Appellant: copies of various documents sought have been deliberately denied and instead, inspection of documents in respondent’s office has been offered, which would involve expense & effort on his part - CIC: Appeal dismissed
These files pertain to nine RTI applications dated 5.3.2013, 8.3.2013, 18.3.2013, 22.3.2013, 25.3.2013 (two applications), 2.4.2013, 17.4.2013 and 25.4.2013 filed by the Appellant seeking information regarding repairs and construction in and around the Chittorgarh Fort. Not satisfied with the response of the Respondents, he has approached the CIC in second appeal in all the nine cases.
2. We heard the submissions of the Appellant and the Respondents. The Appellant submitted that he had sought copies of various documents in his RTI applications, which have been deliberately denied to him. Instead, he was asked to inspect the relevant records of the Respondents in their office, which would involve expense and effort on his part. He pleaded that direction be given to the Respondents to provide photocopies of all the documents sought by him. He also pleaded that penalty be imposed on the CPIO under Section 20 (1) of the RTI Act.
3. The Appellant further stated that vide his RTI application dated 5.3.2013 (File No. CIC/BS/A/2013/002216/SH), he had sought information regarding construction of a room by the Respondents and ownership of the land on which it is constructed. He alleged that the room in question has been built on land belonging to him. He submitted that instead of answering his queries in the above mentioned RTI application, the Respondents have stated that the information sought by him is not available.
4. The Respondents submitted that the Appellant has filed multiple RTI applications seeking information on various issues, including copies of muster rolls and measurement books etc. (The Appellant acknowledged that he has filed thirty RTI applications and nineteen appeals to the Commission). The Respondents further submitted that the Appellant also sought inspection of some works on the spot. They stated that some information was provided to him. However, since the remaining information is voluminous, he was asked to inspect the relevant records in their office. He could thereafter obtain copies of the documents desired by him.
5. We have examined the submissions made by both the parties before us. It is noted that the Respondents offered inspection of the relevant records to the Appellant. In case he is genuinely interested in getting information, he can surely make the effort to inspect the records and obtain copies of such documents as are needed by him. In addition to the nine appeals of the Appellant before us today, we considered two appeals earlier on 27.8.2014 and 1.9.2014. In our decision No. CIC/BS/A/2013/001789/SH & CIC/BS/A/2013/001824/SH dated 27. 8. 2014, we had stated that we did not consider it necessary to interfere with the offer of inspection of work and documents made by the CPIO. We had further stated that should the Appellant avail himself of the above offer, the CPIO should provide photocopies of up to 100 pages of the inspected records, needed by the Appellant, free of cost and that photocopies needed by him beyond the above number should be furnished on payment of the prescribed photocopying charges. We also note that in one case (RTI application dated 25.3.2013 on File No. CIC/BS/A/2013/002109/SH), the Appellant had sought inspection of some ongoing work and the CPIO had informed him vide his letter dated 5.4.2013 that he could carry out the inspection. The Appellant stated that he had sought certified samples from the work site. The Respondents submitted that the samples could have been provided when the work was in progress. However, the Appellant did not carry out the site inspection. They further submitted that since work has been completed now, samples cannot be provided. In response to our query, the Appellant had no satisfactory explanation regarding why he did not carry out the site inspection offered by the CPIO. 6. Taking into account the above, we direct the CPIO to provide information, on the basis of the records of the public authority, in response to the RTI application dated 5.3.2013 on File No. CIC/BS/A/2013/002216/SH. The CPIO is further directed to complete action on our above directive within thirty days of the receipt of this order, under intimation to the Commission. With the above directions, the second appeal of the Appellant in respect of his RTI application dated 5.3.2013 (File No. CIC/BS/A/2013/002216/SH) is disposed of.
7. We find no merit in the remaining eight appeals before us. Accordingly, these are dismissed.
8. Copies of this order be given free of cost to the parties.
Citation: Shri Gopal Lal Maliwal v. Archaeological Survey of India in File No. CIC/BS/A/2013/002216/SH File No. CIC/BS/A/2013/002123/SH
File No. CIC/BS/A/2013/002218/SH File No. CIC/BS/A/2013/002264/SH
File No. CIC/BS/A/2013/002109/SH File No. CIC/BS/A/2013/002240/SH
File No. CIC/BS/A/2013/002065/SH File No. CIC/BS/A/2013/002259/SH
File No. CIC/BS/A/2013/001963/SH