Appellant’s RTI application was dated 20.7.2016 & response was given by the PIO on 26.9.2016 - CIC advised the PIO to give an interim response to the applicant in case the information is not readily available or awaited from any authority concerned
1. Shri Udhayakumar, the appellant, sought information with reference to File No. 14-03/2015-SU (Vol-I) Government of India, dated 15.7.2016. The appellant sought the name and designation of the competent authority for whose approval draft guidelines were submitted; copy of modified draft guidelines submitted to the competent authority.
2. The appellant, not having received any response from the Central Public Information Officer (CPIO) within the stipulated time period, approached the First Appellate Authority (FAA) with a request to direct the CPIO to provide the requisite information to the appellant at the earliest, which was required in public interest. The FAA also does not appear to have adjudicated in the matter. Aggrieved, the appellant came in appeal before the Commission reiterating his request for providing the information sought by him.
3. The matter was heard by the Commission. The appellant was not present for the hearing despite the notice for hearing having been duly sent to him.
4. The respondent submitted that at the time of the receipt of the appellant’s RTI application, the draft guidelines for wood based industry, as sought by the appellant in his RTI application, were under consideration and had been sent to the Minister for approval and therefore, no reply could have been sent to the appellant at that time by the CPIO. However, approved guidelines were received in the section on 23.9.2016 and reply was given to the appellant’s RTI application after his first appeal dated 22.8.2016 was received in the SU Division on 5.9.2016, vide letter dated 26.9.2016 sent through speed post. The information was also emailed to the appellant on his e-mail address email@example.com. The appellant was not present to put forth his contentions, if any.
5. On hearing the respondent and perusing the available records, the Commission observes that the CPIO has provided the available information, as per the records, to the appellant. The Commission, however, observes that the appellant’s RTI application was dated 20.7.2016 and response was given to the appellant by the CPIO on 26.9.2016, i.e. only after the appellant had approached the Commission in second appeal on 19.9.2016. The Commission, therefore, advises the CPIO for the future to give an interim response to the applicant in case the information is not readily available or awaited from any authority concerned, at the time of the receipt of the RTI application. The appeal is disposed of.
Citation: Shri Udhaya Kumar v. Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change in Appeal No. CIC/MOENF/A/2017/175812/MP, Date of Decision : September 29, 2017