Quashes order of First Appellate officer

BHOPAL: The Madhya Pradesh State Information Commission has quashed the order of first appellate officer in which it was directed to public information officer to provide free of charge information of service books of 164 officers and employees. Generally, the citizens make second (final) appeal to the Commission against appellate officer and public information officer. In a rare case, a public information officer lodges second appeal against the appellate officer.

The Commission in its hearing by its commissioner Atmadeep accepted the appeal and rejected the order of the first appellate officer. The rejection of the order will lead to a stop on making personal information public of more than 150 officers and employees along with principal of Govt. Kamlaraja Girls PG Autonomous College, Gwalior.

Kamla Bai had sought detailed information from public information officer and principal of Kamlaraja College, Dr Archana Bharadwaj on 17 points. As the information about service books of professors, assistant professors and employees was connected to third party, it was not given in public interest. Kamla Bai was uneducated and sought the information free of charge.

The then appellate officer Dr BS Parihar, regional additional director, higher education, Gwalior on the first appeal of Kamla Bai, had ordered to public information officer and principal to give information about service books free of charge to the applicant. State Information commissioner Atmadeep has rejected the order of first appellate officer. In its order the commissioner stated that right to information could not be used to adversely affect the working of an institution.

This right should be used with a feeling of responsibility and not as a tool to misuse. Citing section 8(J) of the RTI Act, it is not compulsory to furnish any information which is related to personal information and which breach the privacy of a person and whose publication has no connection with public activities or interest. The Commission held that there seems no public interest involved in her seeking service books of staff members of the College.

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