The possibility of a failed candidate attempting to take revenge on the selection commission members of the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) cannot be ruled out, said Delhi High Court as it agreed that disclosing their names will “expose them to danger”.
This was decided by Justice Manmohan while setting aside a Central Information Commission (CIC) order to disclose name of the interviewers along with their designation under the RTI Act. The court said that disclosure of names, addresses and qualification of the selection commission members would “endanger the life and physical safety” of those experts and it is, consequently, exempt under Section 8(1)(g) of the RTI Act.
“The disclosure of names and addresses of the members of the interview board would ex facie endanger their lives or physical safety,” the court said, keeping secret the identity of interviewers who were part of the committee to select candidates for the post of Drug Controller of India.
The court said that in the event of such information being made known, a “disgruntled examinee” who is not satisfied with the evaluation of the answer books, may act to the prejudice of the examiner by attempting to endanger his physical safety.
“Any apprehension on the part of the examiner that there may be danger to his physical safety, if his identity becomes known to the examinees, may come in the way of effective discharge of his duties”, Justice Manmohan remarked.
This applies not only to the examiner but also to the scrutiniser, coordinator and head examiners who deal with the answer book,” it opined.
UPSC had sought dismissal of the plea arguing that the marks, views, opinions of the experts, who were on the interview board is held by the Commission in a fiduciary relationship.
It contended that the information relates to the core functioning of UPSC and its disclosure would “seriously endanger the process of secrecy and confidentiality of the selection process” as well as “jeopardize the total
functioning and activity of UPSC” by rendering it amenable to manipulation or misuse by interested individual or groups.
The court disposed of the case saying that disclosure of the identity of board member would not serve any fruitful purpose.