India's transparency watchdog the Central Information Commission (CIC) has asked the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) to disclose merit list of persons and the criteria applied for selection in different government jobs.
The CIC order can have implications for UPSC as now the candidates can seek information regarding the process of selection in the government jobs, which the commission had not been willing to disclose.
The commission recruits employees for most of the Central government organizations.
The UPSC has declined providing the merit list of the lecturers appointed in Medical College, Chandigarh, on the ground that the information pertained to "the core areas of the commission and the same will not serve any public interest or activity".
In a reply to an RTI application of Dr Ashok Kumar Singh, the UPSC also said that the information sought was held under a fiduciary relationship and is exempted from disclosure under the transparency law.
The commission had rejected Kumar's application for the job stating that he was over-age, following which he filed an application seeking criteria and merit list of the selected candidates.
Chief Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah did not agree with UPSC's contention saying the information regarding the candidates selected did not fall under the definition of fiduciary relationship as defined by different courts.
The CIC defined fiduciary relationship as the "one of moral or personal responsibility, due to the better or superior knowledge or training, or superior status of the fiduciary as compared to the one whose affairs he handles".
In case of information regarding the candidates, the CIC said, the fiduciary clause was not applicable, as UPSC was not legally bound to withhold the information.
"The UPSC is, therefore, advised to review its policy on disclosure of information of this nature," Habibullah said in his order this week.