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From: Neeraj Kumar <neeraj.com-Re5JQEeQqe8AvxtiuMwx3w <at> public.gmane.org>
Subject: Re: Compilation on "DECISIONS OF CIC ON SECTION 8(1)(j)"
Newsgroups: gmane.law.india.rti
Date: Friday 3rd April 2009 05:10:52 UTC (over 9 years ago)
Dear Mr. Krishnamoorthi,
you have done such a wonderful job.


Neeraj Kumar

On Thu, Apr 2, 2009 at 9:17 PM, T N Krishnamoorthi

> Though the RTI Act enables every Citizen to obtain the information from
> Public Authority, some information's were restricted under Section 8(1)
> the RTI Act. Among the exemption from the disclosure of the information
> under Sec 8(1), there are ten sub sections vide (a) to (j). As there is
> specific guidelines/clarifications regarding the above sections are
> available except the circulars issued from time to time, the only
> alternate source to seek for guidance is the Decisions of Central
> Information Commission (CIC). This compilation was made by summing up the
> Decisions of CIC on the various issues of Section 8(1)(j) for enhancing
> knowledge on RTI to both Information seeker as well as Information
> Section 8(1)(j) of the RTI act is re produced below:
> " information which relates to personal information the disclosure of
> has no relationship to any public activity or interest, or which would
> 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
> interest justifies the disclosure of such information"
> The issues covered in the Section 8(1)(j) are "personal information", "no
> relationship to any public activity or interest", "unwarranted invasion
> the privacy" and "larger public interest".
> List 1 - " Personal Information" :-
> The following decisions were issued by the CIC which will further brief
> provisions of section 8(1)(j) of RTI Act in general and the issue of "
> Personal Information" in particular . The gists of such decisions were
> compiled as List 1:
> 1.1 ACR to retired employee:
> The PIO has amongst the various RTI applications of the appellant
> employee ) refused to give him copies of his ACR. The Commission directs
> PIO to give copies of all his ACRs to the appellant. [Decision No. CIC
> /WB/A/2008/00172/SG/2409 Appeal No. CIC/WB/A/2008/00172/SG]
> 1.2 Annual confidential report:-
> In regard to the annual confidential report of any officer, it is our
> that what is contained therein is undoubtedly `personal information'
> that employee. The ACRs are protected from disclosure because arguably
> disclosure seriously harm interpersonal relationship in a given
> organization. [CIC/AT/A/2006/00069-13 July,2006]
> 1.3 Employees' personal information
> .....The information which the appellant has solicited in respect of a
> third party, is clearly of a very personal nature. There is no reason why
> any person should get information about a Government employee in respect
> the family members listed on the CGHS Card, the name of the Dispensary,
> whether that employee is married, the name of his wife, the date of his
> informing the public authority about his marriage, the names of his
> for the GPF and CGEIS and other documents, the dates on which the forms
> been filled, and whether any disciplinary action is pending against him.
> Apart from being personal information, disclosure of such information
> no public purpose. It is quite possible that disclosure of such
> may lead to unwarranted harassment and intimidation of the employee by
> parties. The Commission has to exercise utmost caution in authorizing
> disclosure of personal information of employees of public authorities.
> Except when dictated by overwhelming public purpose, such information is
> better left undisclosed under the provision of exemption Section 8(1)(j)
> the Act. [CIC/AT/A/2006/00311-3.11.2006]
> 1.4 Leave records without names
> ..... personal information, unconnected with the government affairs of an
> official, i.e., information relating to personal affairs of officials,
> not be disclosed. However, information, which are purely official could
> disclosed to the appellant. Therefore, the CPIO will furnish only the
> of officials who had been granted leave with out names etc;
> ......information sought (Pendency left out against the receipt, while
> proceeding on leave) being general in nature, need not be
> furnished;regarding other issues , be given without names;
> [174/ICPB/2006-4.12.2006]
> 1.5 LTC claim details:-
> The details about the amounts claimed as LTC, the block years for which
> claim was made, number of persons for whom claim made, dates of filing
> claim and disbursal, advance taken and adjustment if any, and the
> for using the LTC should be disclosed to the appellant. However, other
> personal details such as the names of the family members, their age, etc.
