Disclosure of file notings relating to the sanction for prosecution under RTI
A section officer in Ministry of Defence (MoD) was prosecuted by CBI for certain criminal offences and the competent authority accorded sanction for prosecution against him. In this connection, he sought the name of the appointing authority of a section officer and the copies of file notings related with the sanction for prosecution accorded against him. He was denied the file notings related with the prosecution.
During the hearing before the Central Information Commission (CIC), the appellant submitted that he has been denied information on the file notings and further strongly pleaded for the disclosure of the requested information on the ground that he needs it for canvassing his case in the court of law for the quashing of the proceedings. The officers of the MoD contended that disclosure of requested information will be prejudicial to the prosecution case and that disclosure of such information was barred under section 8 (1) (h) of the RTI Act.
View of CIC
The Central Information Commission (CIC) referred to the Delhi High Court order WP (C) No.16712 / 2006 (Surinder Pal Singh vs. Union of India & Ors) in which the court declined the request of the petitioner for the information regarding sanction of his prosecution which may impede the prosecution of offender cannot be faulted in the facts and circumstances. The Commission held that the ratio of the above decision squarely applies in the present case and the disclosure of requested information is barred from disclosure under section 8 (1) (h) of the RTI Act. The Commission upheld the decision and dismissed the appeal.
The decision of the different benches of the CIC has been different in this regard and the CIC needs to take a unified stand on the issue.
Citation: Mr. S. Kasimayan v. o/o Jt.Secy. (Trg.) & CAO/MoD in File No.CIC/LS/A/2011/002875
RTI Citation : RTIFI/2012/CIC/601
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