Right to Information Act, 2005 — Section 8(1)(e) — Exemption from disclosure — Availability –

February 11th, 2013

Right to Information Act, 2005 — Section 8(1)(e) — Exemption from disclosure — Availability — Fiduciary relationship — Instructions and solutions to questions communicated by the examining body to the examiners, head-examiners and moderators, are information available to such persons in their fiduciary relationship and therefore exempted from disclosure under section 8(1)(e).

HELD: It should be noted that section 8(1)(e) uses the words “information available to a person in his fiduciary relationship. Significantly section 8(1)(e) does not use the words “information available to a public authority in its fiduciary relationship”. The use of the words “person” shows that the holder of the information in a fiduciary relationship need not only be a ‘public authority’ as the word ‘person’ is of much wider import than the word ‘public authority’. Therefore the exemption under section 8(1)(e) is available not only in regard to information that is held by a public authority (in this case the examining body) in a fiduciary capacity, but also to any information that is given or made available by a public authority to anyone else for being held in a fiduciary relationship. In other words, anything given and taken in confidence expecting confidentiality to be maintained will be information available to a person in fiduciary relationship — .

Institute of Chartered Accountants of India v. Shaunak H. Satya[Bench Strength 2], Civil Appeal No. 7571/2011 (Arising out of SLP (C) No. 2040/2011)(02/09/2011), 2012(1) SCV(Civil) 23: 2011 AIR(SC) 3336: 2011(8) SCC 781: 2011(10) JT 128: 2011(9) SCALE 639: 2011(6) SLT 692 [R.V. Raveendran, J.: A.K. Patnaik, J.]

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