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August 24, 2011

Suspension orders, charge sheets not personal info: CIC

Rajesh Kumawat | 22:24 | | Best Blogger Tips

Suspension orders and charge sheets issued to government officials should be disclosed under the RTI as these are not personal information, the Central Information Commission has held.

The transparency panel held that charge sheets and suspension orders are issued as part of public activity and cannot qualify as personal information, hence should be disclosed to RTI applicants.

The case relates to an RTI application filed by Jayalaxmi who sought to know the names of Syndicate Bank officials who are on suspension and those against whom charge sheets have been served.

The bank rejected the information saying that there is no public interest involved in the application, it is of third party information and further, it would impede the process of investigation and departmental enquiry.

During the appeal hearing, the CIC said all relationships usually have an element of trust, but all of them cannot be classified as fiduciary.

Information Commissioner Shailesh Gandhi said an important characteristic for the relationship to qualify as a fiduciary relationship is that the information provider gives the information for using it for the benefit of the one who is providing the information.

"The information like names, designation and branch of the employees/officers working in Karnataka state who are under suspension from the services of the bank and further who are issued with charge sheet as on date has not been provided by the officers to Syndicate Bank and hence it cannot be said to held in a fiduciary capacity," Information Commissioner Shailesh Gandhi said.

Gandhi said the Public Information Officer has failed to explain how such disclosure would actually be an impediment to the process of prosecution.

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