A Division Bench of the Kerala High Court on Wednesday held that the State Public Service Commission (PSC) was bound to provide information regarding answer scripts and other details about the examinations sought by examinees under the Right to Information Act.
The Bench comprising Justice Thottathil B. Radhakrishnan and Justice P.S. Gopinathan made the observation while disposing of a batch of writ petitions filed by the PSC challenging various orders of the State Information Commission.
The court granted the PSC time to comply with various directions of the State Information Commission.
The court held that the commission could provide information including the identity of examiners after the evaluation process was over, under the Right to Information Act.
Such an action would inspire the confidence of the public in the commission.
The court observed that it could be pointed out that the identity of examiners had to be insulated from the public. But, at any rate, such things would go into oblivion after the evaluation of the examination was over. It could not be in public interest to keep such information as secret after the publication of the results.
The court held that the information regarding the details of a third party could be provided subject to Section 11 of the Right to Information Act.
As per the section, the third party should be given notice asking him/her whether the information about them should be disclosed, and the submission of the third party shall be kept in view while taking a decision about disclosure of information regarding the third party.
The PSC contented that it had a fiduciary relationship with those who wrote the examinations and the examiners.
Unless the information were kept confidential, it would lead to difficult situations.
Therefore, such information sought under the Right to Information Act could not be disclosed.