> which are personal in nature should be barred from disclosure
> [CIC/AT/A/2006/00317-10.10.2006]
> 1.6 Personal information:-
> In this particular case, the AA and the CPIO have not analyzed the
> of disclosure of the information as requested by the appellant
> because they had concluded that such information need not be disclosed
> Section 8(1)(j) of the RTI Act. What they ought to be examining is
> disclosure of this information, if authorized, will jeopardize the
> functioning of the public authority in a manner that would attract
> provisions of Section 8(1) of the RTI Act.
> The Commission, therefore, while holding that the matter in this
> RTI-application cannot be said to be `personal', that would attract the
> exemption under Section 8(1)(j), is not inclined to authorize disclosure
> straight away, before other aspects of such disclosure are fully examined
> (i.e. under sub-sections of Section 8(1)).
> The matter is, therefore, remitted back to the AA, with a direction that
> shall examine whether, given the nature of the disclosure sought, it
> attract any of the sub-sections of the Section 8(1) of the RTI Act, other
> than Section 8(1)(j). The AA should also examine whether Section 10(1)
> (severability provision) can be invoked to disclose that part of the
> information which may not come within the bar of any of the exemption
> sub-sections of the RTI Act. [F.No.CIC/AT/A/2007/01105 Dated, the 21st
> January, 2008.]
> 1.7 Personal Information-defining:-
> ....We have no clear definition of what is meant by "invasion of privacy"
> within the RTI Act. We have no equivalent of UK's Data Protection Act,
> Sec 2 of which, titled Sensitive Personal Data, reads as follows:
> In this Act "sensitive personal data" means personal data consisting of
> information as to:
> a) The racial or ethnic origin of the data subject
> b) His political opinions
> c) His religious beliefs or other beliefs of a similar nature
> d) Whether he is a member of a Trade Union
> e) His physical or mental health or condition
> f) His sexual life
> g) The commission or alleged commission by him of any offence
> h) Any proceedings for any offence committed or alleged to have been
> committed by him, the disposal of such proceedings or the sentence of any
> court in such proceedings.
> .......On the other hand, the US Restatement of the Law, Second, Torts,
> 652 define the Intrusion to Privacy in the following manner:
> "One, who intentionally intrudes, physically or otherwise, upon the
> solitude or seclusion of another or his private affairs or concerns, is
> subject to liability to the other for invasion of his privacy, if the
> intrusion would be highly offensive to a reasonable person". [Appeal
> No.CIC/WB/A/2007/01460 dated 27.11.2007]
> 1.8 Roster/vacancy position of employees
> Information related to the Roster/vacancy position of employees,which are
> neither confidential nor personal information. [196/IC(A)/2006-23
> 1.9 Tour Travel Expense:-
> The information sought is required by the appellant to defend his case
> properly. The information sought by the appellant relate to the tour
> programme and travel expenses of a public servant, which cannot be
> as personal information.[Appeal No. 07/IC(A)/CIC/2006 Dated, the 6th
> 2006]
> List 2 - "No relationship to any public activity or interest":-
> The gist of decisions issued by the CIC which will deals with the
> provisions of section 8(1)(j) of RTI Act and the issue of "No
> to any public activity or interest" were compiled as List 2:
> 2.1 I.T. Returns
> Income Tax Returns filed by an assessee are confidential information
> include details of commercial activities and that it relates to third
> person. These are submitted in fiduciary capacities. There is no public
> action involved in the matter. Disclosure is exempted under s.8(1)(j).
> [22/IC(A)/2006 - 30 March.]
> 2.2 Leave records
> It was purely a personal matter with no public interest involved. Hence,
> the information need not be disclosed. However, if the Appellant could
> to the satisfaction of the Commission that public interest was involved
> the matter, then the Commission could re-examine the matter.
> [CIC/OK/A/2006/00189-3 November, 2006]
> 2.3 Misuse of RTI Act :-
> The Commission is in possession of letters which the appellant, Mr.
