In the Instant Case of Faisal Bashir Vs PIO Faisal Bashir filed an appeal to get information on the money given to each police station in Jammu and Kashmir’s union territory. On August 1, 2022, Bashir submitted a request under the RTI Act requesting information on the funding allotted to each police station in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir as well as the ability to view files and other pertinent documents. According to the Central Public Material Officer at Police Headquarters, Srinagar, the requested material is classified or important and is excluded from publication under the RTI Act, hence declined to provide the specifics. According to Rule 8 Sections of the RTI Act of 2005, the requested information is exempt and hence cannot be disclosed. The appellant then moved the CIC Contesting following order.
Contention From Parties
The petitioner argued that the RTI authorities respondent incorrectly claimed the exemption under Section 8 (1) (g) (h) and (j) of the RTI Act, 2005, without providing any justification or explanation, and that the information should have been proactively disclosed on the website in accordance with Section 4(1) (b) of the Act, which has not been done.
The respondent acknowledged that the exemption was genuinely under Section 8(1)(a) and may have been mistakenly claimed under Section 8(1)(g)(h) and (j) of the Act. He said that only information about the general budget allocation is available to the media and that the appellant may receive it if the Commission orders it. However, in order to protect the state’s operational secrets and security concerns, exact information regarding the amounts allotted to each police station cannot be published.
Observation of Commission
The Central Public Information Officer at the Police Headquarters in Srinagar argued that operational secrecy and the security interests of Jammu and Kashmir should not be compromised by disclosing such information. The Central Information Commission Chief Information Commissioner, YK Sinha, agreed and held that the Right to Information Act does not permit the disclosure of information about the specific amounts of money allotted to each police station.
The Commission affirmed the Police Headquarters and the CPIO’s decision to withhold data on police stations and posts operating out of the private property, expense reports, and police stations, posts, and training facilities. The Bench had asked PIO to review the RTI application again and produce a new response that included information about the entire budget allocation while maintaining the operational and security interests.
When deciding this appeal, the Chief Information Commissioner noted that the respondent had given an adequate response. As a result, the commission does not need to intervene further in the current situation. The appellant is encouraged to pursue a suitable venue in order to have his complaint addressed.
CASE NAME – Faisal Bashir Vs PIO CIC/UTOJK/A/2022/654408