In a significant order, the Maharashtra State Information Commissioner (SIC) has directed the Police Department to share inquiry report of a police to the applicant. The Public Information Officer (PIO) had denied the information under Right to Information (RTI) Act stating that there was no such inquiry conducted against the police.
In an order issued on 13 April 2018, AK Jain, State Information Commissioner, said, "Prima facie, the PIO has not provided complete information to the applicant. The PIO should have given the information about department inquiry against Mr Gawli, the police. The Commission directs the PIO to furnish the required information free of cost to the applicant by 27 April 2018."
Referring to an order issued by the Supreme Court, one Anand Hule had asked copy of departmental inquiry report of Mr Gawali, who worked with the Nehru Nagar Police Station at Kurla. However, the PIO informed Mr Hule that there was no such inquiry conducted against Mr Gawli. Upholding the stand taken by the PIO, the First Appellate Authority (FAA) also dismissed the appeal filed by Mr Hule.
Mr Hule then approached the SIC. After perusing through the documents, Mr Jain, the SIC observed that the PIO has not provided complete information to Mr Hule. The Commission then directed the PIL to furnish complete information to Mr Hule.
Commenting on the decision, RTI activist GR Vora says this Order would be of tremendous use to every RTI applicant who seeks seeking similar information such as complaints and inquiry reports against public servants. “Generally, the Police tend not to disclose such information under excuses like the information would impede the process of investigation under Section 8 (1) (h) of RTI Act and the information is personal information and thus unwarranted invasion of privacy of the person against whom the inquiry has been conducted as per Section 8 (1) (j) of RTI Act,” he said.