> J. Aggarwal, Editor-in-Chief of a number of Daily Papers / Magazines has
> written to almost all the PSUs for eliciting their support for promotion
> his business interests. His Company, named as NUURRIE Media Ltd. has
> launched thirty nine (39) websites covering the activities of all
> of the society. He has been asking for the favour of carrying out
> advertisements in his magazines / websites. Clearly, his modus operandi
> to use RTI for influencing PSUs for promotion of his business, rather
> serving the social interests such as ensuring transparency and efficiency
> functioning of PSUs. This is indeed a blatant misuse of RTI Act which
> to be discouraged. As an enlightened citizen, every information seeker
> should resort to RTI Act responsibly, as most people are doing and
> the benefits of this powerful Act. [Appeal No. 24/IC(A)/2006 F.No.
> 11/78/2006/CIC
> Dated, the 10th April, 2006 ]
> 2.4 PAN Number:-
> ....... PAN is a statuary number, which functions as a unique
> identification for each tax payers. Making PAN public can result in
> of this information by other persons to quote wrong PAN while entering
> financial transactions and also could compromise the privacy of the
> financial transactions linked with PAN. This also holds true for TAN.
> Information relating to PAN and TAN, including the dated of issue of
> numbers, are composite and confidential in nature under Section 138 of
> Income Tax Act. The appellant has not made a case of bonafide public
> interest for disclosure of PAN/TAN Numbers of 26 companies on grounds of
> submissions of their application for above purposes or filing of tax
> [Appeal 05/IC(A)/CIC/2006 Dated, the 3rd March, 2006]
> List 3 -"unwarranted invasion of the privacy":-
> The gist of decisions issued by the CIC which will covers the provisions
> section 8(1)(j) of RTI Act as well as the issue of "unwarranted invasion
> the privacy" were compiled as List 3:
> 3.1 Bio-Data : -
> when a candidate submits his application for appointment to a post under
> P.A., the same becomes a public document and he cannot object to the
> disclosure on the ground of invasion of privacy and directed the PIO to
> provide copies of the bio-data. [ ICPB/A-9/CIC/2006-3 April,2006.]
> 3.2 Customer details:-
> The complainant asked for certain information relating to a customer of
> respondent. The information sought was denied u/s 8(1)(j) of the Act,
> obtaining concurrence of the third party u/s 11 of the Act.
> .....The respondent is expected to maintain confidentiality of the
> of information of its customers. There is no public interest in
> of such information. The CPIO has therefore correctly denied u/s 8(1)(j)
> the Act, the disclosure of information relating to its customers.
> No.815/IC(A)/2007 F. No.CIC/PB/C/2007/00041 Dated, the 8th June, 2007]
> 3.3 Medical Report:-
> As far as medical reports are concerned, they are purely personal to the
> individuals and furnishing of the copies of medical reports would amount
> invasion of privacy of the individuals and need not be furnished. However
> PIO will disclose to the requester the information whether all the four
> candidates had been declared medically fit or not .[ ICPB/A-9/CIC/2006-3
> April,2006.]
> List 4 - "larger public interest":-
> The decisions issued by the CIC which broadly deals with the issue of
> "larger public interest" under the section 8(1)(j) of RTI Act were
> as List 4:
> 4.1 Educational Records:-
> ......One CPIO refused to provide copies of educational records submitted
> by the employee, whose details have been solicited. Thereafter the appeal
> was considered unnecessary on the background that the appellant could not
> explain as to how he is affected in the matter or what was the public
> interest in disclosure of personal and official details of the
> employee. [Decision No.3807/IC(A)/2009 F. No.CIC/MA/A/2009/000135 Dated,
> 26th March, 2009]
> 4.2 File Noting:-
> .....the plea taken by respondents is that the disclosure does not
> "larger public interest". However, respondents have been unable to cite
> clause u/s 8 (1) (j) in which the larger public interest has been cited
as a
> permissible ground for refusing information, whereas in most sub sections
> 8 (1) which allows exemption from disclosure of information, public
> is repeatedly cited as a reason for disclosing information otherwise
> considered exempt except in the case of information falling u/s 8 (1) sub
> section (j), but even in that case only if it has "no relationship" to
> public interest, which in this case is nobody's argument..... "
> .......Having examined the records and heard the respondents, we find
> nothing in pages 3 to 16 of the note-sheet of File No. 7/6/2002-EIII to
> exempt from disclosure under any of the provisions of the sec. 8(1).
