Appellant filed the first appeal before FAA & the second appeal before the CIC on the same day - CIC: Appellant has not followed the procedure established under the law and prematurely filed the second appeal; appeal is not maintainable & dismissed
1. The Appellant through an RTI application dated 04.03.2013 sought certain information regarding a vigilance case against one Shri A.P. Sarma. The Appellant also mentioned that “…this RTI application is being made in advance of A P Sarma’s case coming to CVC for second stage advice from Railway Board soon.”
2. The CPIO vide his letter dated 05.04.2013 declined the disclosure of information to the Appellant on the ground that the case file is under examination in the CVC and that disclosure of the information at this stage may impede the process of investigation/inquiry. He cited exemption under section 8(1)(h) Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, there shall be no obligation to give any citizen, information which would impede the process of investigation or apprehension or prosecution of offenders; of the RTI Act.
3. Aggrieved by the CPIO’s reply, the Appellant filed an appeal dated 15.04.2013 before the Appellate Authority. However, on the same day, he also filed an appeal before the Commission requesting for disclosure of information as sought by him in his RTI application.
4. A perusal of records shows that the Appellant has filed the present appeal before the Commission on the same day (i.e.15.04.2013) when he filed his first appeal before the Appellate Authority. In terms of section 19(6) An appeal under sub-section (1) or sub-section (2) shall be disposed of within thirty days of the receipt of the appeal or within such extended period not exceeding a total of forty-five days from the date of filing thereof, as the case may be, for reasons to be recorded in writing. of the RTI Act, an appeal filed under section 19(1) Any person who, does not receive a decision within the time specified in sub¬section (1) or clause (a) of sub-section (3) of section 7, or is aggrieved by a decision of the Central Public Information Officer or State Public Information Officer, as the case may be, may within thirty days from the expiry of such period or from the receipt of such a decision prefer an appeal to such officer who is senior in rank to the Central Public Information Officer or State Public Information Officer as the case may be, in each public authority: Provided that such officer may admit the appeal after the expiry of the period of thirty days if he or she is satisfied that the appellant was prevented by sufficient cause from filing the appeal in time. of the RTI Act is to be disposed of by the Appellate Authority within thirty days of receipt of the appeal or within such extended period not exceeding a total of forty five days from the date of filing of the appeal, as the case may be, for reason to be recorded in writing. Further section 19(3) A second appeal against the decision under sub-section (1) shall lie within ninety days from the date on which the decision should have been made or was actually received, with the Central Information Commission or the State Information Commission: Provided that the Central Information Commission or the State Information Commission, as the case may be, may admit the appeal after the expiry of the period of ninety days if it is satisfied that the appellant was prevented by sufficient cause from filing the appeal in time. of the RTI Act specifies the time limit for filing the second appeal before the Commission that is within ninety days from the date on which the decision (under subsection (6) of section 19) should have been made or was actually received. However, in this case the Appellant has filed the second appeal before the Commission without even waiting for the decision of the Appellate Authority. He has thus not followed the procedure established under the law and prematurely filed the present second appeal before the Commission.
5. For the reason stated above, the present appeal is not maintainable and is hereby dismissed.
Chief Information Commissioner
Citation: Shri S.K. Nanda v. Central Vigilance Commission in Case No. CIC/SM/A/2013/000753SS