[RTI] Similar action taken against employees involves public interest

Central Information Commissioner while considering an appeal from Shri P.R. Chandol held that, any information sought whether similar treatment has been given to all the employees of Central Council of Homeopathy for the same action or inaction relates to transparency in the Council and involves public interest. Therefore, Central Information Commissioner directed Central Council of Homeopathy to provide information in the matter to the appellant.

Earlier, appellant sought information vide his RTI Application dated 04.02.2014 regarding action taken by the office against the officials who came late to office in respect to an Office Memorandum dated 09.09.2013 and the Public Information Officer (PIO) informed the appellant that, the Office Memorandum mentioned herein above are addressed only to the appellant. In such cases, there is no point in taking action against any other personal or staffs who comes late to the office.

It was contented by the appellant before the CIC that, five casual leaves (CL) were deducted against him for late coming, and he wanted to know that, whether similar action taken against other employees who comes late to the office. Accordingly, he filed the application under Right to Information Act.

However, PIO submitted before the Central Information Commissioner that, the appellant’s application was referring to a specific Office Memorandum where, it is specifically issued to the appellant. Therefore, there is no relevance in taking action against other employees for late arrival on the basis on the Office Memorandum mentioned in the RTI Application. Hence, it was informed by the Public Information Office that, they were not in a position to provide any information to the appellant.

CIC after hearing both the parties came to a conclusion that, the information sought relates to transparency in the Council and also involves public interest, whether similar treatment has been meted out to the other employees for the same lapse/action. CIC further directed the respondent, i.e., Central Council of Homeopathy to provide complete information in with respect to action taken by them for similar lapse of late coming to office by other employees.

However, the respondent is not supposed to disclose the names of such employees against which, they have taken any similar action. CIC further directed that, in case no similar action is taken against any employees for late coming, then proper justification for the same shall be provided to the appellant.

Read the Full Judgment of PR Chandol v. Central Council of Homeopathy decided on 28-04-2015

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