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CIC pulls up UPSC for not disclosing to candidate own answer sheet

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A student coming back from the Western Indian state of Rajasthan reacts as he sits inside a special government bus during a government-imposed nationwide lockdown as a preventive measure against the COVID-19 coronavirus, in Kolkata on May 1, 2020.

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New Delhi: The Central Information Commission has pulled up the Union Public Service Commission for not disclosing to a candidate appearing in the recruitment examination for geologists his own answer sheets, calling it "non-application of mind" by the officer handling the plea.

Information Commissioner Divya Prakash Sinha admonished the Central Public Information Officer for denying information under RTI exemption clauses of 8(1)(d) pertaining to commercial secrets and 8(1)(g) for endangering someone's life.

He took "strong exception" to the fact that the CPIO had denied the the RTI applicant access to his own answer sheets on the ground when "applicability of neither of the two is pertinent".

"Similarly, it is clear beyond reasonable doubt that the CPIO has absolutely no knowledge of the provisions of RTI Act as he has even cited Section 7(9) of RTI Act which is absurd in the facts of the instant case," Sinha said.

He warned the CPIO to remain extremely careful in future while interpreting exemption clauses and other provisions of RTI Act.

"Commission severely admonishes the CPIO for unnecessarily delaying the provision of information on para 1 of the RTI Application by citing irrelevant exemption clauses and provisions of RTI Act," he said and directed the CPIO to provide the applicant access to the answer sheet.

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