Guj HC asks to consider IAS officers objection on disclosing APR

Ahmedabad: Gujarat High Court has directed the public information officer (PIO) of the state to consider objections of state IAS, IPS and IFS officers on a petition filed by an IAS officer demanding quashing of an RTI order to provide Annual Property Returns (APRs).

Arvind Agrawal, who is at present serving as Managing Director of Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC), approached the high court against state Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) order.

Agrawal has contended that the information sought by an RTI applicant are not in the nature of public interest as they are not related to service matter.

Gujarat high court judge Akil Kureshi directed the public information officer (PIO) on Thursday last to first issue notices and invite objections of the officers whose APRs were sought by RTI applicant and hear them and pass appropriate order.

A journalist Kapil Dave has filed an RTI application in June 2008 seeking APRs of IAS, IPS and IFS officers from the date of their joining service till the present date.

However, it was rejected by the public information officer of the state General administration department,after which the applicant approached CIC of Gujarat R N Das.

Das had in a land mark order, told the state Government to furnish the details of APRs of state IAS, IPS and IFS officers to the journalist.

However, Agarwal's lawyer had contended that the petitioner's objection are required to be examined by the information commissioner and the same cannot be a mere formality.

However, the court also said that once an office is in the public domain he or she should not be shy of revealing details of their own properties.