Are the property returns filed by officers liable to be disclosed?
An appeal was filed with the Goa police headquarters under the Right to Information (RTI) Act seeking the details of annual property returns filed by police officers of the rank of deputy superintendents of police (DySP) and above (in traffic matters) from 1998.
The PIO of the police headquarters had rejected the application citing section 8(1)(j) Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, there shall be no obligation to give any citizen, 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 unless the Central Public Information Officer or the State Public Information Officer or the appellate authority, as the case may be, is satisfied that the larger public interest justifies the disclosure of such information: Provided that the information which cannot be denied to the Parliament or a State Legislature shall not be denied to any person. of the RTI act. The subsequent appeal to the first appellate authority, the Inspector General of police (IGP) was also rejected on the same grounds. The applicant appealed to the Goa state information commission (SIC), which held that the information could not be provided as there was no link between the information regarding the annual returns of officers of rank of DySP and above and the rest of the information regarding traffic matters.
The applicant challenged this order in Bombay High Court which contended that the applicant was not required to give any reasons for demanding the information in terms of Section 6(2) of the Right to Information Act. Hence, the court quashed the GSIC order and issued directions to the IGP for re-deciding the case.