The Appellant filed a number of RTI applications seeking information on varied subjects, often for long periods of time - Referring to SC judgment (CBSE & Anr. v. Aditya Bandopadhyay & Ors.) the CIC held that it is not necessary to compile information
File No. CIC/SM/A/2012/000647/SH
The Appellant filed an RTI application on 5.1.2012, seeking information on five points. Not satisfied with the reply of the CPIO (7.2.2012) and not having heard from the FAA in response to his appeal dated 7.2.2012, he approached the CIC in second appeal on 8.3.2012.
File No. CIC/SM/A/2012/000648/SH
2. The Appellant filed an RTI application on 6.1.2012 seeking information on five points. Not satisfied with the reply of the CPIO (14.2.2012) and not having received a reply from the FAA on his appeal dated 8.2.2012, he approached the CIC in second appeal on 9.3.2012.
File No. CIC/VS/A/2012/000504/SH
3. The Appellant filed an RTI application on 9.3.2012 seeking information on two points. Not satisfied with the reply of the CPIO (19.4.2012) and not having heard from the FAA on his appeal dated 13.4.2012, he approached the CIC in second appeal on 20.5.2012.
File No. CIC/SM/A/2012/000649/SH
4. The Appellant filed an RTI application on 7.1.2012, seeking information on three points. Not satisfied with the reply of the CPIO (7.2.2012) and not having heard from the FAA on his appeal dated 9.2.2012, he approached the CIC in second appeal on 10.3.2012.
5. Since the Appellant and the Respondents in these four cases are the same, we have decided to issue a common order. The Appellant was not present in spite of a written notice having been sent to him. However, we took into account his written submissions in his appeals to the CIC.
6. File No. CIC/SM/A/2012/000647/SH : The Appellant had stated that the Respondents had not given him the amount of ATM contract in response to query No. V in his RTI application. The Respondents stated that all the details of the ATM contract were subsequently placed on their website and are updated from time to time. We, therefore, note that this RTI application has been responded to in keeping with the provisions of the RTI Act and no further action is pending on it.
7. File No. CIC/SM/A/2012/000648/SH : The Appellant had stated that he had not been given detailed information in response to queries Nos. II and III of his RTI application. Query No. II sought information regarding NOCs issued to the bank employees for applying for job elsewhere during the period 2006 to 2011. The Respondents stated that they did not possess compiled information on this subject on their records. Query No. III sought information, inter alia, regarding the money spent on building disabled friendly ramps / railings etc. at the ATMs. The Respondents stated that they do not have segregated information on this subject. We are in agreement with the Respondents that they cannot provide information which does not exist on their records. Therefore, we note that this RTI application has been responded to in keeping with the provisions of the RTI Act and no further action is pending on it.
8. File No. CIC/VS/A/2012/000504/SH : The Appellant had stated that detailed information had not been provided in response to the two queries in his RTI application. In this context, it is noted that in query No. I, the Appellant sought information regarding recruitment of officers for the period 2000 to 2012 and in query No. II regarding the officers who left their jobs during the same period. The Respondents stated that they do not possess compiled information on the above aspects on their records. We are in agreement with them that they cannot provided information, which does not exist on their records. Accordingly, we note that this RTI application has been responded to in keeping with the provisions of the RTI Act and no further action is pending on it.
9. File No. CIC/SM/A/2012/000649/SH: The Appellant had stated that in response to query No. I, the CPIO had not given information regarding customer grievances statewise. The Respondents stated that they did not have segregated information on this aspect on their records. The Appellant had also stated that the Respondents had not provided the information on query No. IV. In this context, we note that query No. IV was not clear, because it sought information on officers of the bank who had “not been transferred as usual according to transfer policy of bank...” In the light of the foregoing, we are of the view that this RTI application has been responded to in keeping with the provisions of the RTI Act and no further action is pending on it.
