TNPSC''s stand denying information under RTI not tenable: HC

Written by: Pti
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Chennai, Jan 13 (PTI) The Madras High Court has dismisseda writ appeal by the Tamil Nadu Public Service Commissionseeking exemption from furnishing information under RTI Act,describing the stand taken by TNPSC as "not tenable."

"In no manner it could be stated that the informationsought for could be considered as commercial confidence, tradesecret or intellectual property if disclosed would harm thecompetitive position of third party," the Bench comprisingChief Justice M Y Eqbal and Justice T S Sivagnanam said intheir order.

"Likewise, it cannot be stated that the informationavailable with the commission is held in fiduciaryrelationship as the commission is the recruiting body.

Therefore, the State Information Commission rightly orderedthat the information has to be supplied and the stand taken bythe TNPSC was not tenable," the Court said.

One K Alagiriswami had submitted an application under theRTI Act and sought information relating to the recruitment tothe post of Assistant Engineer (Civil) in the Public WorksDepartment in the examination conducted by TNPSC during 1999.

Upholding a single judge order, the Bench saidinformation was available with TNPSC and therefore, the singlejudge was perfectly right in holding that the informationsought for has to be furnished.

The TNPSC had stated that 210 candidates were selected tothe post of Assistant Engineer and in respect of the secondquery on total marks secured by them, it did not give a reply,following which Alagiriswamy filed an appeal with theappellate authority, which was rejected.

He filed a second appeal before the Tamil NaduInformation Commission which directed that information beprovided within three days.

The TNPSC filed their plea before the High Court aftertheir earlier appeal was rejected by the single judge.

Counsel for TNPSC said the information sought by thepetitioner would come within exemption under Section 8(1)(d)of the Act.

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