Public authority cannot refuse info on action against employee:C

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New Delhi, Mar 2 (UNI) The Central Information Commission has ruled that a public authority cannot refuse to an employee the information on the grounds for taking any action against him, seeking shelter under the argument that service matters were not covered under the Right to Information Act.

The ruling came on a petition of two employees of the Department of Posts N Vijayan and B Sathyanarayanan who had asked for copies of the relevant documents relating to the issuance of termination order and subsequent decision to withdraw the order.

The CPIO had, however, refused to provide the information on the ground that the grievances on service matters were not covered under the RTI Act.

He had referred to the Commission's Decision No.942/IC(A)/2007 dated 27/6/2007.

The respondent had also argued that the two employess had filed a petition before the CAT and, therefore, the disclosure of information would adversely affect the respondent in defending the case.

The employees, however, stated that the disclosure of grounds for action would reveal the malafide action taken by the officials, hence it should be furnished to them.

The CIC in its decision said that under Section 4(1)(d) of the Act, every Public Authority was expected to indicate the grounds for taking a decision to the affected people. So, there is no reason why the respondent should not reveal the grounds on the basis of which the orders for termination of services of the appellants were issued and the grounds on the basis of which the said order was withdrawn.

''The respondent has referred to Decision No. 942/IC(A)/2007 dated 27/6/2007 of the Commission for denial of the information. A close examination of the issues involved, it is evident that the appellants have not asked for their promotion or fixation of pay, rather they have merely sought to know the reasons for issuance of termination order and subsequent withdrawal of the same by the respondent. The respondent has thus mis-interpreted the said decision of the Commission,'' it said.

The Commission, in its decision given on Febrauary 28, directed the Department of Posts to provide the information asked for by the appellants, within 15 working days from the date of issue of this decision.


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