10. We also note that the Appellant has filed a number of RTI applications to various Respondents, seeking information on varied subjects, often for long periods of time, running upto ten years. In this context, we note that in its judgment in Central Board of Secondary Education and Anr. Vs. Aditya Bandopadhyay and Ors. [Civil Appeal No. 6454 of 2011], the Hon’ble Supreme Court stated the following:
“ 37. The right to information is a cherished right. Information and right to information are intended to be formidable tools in the hands of responsible citizens to fight corruption and to bring in transparency and accountability. The provisions of RTI Act should be enforced strictly and all efforts should be made to bring to light the necessary information under clause (b) of section 4(1) of the Act which relates to securing transparency and accountability in the working of public authorities and in discouraging corruption. But in regard to other information,(that is information other than those enumerated in section 4(1)(b) Every public authority shall publish within one hundred and twenty days from the enactment of this Act,- (i) the particulars of its organisation, functions and duties; (ii) the powers and duties of its officers and employees; (iii) the procedure followed in the decision making process, including channels of supervision and accountability; (iv) the norms set by it for the discharge of its functions; (v) the rules, regulations, instructions, manuals and records, held by it or under its control or used by its employees for discharging its functions; (vi) a statement of the categories of documents that are held by it or under its control; (vii) the particulars of any arrangement that exists for consultation with, or representation by, the members of the public in relation to the formulation of its policy or implementation thereof; (viii) a statement of the boards, councils, committees and other bodies consisting of two or more persons constituted as its part or for the purpose of its advice, and as to whether meetings of those boards, councils, committees and other bodies are open to the public, or the minutes of such meetings are accessible for public; (ix) a directory of its officers and employees; (x) the monthly remuneration received by each of its officers and employees, including the system of compensation as provided in its regulations; (xi) the budget allocated to each of its agency, indicating the particulars of all plans, proposed expenditures and reports on disbursements made; (xii) the manner of execution of subsidy programmes, including the amounts allocated and the details of beneficiaries of such programmes; (xiii) particulars of recipients of concessions, permits or authorisations granted by it; (xiv) details in respect of the information, available to or held by it, reduced in an electronic form; (xv) the particulars of facilities available to citizens for obtaining information, including the working hours of a library or reading room, if maintained for public use; (xvi) the names, designations and other particulars of the Public Information Officers; (xvii) such other information as may be prescribed and thereafter update these publications every year; and (c) of the Act), equal importance and emphasis are given to other public interests (like confidentiality of sensitive information, fidelity and fiduciary relationships, efficient operation of governments, etc.). Indiscriminate and impractical demands or directions under RTI Act for disclosure of all and sundry information (unrelated to transparency and accountability in the functioning of public authorities and eradication of corruption) would be counter-productive as it will adversely affect the efficiency of the administration and result in the executive getting bogged down with the non-productive work of collecting and furnishing information. The Act should not be allowed to be misused or abused, to become a tool to obstruct the national development and integration, or to destroy the peace, tranquility and harmony among its citizens. Nor should it be converted into a tool of oppression or intimidation of honest officials striving to do their duty. The nation does not want a scenario where 75% of the staff of public authorities spends 75% of their time in collecting and furnishing information to applicants instead of discharging their regular duties. The threat of penalties under the RTI Act and the pressure of the authorities under the RTI Act should not lead to employees of a public authorities prioritising ‘information furnishing’, at the cost of their normal and regular duties.”
11. In the light of the above observation of the Hon’ble Supreme Court, we do not consider it necessary to direct the public authorities to compile information in the cases, in which it is not available on their records.
12. With the above observations, all the four appeals are disposed of.
13. Copies of this order be given free of cost to the parties.
Citation: Shri Nitesh Kumar Tripathi v. Canara Bank in File No. CIC/SM/A/2012/000647/SHCIC/SM/A/2012/000648/SH CIC/VS/A/2012/000504/SH CIC/SM/A/2012/000649/SH