Can PIO offer inspection under RTI instead of giving copies of documents?
The appellant filed an application under the Right to Information (RTI) act with the West Central Railway seeking variety of information such as, Government vehicles being used by the officials and expenses on fuel; facility of mobile phones provided to various categories of employees and the lap tops provided to the officers. The Public Information Officer (PIO) advised the applicant to inspect the relevant records stating that the information sought by him was not centrally maintained and was voluminous in nature.
During the hearing before the Central Information Commission (CIC), the respondent stated that details of the facilities of vehicles provided to the employees are not maintained in one place. They further stated that they have around 19 offices and each office has several units which further have several subunits and officers in all of these offices/ units /subunits use government vehicles for various purposes. They further submitted that each subunit might be maintaining the details in their records. It was thus difficult to compile this information for the appellant. The respondent was further ready to allow inspection of the relevant records as available in respective subunits/ units/offices in one place for the appellant. Regarding the information related to the facilities of mobile phones and lap tops provided to various categories of employees/officers, the respondents stated that this information would be available with the Sr. DST and can be provided to the appellant.
View of CIC
The Central Information Commission (CIC) directed the PIO to provide the information related to the facilities of mobile phones and lap tops to the appellant. The Commission observed that rest of the information cannot be furnished to the appellant in compiled form and directed the PIO to arrange the inspection of relevant records for the appellant on mutually convenient dates in three lots at 3 different mutually convenient places with each lot containing records collected from 6 to 7 offices.
Citation: Mr. G.N. Kumar v. National Railway’s Mazdoor Union, in File No. CIC/AD/A/2012/001409
RTI Citation : RTIFI/2012/CIC/665
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