Information regarding the current ownership status of the property, i.e. a copy of old documents on the basis of which the flat was mutated was denied u/s 8(1)(j) - CIC: third party has failed to give adequate reasons to justify nondisclosure
The appellant had sought information about the current ownership status of property of one Mr. Gobind Ram T. Dhameja, now deceased.
Relevant facts emerging during hearing:
The appellant was not present.
Shri Dalip Dhameja was present on behalf of the appellant.
Shri Deepak Kumar Dhameja was also present as third party.
The appellant stated that he had sought information regarding the current ownership status of the property, i.e. a copy of old documents on the basis of which the flat was mutated. The appellant feels that the title ownership should go legally to the rightful heirs and the matter should be in public domain to ensure that mutation has been done in a fair manner. The respondent stated that information was denied to the appellant as it was third party information and the third party had denied permission to provide the same. The third party namely Shri Deepak Kumar Dhameja stated that this transaction is between a private party and the MCD and hence, cannot be permitted to be given to another person because of its possibility of being misused. The respondent from MCD stated that normally such information is provided by them but in this case because of the third party’s denial it has not been done. The appellant stated that when he applied for mutation he got this reply hence the delay in the RTI application. The appellant stated that he had not signed the Relinquishment Deed for the said property. The third party stated that the mutation was done 5 years back and the Conveyance Deed by the DDA was made 12 years back. The third party also submitted a written submission in this regard.
After hearing the parties and on perusal of documents, the Commission is of the view that the appellant has a right to know about the mutation of property in this case since he as the elder brother of the third party rightfully expected his share in the property. To qualify for the exemption under 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 information must satisfy that 'disclosure of which has no relationship to any public activity or interest', i.e. the information must have been given in the course of a public activity. Various public authorities in performing their functions routinely ask for ‘personal’ information from citizens, and this is clearly a public activity. Public activities would typically include situations wherein a person applies for a job, or gives information about himself to a public authority regarding his property or asks for a permission, licence or authorisation, or provides information in discharge of a statutory obligation. The third party has produced no records or documents so as to justify non-disclosure of information sought by the appellant. However, considering the appellant’s request and the facts and circumstances of the case, it is evident that the ground on which the third party has sought exemption does not stand on reasoning. Therefore, no case is made out as the third party has failed to give adequate reasons to justify nondisclosure. Hence, the Commission disagrees with the stand taken by the third party and directs the respondent to provide the copy of documents (application, affidavits, will, indemnity, etc.) sought on the basis of which the property in question was mutated and the details regarding property tax paid as sought by the appellant in his RTI application, within three weeks from the date of receipt of this order. The appeal is disposed of accordingly.
Citation: Shri Mohan Lal Kalkaji v. South Delhi Municipal Corporation in F. No. CIC/DS/A/2012/002800-YA