> .....The noting is in fact, record of a very public activity of direct
> concern to public interest. [Adjunct to Appeal No.CIC/WB/A/2007/01015
> 20.10.2007; Decision on 26.3.2009]
> List 5 - General:-
> The decisions issued by the CIC in which combinations of various issues
> section 8(1)(j) of RTI Act were dealt by the commission were compiled as
> List 5:
> 5.1 Annual property returns
> The information in the annual property returns is retained by the public
> authority in sealed covers / or in some other mode under proper "secrecy"
> classification and used only when the public servant, whose return it may
> be, faces a charge or an enquiry. It is not held as a public information,
> but rather a safety valve – a deterrent to public servants that
> or transactions etc. in properties should not be done without the
> of the public authority. While there may be an arguable case for
> all such information furnished to the various Public Authorities by the
> public servants, till such time the nature of this information remains a
> confidential entrustment by the public servant to the Public Authority,
> shall be covered by section 8 (1) (j) and cannot be routinely disclosed.
> will also attract the exemption under Section 8 (1) (e) and in certain
> the provisions of Section 11 (1), being an information entrusted to the
> public authority by a third person, i.e. the public servant filing
> return. On the whole, property returns of public servants, which are
> required to be compulsorily filed by a set date annually by all public
> servants with their respective public authorities, being an information
> be used exceptionally, must be held to serve no general public purpose
> disclosure the RTI Act must compel. [CIC/AT/A/2006/00134-10 July, 2006.]
> 5.2 Bank Loan details:-
> The appellant has sought the details of loans already sanctioned and
> disbursed to a particular Company. He has however not indicated the
> public interest in seeking
> the information. The appellant authority of the Bank has contended that
> details of properties and securities submitted by the borrowers are in
> nature of commercial confidence, the disclosure of which is exempted
> Section 8(d) of the RTI Act. Also, the information sought relate to
> collateral and securities taken by the concerned Company and its
> which are personal information. This has no relationship with any public
> activity or interest. Disclosure of such information would cause
> invasion of privacy of individual / third party, as per Section 8(1) (j).
> [Appeal No. 19/IC(A)/2006
> F.No. CIC/MA/A/2006/00057 Dated, the 29th March, 2006]
> 5.3 CBI investigation report:-
> ........the appellant has asked for copies of correspondence exchanged
> between the respondent and the CBI. He has also asked for a copy of CBI
> investigation report, which is about 20 years old, in respect of his
> The CPIO has replied and refused to furnish the information u/s 8(1)(j)
> the Act.
> .......Since the information asked for relate to an action taken by the
> respondent in 1988, i.e. over 20 years old, there is no justification for
> invoking section 8(1)(j) of the Act, for denial of information. The CPIO
> therefore, directed to furnish the information asked for. [Decision
> No.3796/IC(A)/2009 F. No.CIC/MA/A/2009/000145 Dated, the 23rd March,
> 5.4 Commission paid to an LIC agent
> The information sought relate to the commission paid to the appellant
> herself, as per her entitlement in accordance with the norms and
> of the LIC. The information about her own entitlements cannot be treated
> confidential. [CIC/MA/A/2006/00505-6.10.2006]
> 5.5 Copy of complaint:-
> The Appellant had requested the for a copy of the complaint made by one
> ............ which the welfare section had forwarded to the SSP,
> The CPIO, in his reply denied the information on the ground that the
> information sought related to the domestic problems of the said JWO and
> was personal information which had no relations with any public activity
> interest and was exempt from disclosure under Section 8(1)(j) of the
> to Information (RTI) Act.
