Action against an Assistant Professor for obtaining a false OBC certificate - Respondent: an Enquiry Committee constituted - CIC: inform the reasons for delay, the status of enquiry and the findings, in case the enquiry is complete
Dr. A. Sathinarayanan, the appellant has filed this appeal dated 17.10.2012 before the Commission against the respondent Puducherry University, Puducherry for not providing satisfactory information in response to his RTI-request dated 21.8.2012. The matter came up for hearing on 07.08.2013 at Puducherry. The appellant was present whereas the respondents were represented by Shri P. Subramanian, Dy. Registrar/PIO and Shri N. Giridharan, Assistant Registrar.
2. The appellant through his RTI application dated 21.8.2012 sought information on sixteen queries on various issues. The PIO vide letter dated 3.9.2012, 10.9.2012 and 18.9.2012 provided information on all the queries of appellant’s RTI application, except Query No. 2, 4, 5, 10, 13, 15 and 16 on the grounds that the queries raised were vague and were in the nature of seeking explanations.
3. Aggrieved with reply of the PIO, the appellant filed first appeal on 24.9.2012 before the FAA. The FAA vide order No. PU/REGR/RTI/2012/61 dated 10.10.2012 informed the appellant that only specific information and documents available in the University can be provided under the RTI Act. As per the RTI Act, an applicant can get any information which is already in existence and accessible to the public authority. The appellant is entitled to get a copy of the opinion, advices, circulars, orders etc., but he cannot ask for any information as to why such opinions, advices, circulars, order etc. have been passed. The FAA therefore held that available documents/ information have already been provided by the PIO, hence no further directions could be issued to the PIO in this regard.
4. The appellant has contested the replies to Query No. 2, 4, 8, 13, 14 and 15 of his RTI application.
4.1 At Query No. 2 the appellant sought how many applications were received from the appellant from 2009 till date for the post of lecturer (or) Assistant Professor in Pondicherry University, how many times he was called for interview. The respondent clarified that this information could not be provided as they have to look through about 4000 applications, which would disproportionately divert the manpower and resources of the Public Authority. The Commission accepts the contention of the respondent.
4.2 At Query No. 4 the appellant alleges misrepresentation of facts on the website of the University by showing Naseema Abbasi wife of Shri S.A. Abbasi working as a professor in Pondicherry University. The Commission directs the respondent to look into the matter and take necessary action if the allegations are correct and inform the appeolant. The PIO will comply with the directions of the Commission within two weeks of receipt of this order.
4.3 At Query No. 8, and 13 of the RTI application, the appellant alleges irregularities in the appointment of Tasneema Abbasi as Assistant Professor in the University of Pondicherry against OBC post. The appellant also alleges that Tasneema Abbasi has been appointed on the OBC quota as Assistant Professor whereas she does not qualify to be OBC category in view of the income of her father, who is Professor in Pondicherry University. The respondent state that it is fact that Tasneema Abbasi has been appointed as Assistant Professor under OBC category on the basis of OBC Certificate issued by the Revenue Department, Government of Puducherry. However, based on a letter of the University of Pondicherry, the Revenue Department constituted a Committee and they have cancelled the OBC certificate following which Tasneema Abassi’s appointment has been cancelled. However, she has been subsequently appointed as Assistant Professor in the general category and she is still continuing as Assistant Professor. The Commission observes that requisite information as per record has been provided by the respondent.
4.4 At Query 14 the appellant alleges that Tasneema Abbasi was admitted in M. Tech Course in Pondicherry Engineering College on an OBC Certificate, regarding which the appellant wants to know the action taken by the College. The respondent state that this information can only be provided by the Pondicherry Engineering College. Under the circumstances, the PIO is hereby directed to transfer Query No. 14 of the RTI application to the PIO, Pondicherry Engineering College within five days of receipt of this order, along with a copy of this order, for providing information directly to the appellant.
4.5 At Query No. 15, the appellant wants to know the action against Tasneema Abbasi for obtaining a false OBC certificate. The respondent state that they have already informed the appellant, in reply to another RTI application, that an Enquiry Committee had been constituted by the University about two months back for looking into the matter. The appellant is not satisfied and wants to know reasons for delay on the part of the respondent for taking any action. The Commission directs the PIO to inform the appellant of the reasons for delay, the status of the enquiry and the findings of the Enquiry Committee, in case the enquiry is complete, within two weeks of receipt of this order. The matter is disposed of on the part of the Commission with above directions/observations.
Citation: Dr. A. Sathinarayanan v. Puducherry University in Case No. CIC/SS/A/2012/003620