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Shri R.B. Sharma vs.

DGCEI
New Delhi
(No. CIC/AT/A/2007/00949)

SYNOPSIS SUBMITTED
BY
AMANRAJ SINGH CHADHA
A3268615027
LLM (CB&IL) 2015-16

AMITY LAW SCHOOL


AMITY UNIVERSITY, NOIDA

Introduction and Scope of RTI


The Right to Information Act (RTI) is an act, enacted and brought into force by
Indian Parliament "to provide for setting out the practical regime of right to
information for citizens" and replaces the erstwhile Freedom of information Act,
2002. This law was passed by Parliament on 15 June 2005 and came fully into
force on 12 October 2005. Barring Jammu and Kashmir from its ambit, the Act
applies to all States and Union Territories of India. Under the provisions of the
Act, any citizen may request information from a "public authority" (a body of
Government or "instrumentality of State") which is required to reply
expeditiously or within thirty days. The Act also requires every public authority
to computerise their records for wide dissemination and to proactively certain
categories of information so that the citizens need minimum recourse to
request for information formally. Information disclosure in India was restricted
by the Official Secrets Act 1923 and various other special laws, which the new
RTI Act relaxes. It codifies a fundamental right of citizens.
It covers all constitutional authorities, including the executive, legislature and
judiciary; any institution or body established or constituted by an act of
Parliament or a state legislature. It is also defined in the Act that bodies or
authorities established or constituted by order or notification of appropriate
government including bodies "owned, controlled or substantially financed" by
government, or non-Government organizations "substantially financed, directly
or indirectly by funds" provided by the government are also covered in the Act.

Sections 10 and 11 are the procedural aspects of dealing with disclosure of


information in relation to severability and third parties.
The following section presents the status of disclosure of information in some
of the public authorities/organizations consequent upon decisions of the
Central Information Commission (CIC) and/or Superior Courts. Some of the
decisions of the CIC, where the disclosure norms or principles have been laid
down are stayed in the superior courts. Further, the section also presents some
incidents wherein the public authorities denied the disclosure on frivolous
grounds.

Section 10(1) in The Right To Information Act, 2005


10. Severability.
(1) Where a request for access to information is rejected on the ground that it is
in

relation

to

information

which

is

exempt

from

disclosure,

then,

notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, access may be provided to that


part of the record which does not contain any information which is exempt
from disclosure under this Act and which can reasonably be severed from any
part that contains exempt information.

Generally an applicant has a right to all or part of any record, which has been
requested. However, refusal to disclose a part of the record, which is covered by
exempted provision or through exceptions that apply to all or part of the record,
can be severed.

Shri R.B. Sharma Vs. DGCEI


The information contained in the file which is unconnected with the applicant
can be withheld from disclosure by applying the severability clause under
Section 10(1) of the RTI Act, 2005.
In

the

case

of

Shri

R.B.

Sharma

Vs.

DGCEI,

New

Delhi,

(No.

CIC/AT/A/2007/00949 dated 09.10.2007) the appellant sought all document


including file noting pertaining to sanction of reward to the applicant. The
CPIO denied the information under Section 8(1) (g) of the RTI Act, contending
that the disclosure would expose the source of information and also endanger

the life and physical safety of the officers who handled and processed the
matter. The appellate authority upheld the decision of the CPIO.
DECISION:
The appellant may be allowed inspection of the relevant file by the respondent
with the proviso that the respondents shall be free to apply the severability
clause under Section (10) (1) of the RTI Act withhold form disclosure that part
of the information in the file which is unconnected with the appellant.

Research Methodology
The researcher has adopted doctrinal method of research using primary data in
the form of orders and Judgements of the Honourable Supreme Court. The
researcher has also used the books available at the Library of the Amity Law
School, Noida, Indian Law Institute and articles from reliable internet source.

Scheme of Term Paper


1.
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7.

Introduction.
Concept of RTI.
Exceptions.
Severability.
Critical analyses of case.
Influence of Case Decision on the Act.
Conclusions and Recommendations.