Can the PIO ask the applicant to come to collect 7000 pages from his office?
The appellant sought information regarding installation of computer in all the zones & departments of MCD such as the copies of file noting with correspondence regarding installation of computer, the name of the company to whom the order was placed, the amount of work given to the company, the term & conditions on which the order was placed along with the cost of installation and the details along with the invoice copies of the original and pirated software of one computer of every zone. The Public Information Officer (PIO) informed the appellant to submit amount of Rs. 14000/- for the certified copies against the 7000 pages. The appellant paid the additional fee of Rs.14000/- and on not receiving any information, he filed an appeal. The First Appellate Authority (FAA) directed the PIO to provide the 7000 pages within 15 days observing that the information was large and voluminous.
View of CIC
Considering the fact that the information was voluminous and comprised of 7000 pages, the Central Information Commission (CIC) agreed that more time would have been required by the PIO. However, the Commission noted that the PIO did not send the information but instead sent a letter asking the appellant to come and receive the information whereas under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, all information is being sent to the appellants at their house by speed post. Holding that the PIO could have sent these by messenger if it was felt appropriate the Commission asked the PIO to explain the reasons for summoning the appellant to come and receive the information. As the PIO was not able to give any rationale, the Commission directed the PIO to provide the information to the appellant and refund Rs.14000/- to him. The Commission also recommended to the Municipal Commissioner to consider recovering Rs. 14000/- from the salary of the PIO.
There is no specific provision for the recovery of additional fee from the PIO under the RTI Act. However, a public authority can take action for any loss suffered by it due to an action of any government employee.
Citation: Mr. Harish Kumar v. Municipal Corporation of Delhi Department of Information Technology in Decision No. CIC/SG/A/2012/000862/18834
RTI Citation : RTIFI/2012/CIC/387
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