इलाहाबाद हाई कोर्ट की लखनऊ बेंच ने कहा है कि भारतीय वन सेवा (आईएफएस) अफसरों के निलंबन तथा विभागीय कार्यवाही से जुडी सूचना उनकी व्यक्तिगत सूचना होती है तथा इस कारण उसे जन सूचना अधिकार में दिए जाने की जरुरत नहीं है.
जस्टिस पंकज कुमार जायसवाल तथा जस्टिस रजनीश कुमार की बेंच ने यह आदेश याची एक्टिविस्ट डॉ नूतन ठाकुर, राज्य सरकार के अधिवक्ता क्यू एच रिज़वी तथा राज्य सूचना आयोग के अधिवक्ता शिखर आनंद को सुनने के बाद दिया.
नूतन ने आईएफएस अफसरों के बारे में यह जानकारी मांगी थी जो वन विभाग तथा राज्य सूचना आयोग द्वारा मना कर दी गयी थी. उन्होंने कहा था कि उनके प्रार्थनापत्र को ख़ारिज करने का कोई कारण नहीं बताया गया था तथा उन्हें सूचना मिलनी चाहिए.
सूचना आयोग के अधिवक्ता शिखर आनंद ने कहा था कि सुप्रीम कोर्ट ने गिरीश रामचंद्र देशपांडे, सी एस श्याम तथा अन्य केस में यह स्पष्ट कर दिया है कि एक कर्मी का प्रदर्शन मुख्य रूप से नियोक्ता तथा कर्मी के बीच का मामला होता है और यह सामान्यतया सेवा नियमावली से बंधा होता है, जो व्यक्तिगत सूचना में आता है, जिसका लोक कार्य या लोकहित से कोई संबंध नहीं होता है.
हाई कोर्ट ने कहा कि नूतन ने 01 जनवरी 2008 से सूचना देने की तिथि तक आईएफएस अफसरों के विषय में जो सूचना मांगी है, वह सुप्रीम कोर्ट द्वारा स्थापित नियमों की परिधि में आता है तथा सूचना का अधिकार अधिनियम 2005 की धारा 8(1)(जे) में व्यक्तिगत सूचना होने के कारण निषिद्ध है.
HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT ALLAHABAD, LUCKNOW BENCH
?Court No. – 1
Case :- MISC. BENCH No. – 13074 of 2019
Petitioner :- Dr. Nutan Thakur
Respondent :- U.P. State Information Commission, Lko. & Ors.
Counsel for Petitioner :- In Person
Counsel for Respondent :- C.S.C.,Shikhar Anand
Hon’ble Pankaj Kumar Jaiswal,J.
Hon’ble Rajnish Kumar,J.
Heard, Dr.Nutan Thakur, the petitioner in person, Shri Shikhar Anand, learned counsel for opposite party no.1 and Shri Q.H.Rizvi, learned Standing Counsel for respondent no.2.
By this writ petition under Article 226 of the Constitution of India the petitioner is praying for quashment of order dated 12.12.2018, passed by the Uttar Pradesh State Information Commission in Second Appeal nos.S9/1438/A/2018, S9/1453/A/2018 and S9/1454/A/2018.
A preliminary objection has been raised regarding maintainability of the writ petition in respect of order passed in three Second Appeals.
The petitioner has made a statement that she is not pressing the order under challenge in Second Appeal No.S9/1453/A/2018 and S9/1454/A/2018. She further submits that this writ petition be confined to the order dated 12.12.2018 passed in Second Appeal No.S9/1438/A/2018. To which there is no objection by the other side.
In view of above the writ petition against the order dated 12.12.2018 passed in Second Appeal nos.S9/1453/A/2018 and S9/1454/A/2018 is dismissed as not pressed. Therefore, now writ petition survives only against the order dated 12.12.2018 passed in Second Appeal no.S9/1438/A/2018.
The petitioner has submitted that no reason has been disclosed regarding rejection of the prayer for providing necessary information as prayed for through the applications dated 13.04.2018 and submitted that the respondent no.1 be directed to provide all those details.
