Are tenders of an army regiment liable for disclosure?
The appellant sought information regarding various types of funds/ budgets allotted to a army unit and the expenses/ disbursement/ procurement for financial year 2009-2010. He sought detailed information about the rate comparative statement, invoice/ bill and other record copies. The PIO provided some information while holing that information about various types of funds/ procurement etc. and payments made to contractors cannot be divulged as it compromises national security and is therefore exempt under section 8(1)(a) Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, there shall be no obligation to give any citizen, information, disclosure of which would prejudicially affect the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security, strategic, scientific or economic interests of the State, relation with foreign State or lead to incitement of an offence; of RTI Act. The PIO also informed that some information is withheld under section 7 (9) of the RTI Act. The Commission had adjourned this matter to another date but due to administrative reasons, the notice to this effect did not reach the Public Authority. The Commission noted that an army captain has travelled all the way from Suratgarh (Rajasthan) and requests for the hearing today so that he does not have to appear before the Commission again at considerable Government cost. The commission took up the case on request.
View of CIC
The appellant claimed that information should be provided free of cost on account of delay in providing the information by the PIO. The Commission ruled that the appellant is entitled for part of the information subject to his depositing requisite fee with the PIO. The Commission directed to copies of the rate contract comparative statement of the tenders and copies of contractor’s Invoice. The Commission further held that no information will be disclosed regarding ATG & TTG heads as doing so would disclose the training philosophy of the Regiment which is not in the interest of the national security.
Citation: Shri Manoj Kumar Jain Vs HQ 6 Independent Armored Brigade c/o 56 APO in File no. CIC/LS/A/2011/002094