> ..... The Respondent showed us the original complaint filed by the JWO
> which had been forwarded by the welfare section to the police. The
> Respondent submitted that the disclosure of this complaint to the
> could expose the JWO to further harassment and vengeful action in the
> of the Appellant and thereby jeopardise the life and security of the said
> JWO and his family. We tend to agree with the submissions of the
> Since this complaint has been forwarded to the local police, the police
> should be allowed to continue with the investigation, if any. The
> being a purely
> personal one and having no relationship to any public activity or
> there is no case
> for disclosing it to the Appellant. [Appeal No.CIC/WB/A/2008/00485-SM
> 23.11.2007]
> 5.6 Copy of disciplinary proceedings of others:-
> The appellant, an ex- employee of the bank, sought for copies of various
> documents connected with the initiated against him and had also asked for
> copies of memos issued/disciplinary proceedings initiated against some
> officials. The CPIO while furnishing copies of all documents connected
> the disciplinary proceedings against the appellant, declined to furnish
> information sought for in respect of other officials applying the
> of Section 8(1)(j) of the RTI Act.
> .... in so far as those relating other officials, I am in agreement with
> the decision of CPIO/AA that the same is exempt under the provisions of
> Section 8(1)(j) of the RTI Act. [Appeal No.550/ICPB/2007 F.No.PBA/07/310
> June 6, 2007]
> 5.7 Document related to investigation:-
> The complainant had asked for certain documents connected with an
> investigation relating to fraud and corrupt practices, including sexual
> harassment case, in which the complainant was alleged to have been
> The information sought was denied u/s 8(1)(j) of the Act.
> .....the denial of documents pertaining to the corrupt practices and
> investigations into such matters, as above, are justified u/s 8(1)(j) of
> Act. [Decision No.803/IC(A)/2007 F. No.CIC/PB/C/2007/00007 Dated, the 7th
> June, 2007]
> 5.8 Funds in PF accounts:-
> As regards disclosure of information relating to the accumulation of
> in PF accounts of the identified members, the CPIO has correctly applied
> exemption u/s 8(1)(j) of the Act, from disclosure of information.
> 5.9 Information about his own case:-
> The CPIO has indicated in respect of item nos. 1 to 6 he is not in a
> position to provide information since the information is of personal
> and it does not relate to any public activity or interest hence he denied
> provide this information under section 8(1)(j) of the Act. This stand of
> CPIO is totally wrong for the simple reason the Complainant is requesting
> information about his own case. Under these circumstances the application
> section 8(1)(j) is not relevant. Section 8(1)(j) can be applied only when
> one seeks information of third party. This Commission has given a number
> decisions in this regard including the full Bench decision in Appeal No.
> CIC/WB/A/2006/00469 & 00394 in the matter of Mr. R.K. Singh Vs. Lok Sabha
> Secretariat. As per section 8(1)(j), there should be an element of
> of privacy of individual. Whereas one seeks about information about his
> case, there is no invasion of privacy, hence, section 8(1)(j) cannot be
> applied. I, therefore, direct the CPIO to provide information with
> to paras 1 to 6, if they do not fall under any other exemptions provided
> under section 8(1) of the RTI Act. In respect of item no.7, the CPIO has
> stated that this information is relating to third party and hence he has
> provided the same. I agree with the stand taken by the CPIO. I also agree
> with the CPIO in respect of item no.8. [Appeal No.1457/ICPB/2008
> F.No.PBC/07/396 February 8, 2008]
> 5.10 Loan sanctioned by bank:-
> .......the appellant has sought for information in a tabular form of the
> loans sanctioned by him and the AA has applied the provisions of Section
> 8(1)(j) and 13(1) of Banking companies Act. In the normal course, the
> decision of the AA is fully justified but not in the present case, as the
> appellant has sought for details of only the loans sanctioned by him and
> which basis he has been charged in the disciplinary as well as criminal
> proceeding. Therefore, the CPIO is bound to furnish the information and
> cannot seek exemption either under RTI Act or the Banking companies Act.
> ...... In case the information sought cannot be given in a tabular form,
> the same may be furnished in such form as the CPIO finds it convenient.
> [Appeals No.376-382/ICPB/2006 F.No.PBA/06/440, 476 to 481 ; March 5,
> 5.11 Own personal case:-
> The information sought by the appellant has been denied applying the
> provisions of Section 8(1)(j) as he has sought information about his own
> personal case.
> "Section 8(1)(j) reads - "information which relates to personal
> 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
> Information Officer or the appellate authority, as the case may be, is
> satisfied that the larger public interest justifies the disclosure of
> information".
