This commission maintains that though the sugar enquiry report is in possession of FIA, Cabinet Division is the custodian of this enquiry report for the purposes of the Act, 2017 as it has propriety rights of this report.
This commission holds that the Act, 2017 does not only treat finalised enquiry reports as public documents, it requires federal public bodies to proactively publish these finalised enquiry reports on their web sites through its Section 5 (1) (i).
This commission maintains that the Act, 2017 does not provide blanket exemption to any finalised enquiry report.
This commission holds that merely because certain portions of a finalised enquiry report and its ancillary documents may contain information/records which may be hit by exemption clauses of the Act, 2017, it does not mean that it can be exempted from disclosure in its entirety.
The Act, 2017 envisages a situation wherein a document, which should be otherwise be made public but its parts may contain exempted information. In such an eventuality, part(s) containing information to be exempted can be severed, or, blanked out from the document as mentioned in Section 16 (1) (i) of the Act, 2017.
This commission also holds that if Respondent-3, Cabinet Division determines that certain portions of the requested finalised enquiry report, or, certain portions of any of its ancillary documents are hit by any of the exemption clauses of the Act, 2017, the Respondent-3 is required to record specific reason(s) to justify exemption of the portion by invoking the particular exemption clause of the Act, 2017.