Information relating to a mercy petition was denied claiming that it is part of documents leading to the advice tendered to the President of India which is privileged under Article 74(2) of the Constitution - CIC: it cannot be disclosed under the RTI Act
O R D E R
1. The appellant filed an RTI application on 27-11-2012 requesting for a certified copy of all documents pertaining to a certain mercy petition in context of the points made in the RTI application.
2. The CPIO responded on 16-1-2013, denying the information to the appellant under Article 74(2) of the Constitution of India on ground that it was a privileged document. The appellant filed an appeal with the first appellate authority (FAA) on 2812003. The FAA did not respond. The appellant filed a second appeal with the Commission on 1-7-2013.
3. The respondent was present during the hearing.
4. The respondent stated that the appellant was seeking information relating to the documents pertaining to a mercy petition. The respondent stated that the RTI application of the appellant was received in the Ministry of Home Affairs on 17-12-2012 through the President’s Secretariat.
5. The respondent stated that the documents are part of the documents leading to the advice tendered to the President of India. The respondent stated that the appellant was informed on 16-1-2013 that copies of documents as sought by him were privileged under Article 74(2) of the Constitution of India and the same could not be disclosed under the RTI Act.
6. The respondent elaborated that such matters according to the Article 74(2) cannot be enquired into by any court, which also implies that this should not be taken up by the Central Information Commission under the RTI Act.
7. The action taken by the respondent is in conformity with the RTI Act.
8. The appellant did not participate in the hearing.
9. The response given by the respondent to the appellant is upheld. There is no need for any further intervention in the matter by the Commission. Appeal is disposed of. Copy of this order be given free of cost to the parties.
Citation: Shri Ehtesham Qutubuddin Siddiqui v. Ministry of Home Affairs in Decision No.CIC/SS/A/2013/002059/VS/07101