Fiduciary Relationship although arises out of a transaction involving trust between two parties, it requires something more than mere trust to make the relationship fiduciary. It also cannot be equated with mere privacy or confidentiality 1) At the heart of fiduciary relationship lie reliance, de facto control and dominance. A fiduciary relationship exists when confidence is reposed on one side and there is resulting superiority and influence on the other. The Canadian Courts have developed the following tests for determining whether fiduciary relationship has been established, viz.
The traditional definition of a fiduciary is a person who occupies a position of trust in relation to someone else, therefore requiring him to act for the latter's benefit within the scope of that relationship. In business or law, we generally mean someone who has specific duties, such as those that attend a particular profession or role, e.g. financial analyst or trustee.
The information must be given by the holder of information when there is a choice- as when a litigant goes to a particular lawyer, or a patient goes to particular doctor. It is also necessary that the principal character of the relationship is the trust placed by the provider of information in the person to whom the information is given. An equally important characteristic for the relationship to qualify as a fiduciary relationship is that the provider of information gives the information for using it for his the benefit of the giver. When a committee is formed to give a report, the information provided by it in the report cannot be said to be given in a fiduciary relationship. All relationships usually have an element of trust, but all of them cannot be classified as fiduciary.
A fiduciary relationship 2)) is one where the key element is that the relationship is principally characterized by trust and the information is given for use only for the benefit of the giver. The traditional definition of a fiduciary is a person who occupies a position of trust in relation to someone else, therefore requiring him to act for the latter's benefit within the scope of that relationship 3)
In business or law, we generally mean someone who has specific duties, such as those that attend a particular profession or role, e.g.,financial analyst or trustee. In the case citation here: Mahesh Kumar Sharma v. PIO, Delhi Jal Board Decision the CIC noted that “a key element of the relationship between the applicant for a water connection and the Delhi Jal Board certainly cannot be said to be primarily of trust by the applicant in the Public authority, nor can it be said that the information was given for the benefit of the giver. The information was provided to get an authorization for a water connection.” 4)
In a Judgement, Supreme Court India v. S.C. Agarawal & Anr. WP (C) No. 227/2009 dated 20.09.2009(Del), it is discussed that the following kinds of relationships may broadly be categorized as fiduciary.(Ravindra Bhat J.)