Appellant deposited the photocopying charges nearly four months after the intimation by the PIO & requested for reimbursement of it on grounds of delay - CIC: PIO intimated about the charges within one month, so no delay; appeal dismissed
1. These files contain four complaints and an appeal concerning the RTI applications dated 9.7.2014 (Files No. CIC/SH/C/2014/000545, CIC/SH/C/2014/000438 and CIC/SH/C/2014/00549), 26.8.2014 (File No. CIC/SH/C/2014/000495) and 25.10.2013 (File No. CIC/SH/A/2014/001400) filed by the Complainant / Appellant, seeking information on various issues. Not satisfied with the response of the Respondents, he approached the Commission in complaints / appeal in these cases.
2. Regarding the RTI application dated 9.7.2014 (File No. CIC/SH/C/2014/000545, CIC/SH/C/2014/000438 and CIC/SH/C/2014/00549), the Respondents stated that it sought information regarding action taken on an earlier RTI application and first appeal filed by the Complainant. A reply was sent to him on 21.7.2014. The Complainant stated that he did not receive this reply. The Respondents volunteered to send another copy to him. While noting that no further action is due on this RTI application, we also observe that the right course of action for an RTI applicant, in the event of the CPIO not responding to his RTI application, is to file an appeal to the First Appellate Authority and thereafter, if necessary, an appeal / complaint to the Commission. Instead, the Complainant appears to have taken it upon himself to enquire into the delay on the part of the Respondents in responding to his earlier RTI application by filing yet another RTI application dated 9.7.2014. Filing of such applications is avoidable because the RTI Act provides for appeals / complaint process in the event of unsatisfactory action by Respondents on an RTI application. Such applications needlessly clog the system.
3. Regarding the RTI application dated 26.8.2014 (File No. CIC/SH/C/2014/000495), the Respondents stated that the Complainant sought information regarding the office / school buildings handed over by them and date of cleanup of overhead water tank etc. Since no specific period, for which information was required, was indicated, the application was returned to the Complainant on 28.8.2014 by the CPIO, with the request to indicate the period or year for which information was required. Subsequently, some information was provided to the Complainant. The Complainant stated that he was not provided the full information sought by him. However, we note that while the CPIO was wrong in returning the RTI application, he was right in asking the Complainant to indicate the specific period for which information was required. In the light of the foregoing, we do not consider it necessary to enquire further into this complaint.
4. With regard to the RTI application dated 25.10.2013 (File No. CIC/SH/A/2014/001400), the Respondents stated that vide the CPIO’s letter dated 26.11.2013, the Appellant was asked to deposit Rs. 2100/as photocopying charges. He deposited this amount nearly four months later and the information running into 1050 pages was provided to him on 17.4.2014. The Appellant, while acknowledging the receipt of information running into 1050 pages, stated that it was incomplete. However, in response to our query, he did not point out any specific shortcoming(s) in the information provided to him. Further, it is seen that the FAA considered the matter on 28.4.2014 and passed an order on the first appeal of the Appellant the same day. It is seen from this order that the Appellant did not appear during the FAA’s hearing on 28.4.2014. In case he had any complaint regarding incomplete information having been provided to him, he could have raised it before the FAA on 28.4.2014. The Appellant also submitted that the amount of Rs. 2100/charged from him should be reimbursed because the information was provided to him with delay. In this context, we note that the date of the RTI application was 25.10.2013 and the CPIO, vide his letter dated 26.11.2013, asked him to deposit the above amount. Therefore, there was no delay on the part of the CPIO. On the other hand, the Appellant took some time to deposit the photocopying charges, resulting in the delay in provision of the information to him. Therefore, no further action is due in the case of this RTI application.
5. In the light of the foregoing, we see no substance in the four complaints and one appeal before us and these are dismissed.
6. Copies of this order be given free of cost to the parties.
Citation: Shri D. Shekhar v. APWD Nirman Bhawan, A & N Administration in File No. CIC/SH/C/2014/000545 File No. CIC/SH/C/2014/000438 File No. CIC/SH/C/2014/000549 File No. CIC/SH/C/2014/000495 File No. CIC/SH/A/2014/001400