Election Commission to provide file-noting regarding procurement of EVM
Through two applications, the appellant sought variety of information about the functioning of the Central Election Commission including details regarding the electronic voting machines, appointment of Chief Election Commissioner and Election Commissioners etc. The PIO provided certain information and asked to appellant to inspect the records while the FAA endorsed the decision of PIO.
View of CIC
The Commission directed the PIO to furnish the photocopy of the relevant file noting in which the competent authority had decided to procure the electronic voting machines from two Government of India undertakings and not through the public tender route. The PIO was also directed to provide the photocopy of the enquiry report to fix responsibility for the delay in providing information and any other file noting recorded by the competent authority in this regard.
Regarding the appointment of the Chief Election Commissioner and Election Commissioners, the appellant argued that if the Election Commission was not aware of the process of the appointment or about the nodal ministry in the government responsible for such appointment, the PIO should have transferred his RTI application to the President of India who surely was the appointing authority. The respondents submitted that while the Ministry of Law and Justice happened to be the administrative ministry for the Election Commission, they had no knowledge about the exact authority or the Ministry in the government which might be processing such appointment to the office of the CEC/EC. The Commission observed that it would have been prudent on the part of the PIO to have transferred this particular query to the President Secretariat and directed direct him to do so now within 10 working days of receiving this order.
Citation: Shri Kishanlal Mittal v. Election Commission of India in file No.CIC/SM/A/2011/000171, 836 & 1046