WP(C) 3114/2007, Bhagat Singh Vs. CIC & Anrs
This right, to information, was explicitly held to be a fundamental right under Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution of India for the first time by Justice KK Mathew in State of UP v. Raj Narain, (1975) 4 SCC 428. This view was followed by the Supreme Court on a number of decisions and after public demand, the Right to Information Act, 2005 was enacted and brought into force.
Access to information, under Section 3 of the Act, is the rule and exemptions under Section 8, the exception. Section 8 being a restriction on this fundamental right, must therefore is to be strictly construed. It should not be interpreted in manner as to shadow the very right itself.
Under Section 8, exemption from releasing information is granted if it would impede the process of investigation or the prosecution of the offenders. It is apparent that the mere existence of an investigation process cannot be a ground for refusal of the information; the authority withholding information must show satisfactory reasons as to why the release of such information would hamper the investigation process. Such reasons should be germane, and the opinion of the process being hampered should be reasonable and based on some material.
Sans this consideration, Section 8(1)(h) and other such provisions would become the haven for dodging demands for information.
WP(C) 3114/2007, Bhagat Singh Vs. CIC & Anrs (40.28 KiB, 1y ago, 0 downloads)
The Public Authority need to demonstrate that the information if disclosed would indeed “hamper” or “interfere” with the investigation. The burden is on the public authority to show in what manner the disclosure of such information would 'impede' the investigation. The mere reproducing of the wording of the statute would not be sufficient when recourse is had to Section 8 (1) (h) RTI Act.
Disclosure of information is the rule and non-disclosure the exception. A public authority which seeks to withhold information available with it has to show that the information sought is of the nature specified in Section 8 RTI Act.
A co-ordinate Bench of this Court in the case of B.S. Mathur v. Public Information Officer of Delhi High Court: W.P.(C) 295/2011, decided on 03.06.2011 had considered the contention with regard to withholding information under Section 8(1)(h) of the Act
9. The question that arises for consideration has already been formulated in the Court's order dated 21st April 2011: Whether the disclosure of the information sought by the Petitioner to the extent not supplied to him yet would “impede the investigation” in terms of Section 8 (1) (h) RTI Act? The scheme of the RTI Act, its objects W.P.(C) No. 3543/2014 Page 4 of 6 and reasons indicate that disclosure of information is the rule and non-disclosure the exception. A public authority which seeks to withhold information available with it has to show that the information sought is of the nature specified in Section 8 RTI Act. As regards Section 8 (1) The relevant decision Delhi High Court “Adesh Kumar vs Union Of India & Ors. on 16 December, 2014” is referred and attached with this article.
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Adesh Kumar Vs Union of India (219.83 KiB, 1y ago, 0 downloads)
Information can not be disclosed if action for prosecution of offenders is initiated (Shri Vinod Kumar Vs Directorate General of Central Excise Intelligence (No.CIC/AT/A/2010/000910/SS dated 31.05.2011)
Information can not be disclosed to an offender against whom prosecution under Cr PC is lodged in the court of law. Case No. CIC/SS/A/2011/000684 Shri L.S. Chandalia V/s Directorate General of Central Excise Intelligence, New Delhi
Public authority cannot be obligated to explain its process of investigation and decision making to the litigant with whom it is engaged in a legal matter. The case of Shri Milap Choraria V/s CBDT(No.CIC/AT/C/2008/00025 dated 27-7-2009)
When investigations are in progress, documents can not be disclosed. The case of Dr. B.L. Malhotra Vs. The National Small Industries Corporation Ltd. (No. 783/IC(A)2007 dated 06.06.2007).
Information on ongoing investigation (Sections 8(1)(g) and 8(1)(h) of the RTI Act. In the case of Ravinder Kumar vs. B.S. Bassi, Joint Commissioner, Police (F.No. CIC/AT/A/2006/00004, dated 30.06.2006). It ruled that the disclosure of information, in cases under investigation by the police was exempted, according to the provisions of Sections 8(1)(g) and 8(1)(h) of theRTI Act. It is justified not to disclose information in cases of ongoing police investigations (which have not yet been completed), because such a disclosure could hamper the investigation process.
Disclosure in case of pending departmental enquiry (Section 8(1)(h) of the RTI Act. The case of Sarvesh Kaushal Vs. F.C.I and others (Appeal Nos. 243 /ICPB /2006 and 244 / ICPB /2006, dated 27.12.2006). The departmental enquiry, which was in progress against him, was a pending investigation under law, and the same attracted the provisions of Section 8(1)(h).
Public authority to disclose information if public interest out weighs the harm to the protected interests (Section 8 (1)(g) and 8(1)(h) of the RTIAct). The case of S.R. Goyal vs. PIO, Services Department, Delhi (Appeal No. CIC / WB/A/20060523, dated 26.3.2007
There is no justification at this stage to interfere with the process of Disciplinary Proceedings, which is a quasi-judicial function. The denial of information sought under Section 8(1)(h) of the RTI Act, 2005 is therefore justified. The case of Shri B.S. Manian Vs. Department of Posts, (Decision No. 92/IC(A)/2007 F. No.CIC/PB/A/2007/00405 dated, 20.06.2007
Disclosure of information to a person involved and responsible for contributing to the fraud is exempt under Section 8(1)(h) of the RTI Act, 2005. Mr. M.B.S. Manian Vs. Department of Posts