PIO: The copy of ACR/APAR of the Appellant was denied because he is a Defence Civilian employee - CIC: The PIO has grossly erred in denying own ACR/APAR; Provide a copy of ACR/APAR and relevant DPC note sheet after blacking out third party information
The Appellant sought copy of his ACR/APAR of last five years; service book maintained by the administrative branch and findings/outcome of DPC constituted in 2015 for promotion of Stenographer Grade-II and copy of promotion order based on findings of the DPC.
Grounds for the Second Appeal:
The CPIO has not provided the desired information.
Relevant Facts emerging during Hearing:
The following were present:-
Appellant: Present through VC.
Respondent: Lt Col Deepak Sharma, AO & Rep. of CPIO, HQ South Western Command, Pin-908546, C/o 56 APO present through VC.
Appellant stated that he is not satisfied with the reply of the CPIO.
Rep. of the CPIO submitted that copy of ACR/APAR of the Appellant has been denied because he is a Defence Civilian employee. He further submitted that he will abide by the order of the Commission.
Commission observes that the CPIO has grossly erred in denying Appellant’s own ACR/APAR to him and the reasoning provided for the denial lacks rationality. In this regard, CPIO shall also take note that the Hon’ble Supreme Court judgment in the matter of Dev Dutt Vs. Union of India & Ors has validated the disclosure of ACR remarks of a “public servant, whether in civil, judicial, police or any other State service (except the military)”. In the instant case, Appellant being a defence civilian has all the right to seek his ACR/APAR. Similarly, CPIO is only partially apt in denying information sought at para (c) of the RTI Application under Section 8(1)(e) Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, there shall be no obligation to give any citizen, information available to a person in his fiduciary relationship, unless the competent authority is satisfied that the larger public interest warrants the disclosure of such information; of the RTI Act as copy of relevant note sheet of DPC and promotion order in respect of the Appellant should have been disclosed after invoking the severability clause of Section 10 of RTI Act.
CPIO is directed to provide copy of ACR/APAR of the Appellant sought at para (a) and copy of relevant DPC note sheet and promotion order sought at para (c) of the RTI Application after appropriately blacking out portions pertaining to third party (s) in accordance with Section 10 of the RTI Act. The said information should be provided free of cost within 15 days of receipt of this order. A compliance report to this effect shall be sent to the Commission by the CPIO. The appeal is disposed of accordingly.
Divya Prakash Sinha
Citation: Deepak Gothwal v. CPIO, RTI Cell HQ South Western Command in File No: CIC/DODEF/A/2018/614493/SD, Date of Decision : 06/02/2019