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Shri Sudhir Chandra Bowry vs Income Tax Department, Kolkata on 9 April, 2009

Central Information Commission
Shri Sudhir Chandra Bowry vs Income Tax Department, Kolkata on 9 April, 2009
247 SudhirChandraBowryVsITOKolkata 09 04 9               1


                          CENTRAL INFORMATION COMMISSION
                   Room No.308, B wing, August Kranti Bhawan, Bhikaji Cama Place, New Delhi-110066


                                 Appeal No. CIC/LS/A/2008/00247

Appellant:                                                Shri Sudhir Chandra Bowry

Public Authority:                                         Income Tax Department, Kolkata
                                                          (through Shri Ashutosh Rajhans, Joint CIT;
                                                          & Shri P.K. Mandal, Assistant CIT,Kolkata)

Date of Hearing:                                          09/04/2009

Date of Decision:                                         09/04/2009

FACTS

:-

The matter, in short, is that, the Appellant was an employee of Duncans Industries
Limited, Kolkata and he retired from this Group of Companies in 2006 after putting in 26
years of service. It is his claim that he is entitled to pensionary benefits as per the rules of
the said Company. As he has been denied pension so far, he has requested for
information on seven points viz. (a),(b),(c),(d),(e),(f)&(g) enumerated in para 8 of his
RTI application.

2. CPIO had refused to disclose information vide his letter dated 11/06/2008 on the
ground that the Appellant has filed a criminal case against the Duncans Industries
Limited and disclosure of any information requested for by the Appellant would amount
to an act of self-incrimination which is prohibited under Article 20(3) of the Constitution
of India.

3. On Appeal, the Appellate Authority had upheld the decision of the CPIO vide
order dated 25/08/2008.

4. The present Appeal is directed against the order of the CPIO and the AA.

5. The matter was heard on 09/04/2009. The Appellant did not appear before the
Commission. The Public Authority is represented by the officers named above. I have
carefully perused the orders passed by the CPIO and the Appellate Authority. I have
also heard Shri Ashutosh Rajhans, Joint CIT. The crux of the matter is that as the
Appellant has been denied pensionary benefits, he has sought information on seven
points which has been divided in two categories. Point No.(a)&(b) are reproduced
herebelow:-

“(a) A certified copy of the Rules of DAIL Senior Staff Superannuation Fund
as was prevailing on 30/09/2006;

247 SudhirChandraBowryVsITOKolkata 09 04 9 2

b) Details of all pension benefits paid by the said Fund from 30th September,
2006 till date giving details including names, addresses of the payees, date
of payment and amount paid to each beneficiary.”

Remaining five points of the RTI application i.e. (c) to (g) relate to the financial
aspects of the Company.

6. A bare reading of points (a) and (b) extracted above would indicate that the
Appellant is requesting for a copy of the Pension Rules framed by the Company which by
no stretch of imagination can be said to be confidential information. In fact this
information is meant for the benefit of the Company employees. Similarly, in point (b),
the Appellant has requested for the names of the employees to whom pension has been
given with effect from 30/09/2006 and their addresses etc. This information also cannot
be said to be confidential information inasmuch as the Appellant, perhaps, intends to
bolster his claim for grant of pension to him if the same has been granted to the other
employees in the above mentioned time-frame. In this view of the matter, the view taken
by the CPIO and the Appellate Authority does not appear to be correct. It is to be kept in
mind that India is a welfare State where the interests of the employees have to be
safeguarded against undesirable onslaught from powerful groups. In my view, the
information requested for in point Nos. (a) and (b) above is disclosable. However, as
regards the information sought by the appellant in point Nos. (c) to (g) of the RTI
application, suffice to say that the Appellant is requesting for information regarding the
financial aspects of the Company which is a ‘personal information’ and is being held by
the income Tax Department in fiduciary capacity and has been rightly denied to the
Appellant by the CPIO and the Appellate Authority.

DECISION

7. In view of the above discussion, the CPIO is hereby directed to disclose the
information to the Appellant in regard to points (a)&(b) of the RTI application in four
weeks time.

8. The matter is disposed of subject to the above directions.

Sd/-

(M.L. Sharma)
Central Information Commissioner
Authenticated true copy. Additional copies of orders shall be supplied against application and payment of the charges,
prescribed under the Act, to the CPIO of this Commission.

(K.L. Das)
Assistant Registrar
Tele: 011 2671 73 53

Fax: 011 2610 62 76
247 SudhirChandraBowryVsITOKolkata 09 04 9 3

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