Appellant wanted to know why ‘Mahara’ caste is being treated differently in MP and Chattisgarh - it is the subject matter of Min of Social Justice and Empowerment – reply was in general terms and point wise reply not provided - matter remanded back
Appellant wanted to know as to why ‘Mahara’ caste is being treated differently in Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh - In Madhya Pradesh the ‘Mahara’ caste is being treated as ‘Scheduled Caste’ while in Chattisgarh it is not – the respondents replied that it is the subject matter of Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment – the CIC ruled that the Respondents have not provided point wise reply to the appellant corresponding to his RTI application and the reply has been in ‘general terms’ - the matter remanded back to the Appellate Authority with a direction to pass a speaking order in the matter
Facts of the case:
1. The Appellant filed his RTI application dated 03.01.2012 (not legible), with the CPIO, Office of the Registrar General, India, New Delhi seeking certain information including
“whether the modalities laid down by law may be double standard for same mahra caste for undivided MP (parent state) 7 for New formed Chhattisgarh state and for the same caste although from the above documents it is crystal clear that the matter is basically connected with chhattisgarh state as it is only phonically that mahar is called mahra in local dialect. But the Modalities adopted for undivided MP and Chhattisgarh region is biased and once it is followed for same caste and same region than why again it should be repeated. Under which rule it is permissible’ your office letter No 8/1/2003 SS (Chattisgarh) Dated 19/2/2011 with all connected papers; what action against officials who are indulged to misleading Govt of India in this respect. Pl give Name of such officers alos;
Please Mention under which rule it is permitted to give dual opinion as Registrar General of India census have given dual opinion in letter no. 8/1/2003 ss (CG) dated 1/10/2008 and RGI letter No 8/1/92/ss/MP dated 29/10/92 for same mahra caste of same Chhattisgarh region before and after formation of Chhattisgarh…”
2. Since the Appellant did not receive any reply from the CPIO, he filed his first appeal before the Appellate Authority on 16.01.2012.
3. Subsequently, the CPIO replied to Appellant’s RTI application vide his letter dated 23.01.2012 informing that
“with regard to the revision of the list of Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs), technical comments of the Office of Registrar General, India is requested by the nodal Ministry (Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment for cases related to SCs and Ministry of Tribal Affairs for cases related to STs) as per the Modalities approved by the Government of India. The office of Registrar General, India examine and prepare comments for consumption of the involving nodal Ministry and for taking further necessary action at their end. And in this matter the comments of the office of the Registrar General, India is not final/binding for the Ministry.”
4. The Appellate Authority decided the Appellant’s appeal vide his order dated 01.03.2012 providing further clarification to the Appellant on the issue.
5. The Appellant thereafter filed the present appeal before the Commission stating that the replies given by the Respondents have no relevance to his RTI queries.
6. During the hearing, the Respondents state that the Appellant here basically wanted to know as to why ‘Mahara’ caste is being treated differently in Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh. In Madhya Pradesh the ‘Mahara’ caste is being treated as ‘Scheduled Caste’ while in Chattisgarh it is not. It is also the Appellant’s allegation that there is anomaly in treatment by the office of Registrar General in dealing with ‘Mahara’ caste in Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh. The Respondents submit that this is the subject matter of Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment. According to them, they only offer their comments on a given matter to the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment in accordance with the procedure laid down in the ‘approved modalities’. They also clarify that as per the approved modalities they are not supposed to interact and correspond with the individual or community concerned on such matter.
7. On consideration of the submissions above and on perusal of records, the Commission observes that the Respondents have not provided pointwise reply to the appellant corresponding to his RTI application. They replied to the Appellant in ‘general terms’.
8. In view of the above, the matter is hereby remanded back to the Appellate Authority with a direction to pass a speaking order in the matter. He should examine all the points mentioned in the Appellant’s RTI application and provide the requisite information/ appropriate reply to the Appellant as per the available records. The Appellate Authority should also record in his order as to how this particular matter had been dealt with in the office of Registrar General, India.
9. Appeal is disposed of with the above directions, which are to be complied with within 4 weeks of receipt of this order.
Citation - Shri V.K. Chaudhary v. Office of the Registrar General of India in Case No. CIC/SS/C/2012/000949