved over the decision yuo can prefer an appeal againnt the reply and seek clarification from the appellate authority. 

suresh Singh   29 October 2023

Dear sir,

Thanks for replying. But, in RTI request I have not asked any personal information. I requested for proceedings of Board of Inquiry such as order of  constitution of board of Inquiry, statments of persons related to inquiry, finding of board of inquiry. 

P. Venu (Advocate)     29 October 2023

Yes, you can file appeal. However, some among the information sought is beyond the scope of the provisions of disclosure under the Act.

1 Like

T. Kalaiselvan, Advocate (Advocate)     29 October 2023

Thanks for your appreciation, you may proceed with the appeal as suggested

1 Like

kavksatyanarayana (subregistrar/supdt.(retired))     29 October 2023

Yes. You go for appeal.

1 Like

Dr. J C Vashista (Advocate and Legal Consultant)     30 October 2023

Whether the company is a "public authority" as provided in section 2(h) of the Right to Information Act, 2005 ?

suresh Singh   30 October 2023

Yes. It's comes under department of defence production 

kavksatyanarayana (subregistrar/supdt.(retired))     30 October 2023

Go for appeal.................

1 Like

T. Kalaiselvan, Advocate (Advocate)     30 October 2023

The department is placed in Second Schedule of RTI Act, 2005 and is exempt from disclosure of information under Section 24(1) except information pertaining to the allegations of corruption and human rights violations.

As you are enquiring about the board of inquiry proceedings, the department cannot refuse to furnish the details, hence it is suggested that you prefer an appeal against the reply 

1 Like

SAM (LEGAL)     30 October 2023

File First Appeal before the Appellate Authority and attend personal hearing. Hope they will give you required details which you have asked

1 Like

T. Kalaiselvan, Advocate (Advocate)     31 October 2023

The information officer who denied to furnish the  requisitioned information citing some reasons without applicaiton  of mind, you are automatically eligible to prefer an appeal against the aggrieved decision.

Therefore you prefer a first  appeal and wait for 30 days from the date of sending the appeal, if there is no response or if the first appeal is also unfavorable then you can prefer a second appeal to have more proper elucidation on the issue 

1 Like

Sudhir Kumar, Advocate (Advocate)     02 November 2023

given facts indicate the action of department to be correct.

1 Like

LCI Thought Leader Adv Harsh Malhotra (Adv)     10 November 2023

Grounds for Rejection of RTI –

Citizens now have the legal right to access information held by public authorities thanks to the historic Right to Information Act of 2005 (RTI Act). All public authorities, including government departments, government projects, and businesses that are largely funded or under government control, are subject to the RTI Act.

An important tool for encouraging accountability and openness in the operations of Indian public authorities is the Right to Information Act (RTI) of 2005. By giving people the ability to access information under the jurisdiction of public authorities, it empowers citizens. On the other hand, under certain Act provisions, information may be withheld in certain situations. In light of a complaint filed by a party to the proceedings, this article critically investigates the issue of a central government undertaking company refusing to provide information in violation of Sections 8(1)(g) and (j) of the RTI Act.

Information may be withheld under Section 8(1)(g) of the RTI Act if disclosing it would put someone's life or physical safety in danger. In a similar vein, Section 8(1)(j) permits the withholding of personal information that is not necessary for the public interest. These clauses are essential for safeguarding people's safety and interests as well as guaranteeing the privacy of specific kinds of data.  Examining the particulars and the type of information requested is crucial when a government undertaking company denies access to information, citing Sections 8(1)(g) and (j) of the RTI Act. Although the Act permits information denials under these sections, it is important to assess whether the denials are justified and whether the grounds for the denials are in line with the Act.

  • Section 8(1)(g) of the RTI Act : If the disclosure would endanger the life and physical safety of any person or identify the source of information or assistance given in confidence for law enforcement or security purposes, then public authority is exempted from disclosure of such information.
  • Section 8(1)(j) of the RTI Act, summarises information pertaining to personal data whose disclosure is unrelated to any public activity or interest, or which would result in an unjustified invasion of an individual's privacy, unless the CPIO, SPIO, or Appellate Authority determine that the disclosure of such data is justified by the greater good of the public and should be exempted from disclosure.

Information pertaining to complaints is not expressly shielded from disclosure by the RTI Act. However, under Section 8(1)(j) of the Act, a government undertaking company may be able to refuse such information if it is convinced that disclosing the information would result in an unjustified invasion of the person's privacy. For instance, if a company servant is the target of a complaint about misconduct, the company may be able to withhold information about the complaint if it determines that disclosing the information would identify the complainant or the servant and result in an unjustified invasion of their privacy.

The Supreme Court of India ruled in the case of Central Public Information Officer v. Subhash Chandra Agarwal that the RTI Act is a "powerful tool" that citizens can use to hold public authorities accountable and that the disclosure exceptions must be read carefully.

The Court further held that the right to privacy must be weighed against the right to access information because it is not an absolute right. The Supreme Court ruled that "the right to access information must be given precedence over the right to privacy when the information sought is of public interest." Government undertaking companies may withhold information pertaining to a complaint under Sections 8(1)(g) and (j) of the RTI Act, but only in cases where the complainant or servant faces a substantial risk of harm. In order to uphold democratic values, this denial must be supported within the bounds of the Act, encouraging accountability and transparency.

A person aggrieved by wrongful denial of information under section 8(1)(g) & (j) can resort to appeal to First Appellate Authority followed by Second Appeal to Central/Central Information Commission by citing various judicial precedents to support his/her case that information withheld cannot be denied.

1 Like

suresh Singh   10 November 2023

Thank you sir 


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