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Court can dismiss writ petition if it suppresses substantial facts: High Court of Delhi

When a writ petition is filed in the high court, the court can use is discretionary power under Section 226 and writ court may refuse to entertain the petition and dismiss it without entering into merits of the matter if there is suppression of material facts on the part of the applicant. This was decided in the case of Amit Kumar Shrivastava V. Central Information Commission [W.P.(C) 3701 of 2018} by Hon’ble Justice Jayant Nath in the High Court Of Delhi

The facts of the case are that the petitioner is that he filed an RTI Application on 05.09.2016 under Rule 6 of the Right to Information Act, 2005 seeking disclosure of point wise information which was mentioned at serial No. 5(i) to 5(xxv) of the said application did not provide correct information in respect of point 5(i) of the RTI application. The CPIO hid the cases registered under IPC/PC Act. It is also claimed that the CPIO misled regarding the other issues. Information was not disclosed under Section 8(1) (h) of the RTI Act.

The petitioner filed a first appeal before the First Appellate Authority. It is stated that the Appellate Authority did not decide the appeal of the petitioner in the defined period. The petitioner filed a second appeal before the Second Appellate Authority CIC. It is the grievance of the petitioner that during the hearing, the respondent believed the verbal submissions of the CPIO instead of the written submissions of the petitioner and allowed them to sustain their stand for non-disclosure of the information in respect of all the points by claiming exemption under Section 8(1) (h) of the RTI Act. Hence, the present writ petition was filed.

The court firstly observed that that there are serious and grave allegations and proceedings including criminal proceedings and departmental proceedings pending against the petitioner. None of this has been mentioned in the present writ petition which shows that there is suppression of material and vital facts by the petitioner. A case was registered against the petitioner by CBI on the allegation of criminal conspiracy of cheating by impersonation, demand of illegal gratification and misuse of official position. The petitioner was taken into custody by CBI and was remanded to judicial custody by the CBI Special Court.

The court went on to say that this suppression of facts itself, in my opinion, is sufficient to dismiss the writ petition. In this context reference may be had to the judgment of the Supreme Court in the case of Prestige Lights Limited vs. State Bank of India, (2007) 8 SCC 449 where the court held “The High Court is exercising discretionary and extraordinary jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution. Over and above, a court of law is also a court of equity. It is, therefore, of utmost necessity that when a party approaches a High Court, he must place all the facts before the Court without any reservation. If there is suppression of material facts on the part of the applicant or twisted facts have been placed before the W.P.(C) 3701/2018 Page 4 of 12 Court, the writ court may refuse to entertain the petition and dismiss it without entering into merits of the matter”.

However in this case the court found the exemption under Section 8 was not rightly applied and decision was made in favor of the applicant. 

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