> This Section has to be read as a whole. If done so, it would be apparent
> that that "personal information" does not mean information relating to
> information seeker, but about a third party. That is why, in the Section,
> is stated "unwarranted invasion of the privacy of the individual". If one
> were to seek information about himself or his own case, the question of
> invasion of privacy of his own self does not arise. If one were to ask
> information about a third party and if it were to invade the privacy of
> individual, the information seeker can be denied the information on the
> ground that disclosure would invade the privacy of a third party.
> when a citizen seeks information about his own case and as long as the
> information sought is not exempt in terms of other provisions of Section
> of RTI Act, this Section cannot be applied to deny the information." Thus
> when a citizen seeks information relating to his own affairs, the same
> cannot be denied under Section 8(1)(j) of the Act. [Appeal
> F.No.PBA/07/17 March 5, 2007]
> 5.12 Pension paid by Post Office:-
> A request was received by the Department of Posts for addresses, amount
> pension paid of postal pensioners from post offices under Gaziabad
> H.P.O.,which was rejected. CIC held that the P.I.O. has rightly applied
> s.8(1)(j). [ICPB/A-18/CIC/2006- 10 May, 2006.]
> 5.13 Reasons for rejection of requests
> The PIO has to give the reasons for rejection of the request for
> information as required under Section 7(8)(i). Merely quoting the bare
> clause of the Act does not imply that the reasons have been given. The
> should have intimated as to how he had come to the conclusion that rule
> 8(1)(j) was applicable in this case . [CIC/OK/C/2006/00010 – 7
> 5.14 Terms and conditions of appointment:-
> The appellant had asked for a copy of the terms and conditions of
> appointment of Sh. Raha, ex CMD, ONGC. The CPIO refused to furnish the
> information u/s 8(1)(j) of the Act, on the ground that the information
> sought relates to personal information, disclosure of which has no
> relationship with any public activity or interest.
> U/s 4(1)(b)(ii) of the Act, public authorities are required to disclose
> "the powers and duties of its officers and employees". And, u/s
> "the monthly remuneration received by each of its officers and employees,
> including the system of compensation as provided in its regulations"
> also be put in public domain. Accordingly, there is no reason as to why
> terms and conditions of appointment of officers, which incorporate duties
> and responsibilities as well as the compensation, including other service
> benefits, as asked for by the appellant, should not be disclosed. In view
> this, the orders passed by the appellate authority is untenable.
> No.600/IC(A)/2007 F. No.CIC/MA/A/2007/00048 Dated, the 19th March, 2007]
> 5.15 Traveling expenses :
> The traveling expenses were charged to the public account,disclosure if
> information can not be denied on the ground of `personal
information','not a
> public activity' and `no public interest' etc.Travel had been performed
as a
> part and in discharge of official duties and the records related the same
> are public records and therefore,a citizen has the right to seek
> of the same.
> [63/ICPB/2006- 4 August,2006]
> 5.16 Work allocation:-
> .......The Appellant had requested the CPIO for information regarding the
> work allocated to one labourer. The CPIO replied and denied the
> under Section 8(1)(j) of the Right to Information (RTI) Act.
> ....We carefully considered the contents of his appeal and we also heard
> the submissions of the Respondent. We do not at all agree with the
> of the CPIO and the first Appellate Authority that the information sought
> exempt from disclosure under any of the provisions of the Right to
> Information (RTI) Act. In fact, section 4 of the Right to Information
> Act mandates every Public Authority to publish, on its own, details of
> work assigned to the employees of that Authority. We, therefore, direct
> CPIO to provide the information. [Appeal No.CIC/WB/A/2008/01005-SM dated
> 11.03.2008]
> The readers are advised to go through the full text of the decisions
> are available in the web site of Central Information Commission (
> www.gov.in) before use.
> Compiled on Public Interest by:
> Er T N Krishnamoorthi
> Deputy Chief Engineer,
> Andaman Harbour Works
> Little Andaman
> A & N Islands.
> Mob : 09434289673.

        0 9718 100 180
Don't give up your fight

Neeraj Kumar
Right to Information Campaign
D - 59, 3rd Floor, Pandav Nagar,
Delhi - 110 092
Tel. 011 - 2248 5139

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