Guide For First Appellate Authority
The information sought by an applicant should either be supplied to him or his application should be rejected within the time prescribed by the Act. If additional fee need be charged from the application, communication in this regard should be sent to him within the time limit prescribed for sending information. If the applicant does not receive information or decision about rejection or request or communication about payment of additional fee within the specified time, he can make an appeal to the First Appellate Authority. Appeal can also be made if the applicant is aggrieved by the decision of the CPIO regarding supply of information or the quantum of fee decided by CPIO.
Appeal in relation to Third Party Information
- Third party in relation to the Act means a person other than the citizen who has made be request for information. Any public authority other than the public authority to whom the request has been made shall also be included in the definition of third party.
- It may be noted that information including commercial confidence, trade secrets or intellectual property, the disclosure of which would harm the competitive position of a third party, is exempt from disclosure. Section 8(I)(d) requires that such information should not be disclosed unless the competent authority is satisfied that larger public interest warrants the disclosure of such information.
- if an applicant seeks any information which relates to or has been supplied by a third party and that third party has treated that information as confidential, the Central Public Information Officer should consider whether the information should be disclosed or not. The guiding principle in such cases should be that except in the case of trade or commercial secrets protected by law, disclosure may be allowed if the public interest in disclosure outweighs in importance any possible harm or injury to the interests of such third party. However, procedure as given below should be followed before disclosing such information. It may be noted that this procedure need be followed only when the third party has treated the information as confidential.
- If the CPIO intends to disclose the information, he should within five days from the receipt of the application, give a written notice to the third party that the information has been sought by the applicant under the RTI Act and that he intends to disclose the information. He should request the third party to make a submission in writing or orally, regarding whether the information should be disclosed. The third party should be given a time of ten days, from the date of receipt of the notice by him, to make representation against the proposed disclosure, if any.
- The Central Public Information Officer should make a decision regarding disclosure of the information keeping in view the submission of the third party. Such a decision should be taken within forty days from the receipt of the request for
- information. After taking the decision, the CPIO should give a notice of his decision to the third party in writing. The notice given to the third party should include a statement that the third party is entitled to prefer an appeal under section 19 against the decision.
- The third party can prefer an appeal to the First Appellate Authority against the decision made by the Central Public Information Officer within thirty days from the date of the receipt of notice. If not satisfied with the decision of the First Appellate Authority, the third party can prefer the second appeal to the Central Information Commission.
- If an appeal has been filed by the third party against the decision of the CPIO to disclose the third party information, to information should not be disclosed till the appeal is decided.