CIC cannot direct disclosure of any information while deciding a complaint filed u/s 18
An application filed under the Right to Information (RTI) Act was disposed of by the Cabinet Secretariat by transferring the same under section 6(3) of RTI Act to the Ministry of Defence under intimation to the applicant. The appellant filed a complaint under section 18 of the RTI Act before the Central Information Commission (CIC) seeking directions to the Cabinet Secretariat to furnish the file records/ documents/ reports requested for in the original RTI application within 48 hours and argued that the desired information was essential for the exercise of his right to effective appeal/ review.
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The Central Information Commission (CIC) did not find merit in the arguments offered by the complainant in favor of his claim for getting information within 48 hours in terms of the provisions of the proviso to Section 7(1) Subject to the proviso to sub-section (2) of section 5 or the proviso to subsection (3) of section 6, the Central Public Information Officer or State Public Information Officer, as the case may be, on receipt of a request under section 6 shall, as expeditiously as possible, and in any case within thirty days of the receipt of the request, either provide the information on payment of such fee as may be prescribed or reject the request for any of the reasons specified in sections 8 and 9: of the RTI Act. The CIC observed that it is not clear how that information concerns anybody’s life or liberty, a precondition for disclosing the information within 48 hours. The Commission referred to the decision of the Supreme Court in the civil appeal nos.10787, 10788 of 2011, where it was held that the CIC cannot direct disclose any information while dealing with any complaint case under Section 18 of the Right to Information Act. The Commission disposed the appeal under section 18 as the desired information does not concern life or liberty within the meaning of the proviso to Section 7 (1) of the RTI Act.
Citation: Mr. M G Devasahayam v Cabinet Secretariat in File No.CIC/SM/C/2012/000538
RTI Citation : RTIFI/2012/CIC/683
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