PIO: Sharing of location is not allowed to anyone, including the owner - CIC: As the appellant is seeking information regarding the details & location of his own mobile, the same cannot be said to be a third party information; No exemption claimed by PIO
The appellant has sought the following information:
1. Certified copy of cell wise location of appellant’s official mobile Number 942542599 for the period from 05/08/2016 to 28/02/2017.
2. Certified copy of all the letters written by Shri D.S Tekam, District Secretary, BSNLEU, Sagar and Shri Prakash Sharma, Circle Secretary, BSNLEU, M.P. Circle, to the Chief General Manager, M.P. Telecom, Bhopal w.e.f. 01.02.2017 to 31.03.2018.
3. Action taken report on each letter written above as per point No. 2 along with all official correspondence /letters with file notings.
4. And other related information.
Grounds for filing Second Appeal
The appellant has stated in his RTI application that he is not satisfied with the information provided on point Nos. 1,2,3,4 and 5. On point No. 6, the CPIO has provided incomplete information.
Submissions made by Appellant and Respondent during Hearing:
The appellant submitted that he is not satisfied with the reply of the CPIO as the desired information was not provided to him. On point no. 1, he stated that he had sought information about his own mobile number and that should be provided to him.
The CPIO submitted that the relevant information was provided to the appellant through various letters dated 02.11.2018, 01.01.2019 &11.01.2019.
With regard to point no. 1, he submitted that the information about the location of any mobile cannot be provided to any person. For points no. 2 & 3, the CPIO submitted that the information sought by the appellant was not specific as he had sought information about all the letters written by Shri D.S Tekam and Shri Prakash Sharma, Circle, to the Chief General Manager, M.P. Telecom, Bhopal w.e.f 01.2.2017 to 31.3.2018 and action taken on them.
There are numerous letters in the office files and the appellant should have been more specific about the letter No. or the issue of the letter regarding which he wanted the information. Hence, a reply to that effect was given to him.
On a query by the Commission to the CPIO that as the appellant is seeking information regarding the details and location of his own mobile number, the same cannot be said to be a third party information neither any exemption was claimed by the CPIO, the CPIO stated that they are not allowed to share this information with any one, including the owner of the mobile number by the concerned authorities. While the CPIO was making his submissions, the appellant at this point started interrupting the submissions of the CPIO and showed disorderly behaviour during the hearing. Despite repeated requests he failed to maintain the decorum of the Commission. He was told that his grievance cannot be sorted out by the Commission as this is purely an internal matter of the organisation. It is pertinent to mention here that the mandate of the Commission was to ensure that he received an appropriate reply to his RTI application. However, since most of the submissions were already made by both the parties, the Commission was constrained to disconnect the audioconferencing and decide the case on the basis of the documents on the records of the Commission and the submissions recorded so far.
From a perusal of the relevant case records, it is noted that the reply of the CPIO is not proper on point no. 1 as the appellant has sought information about his own mobile number which cannot be said to be exempted u/s 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. Moreover, the CPIO was also not able to convince the Commission under which provision of the RTI Act, the information is not to be disclosed. In view of this, the CPIO is directed to provide a revised reply to the appellant on this point and if any exemption is claimed by him, the same should be properly justified under the relevant provisions of the RTI Act. For point no. 2 & 3, the submissions of the CPIO are justified that there may be numerous letters written by Shri D.S Tekam and Shri Prakash Sharma, Circle, to the Chief General Manager, M.P. Telecom, Bhopal w.e.f. 01.2.2017 to 31.3.2018 and possibly these letters may have been dealt with in separate files under different heads. Therefore, providing such vast information is not possible for the CPIO. However, if the appellant is interested to get the information on these points, he may specify to the CPIO what letters he is referring to or the relevant letter number or refer to the contents of such letters, then possibly the CPIO may be able to give some information. The appellant is, therefore, directed to specify what information is required by him on points no. 2 & 3. After receipt of the revised query from the appellant, the CPIO may provide the relevant information to the appellant as available with them. For the rest of the points, the reply of the CPIO is proper.
In view of the above, the appellant is directed to specify the information sought by him on points no. 2 & 3 as per the discussions held during the hearing within a period of 15 days after the lockdown is lifted. After the receipt of the revised query, the CPIO should provide the relevant information to the appellant on these points alongwith a revised reply on point no.1 as per the above observation within a total period of 20 more days after receipt of the revised query from the appellant. In case, the appellant fails to specify the information sought by him on points no. 2 & 3, the CPIO is directed to provide a revised reply to point no. 1 only within the same period under intimation to the Commission.
The appeal is disposed of accordingly.
Vanaja N. Sarna
Citation: Santosh Kumar v. BSNL in File no.: CIC/BSNLD/A/2019/107898, Date of Decision: 11/06/2020