In reply, learned counsel for the respondent no.1 has drawn our attention to the law laid down by the Hon’ble Supreme Court in the case of Girish Ramchandra Deshpande Versus Central Information Commissioner and others; (2013) 1 SCC 212 and submitted that the information which has been sought is personal information and the same is exempted from disclosure under Section 8(1)(j) of the Right to Information Act, 2005. He has further drawn our attention towards the law laid down by the Hon’ble Supreme Court in the case of Canara Bank Represented by its Deputy General Manager Versus C.S.Shyam and another; (2018) 11 SCC 426 and submitted that in this case the Hon’ble Supreme Court has also considered the earlier judgment of Girish Ramchandra Deshpande (Supra) and came to the conclusion that the disclosure of information would cause unwarranted invasion of privacy of the individual and the petitioner cannot claim personal information of somebody else as a matter of right and his application has rightly been rejected by the respondent no.1.Paragraphs 12 to 15 of the judgment of case of Girish Ramchandra Deshpande (Supra) read as under:-
“12. We are in agreement with the CIC and the courts below that the details called for by the petitioner i.e. copies of all memos issued to the third respondent, show cause notices and orders of censure/punishment etc. are qualified to be personal information as defined in clause (j) of Section 8(1) of the RTI Act. The performance of an employee/officer in an organization is primarily a matter between the employee and the employer and normally those aspects are governed by the service rules which fall under the expression ?personal information?, the disclosure of which has no relationship to any public activity or public interest. On the other hand, the disclosure of which would cause unwarranted invasion of privacy of that individual. Of course, in a given case, if the Central Public Information Officer or the State Public Information Officer of the Appellate Authority is satisfied that the larger public interest justifies the disclosure of such information, appropriate orders could be passed but the petitioner cannot claim those details as a matter of right.
13. The details disclosed by a person in his income tax returns are ?personal information? which stand exempted from disclosure under clause (j) of Section 8(1) of the RTI Act, unless involves a larger public interest and the Central Public Information Officer or the State Public Information Officer or the Appellate Authority is satisfied that the larger public interest justifies the disclosure of such information.
14. The petitioner in the instant case has not made a bona fide public interest in seeking information, the disclosure of such information would cause unwarranted invasion of privacy of the individual under Section 8(1) (j) of the RTI Act.
15. We are, therefore, of the view that the petitioner has not succeeded in establishing that the information sought for is for the larger public interest. That being the fact, we are not inclined to entertain this special leave petition. Hence, the same is dismissed.”
He has lastly drawn our attention towards paragraph 67 of the order passed in the case of Central Board of Secondary Education and another Versus Aditya Bandopadhyay and others; (2011) 8 SCC 497 and presses for dismissal of the writ petition. Paragraph 67 of the judgment reads as under:-
“67.Indiscriminate and impractical demands or directions under RTI Act for disclosure of all and sundry information (unrelated to transparency and accountability in the functioning of public authorities and eradication of corruption) would be counter-productive as it will adversely affect the efficiency of the administration and result in the executive getting bogged down with the non-productive work of collecting and furnishing information. The Act not be allowed to be misused or abused, to become a tool to obstruct the national development and integration, or to destroy the peace, tranquility and harmony among its citizens. Nor should it be converted into a tool of oppression or intimidation of honest officials striving to do their duty. The nation does not want a scenario where 75% of the staff of public authorities spends 75% of their time in collecting and furnishing information to applicants instead of discharging their regular duties. The threat of penalties under the RTI Act the pressure of the authorities under the RTI Act should not lead to employees of a public authorities prioritising `information furnishing’, at the cost of their normal and regular duties.”
To counter the aforesaid submission the petitioner submitted that the information which were sought in the aforesaid matters are different, whereas in the present case she is seeking the information right from 01.01.2008 till the date of application in respect of Indian Forest Service Officers who were suspended during the period and any disciplinary action has been taken against them or not by the department.
On going through the information which was sought and the law laid down by the Hon’ble Supreme Court in the case of Girish Ramchandra Deshpande (Supra) as well as in the case of Central Board of Secondary Education and another (Supra), we are of the view that the case of the petitioner would fall in ratio of law laid down by the Apex Court and the learned Commissioner has rightly rejected the prayer of the petitioner.
On due consideration of the law laid down by the Hon’ble Apex Court in the aforesaid 2 cases, we are of the view that the learned authority i.e. the Commission has rightly rejected the Second Appeal of the petitioner. No case for interference is made out.
The writ petition is, accordingly, dismissed.
(Rajnish Kumar,J.) (Pankaj Kumar Jaiswal,J.)
Order Date :- 9.5.2019