CIC | Information sought part of a limited question bank and disclosure of same  may compromise the basic integrity of question bank concerned

Central Information Commission (CIC): The Bench of Neeraj Kumar Gupta, Information Commissioner, in an order in respect of an appeal filed before CPIO, M/o Railways, Railways Board, New Delhi stated that for the information sought is a part of a limited question bank the disclosure of which may compromise the basic integrity of the concerned question bank.

In the present application filed by the appellant under Right to Information Act, 2005 the information has been sought on 4 points, including inter-alia: (i) copy of answer sheet of aptitude test and (ii) to provide T-score in certified forwarding letter, etc.

Appellant submitted that complete information has not been provided to him, further he stated that the copy of his aptitude answer sheet as sought has not been provided to him along with information on point numbers 3 and 4.

Respondent in the present case relied on the decision of Delhi High Court in Ministry of Railways v. K.G. Arun Kumar, WP (C) No. 2173 of 2013 and CM No. 4120 of 2013 and stated that information on point no. 1 cannot be provided to the appellant as the questions in the aptitude test are very limited. Information sought on point nos. 3 and 4 are personal information of the third party which is exempted from disclosure under Section 8(1) (j) of the RTI Act.

Decision of the Commission:

Commission after hearing the submissions of the parties and on perusal of records agreed with the reply on point nos. 3 & 4 of the RTI application. Further, the Delhi High Court decision in Ministry of Railways v. K.G. Arun Kumar, WP (C) No. 2173 of 2013 and CM No. 4120 of 2013 was relied on and based on the same the decision was concluded stating that the question paper, answer key and answer sheet related to the aptitude test and that the question papers source their origin from a limited question bank the disclosure of which can jeopardize the pattern of questions asked in the said aptitude test.

Keeping in view the submission of PIO and Delhi High Court’s decision, Commission stated that: it understands the sensitivity of the matter and is hereby instructing the PIO to ensure the appellant while inspecting his answer sheet and answer key does not take photograph or obtain hard/soft copy of the same. [Mrityunjay Kumar Sharma v. CPIO, M/o Railways, RRB, Siliguri, WB, Second Appeal No. CIC/RAILB/A/2017/154940, Order dated 04-04-2019]

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