CIC: The certified copy of a circular issued in 2008 could not be provided after more than one and half years - CIC: The mere administrative transfer of RTI application to the corporate office of the IRCTC was not the correct procedure; PIO warned
PIO - IRCTC has many departments & there is no centralised coordinating mechanism to collect and collate all the circulars - CIC: The certified copy of a circular issued in 2008 could not be provided in more than one and half years CIC: The mere administrative transfer of RTI application to the New Delhi corporate office of the IRCTC was not the correct procedure to deal with this RTI case - CIC issued a warning to the PIO
The appellant vide RTI application dated 15.01.2016 sought copy of circular no.3 of 2008 dated 20.10.2008 issued from CO/IRCTC/NDLS. The CPIO, IRCTC Bhopal forwarded the application to CPIO, IRCTC, New Delhi on 18.01.The appellant being aggrieved filed first appeal on 27.02.2016. The same CPIO, IRCTC, Bhopal again forwarded the first appeal on 28.03.2016. The appellant being aggrieved filed second appeal before this Commission on 16.05.2016.
Grounds for the second appeal
The CPIO did not provide the desired information.
Appellant : Present Respondent : CPIO, Shri P.C. Bihari, Jt. GM
During the hearing the appellant submitted that he had not received any reply till date.
The RTI application dated 15.01.2016 was addressed to the CPIO, Regional Office, IRCTC, Bhopal. The Manager (tourism), IRCTC, Bhopal, Dr. Achyut Singh sent it to the PIO, IRCTC, Corporate Office, New Delhi on 18.1.16. The said letter/transfer was not in accordance with the RTI Act but was only an administrative action which was not relevant under the RTI Act.
Aggrieved with this reply, the appellant went in for first appeal on 27.02.2016 and the First Appellate Authority (FAA) vide its order dated 28.03.2016 sent to the PIO, Jt.GM, New Delhi.
After the receipt of the said letter from Shri Achyut Singh, the CPIO, Shri P.C. Bihari, Jt. GM sent a communication dated 25.2.16 to the appellant stating that the RTI application dated 15.01.2016 could not be connected as the IRCTC has many departments and there is no centralised coordinating mechanism in the IRCTC, Corporate Office, New Delhi to collect and collate all the circulars issued in a centralised manner.
Be that as it may, the fact remains that the RTI application which was regarding provisioning of the certified copy of a circular issued in 2008 to the appellant, could not be provided in more than one and half years. The main responsibility for this lapse is on Dr. Achyut Singh. The mere administrative transfer of this RTI application to the New Delhi corporate office of the IRCTC was not the correct procedure to deal with this RTI case resulting in such inordinate delay in providing the sought for information to the appellant. The primary responsibility for providing the said information is still on the shoulder of Dr. Achyut Singh, Manager (tourism), IRCTC, Bhopal.
The respondent CPIO, Dr. Achyut Singh, Manager (tourism), IRCTC, Bhopal is issued warning for not transferring the RTI application in time in accordance with section 6(3) of the RTI Act and that full, final and comprehensive reply to an RTI application should have been provided within the time period as stipulated under the RTI Act. In future he should ensure that in every case reply to an RTI application is invariably provided within 30 days of receipt of the said RTI application.
The respondent CPIO should note that in future if the same mistake is noticed by the Commission, more stringent action can be taken against the respondent PIO.
Be that as it may, since no information was provided and since Shri P.C. Bihari, Joint General Manager, New Delhi is also involved in this case, he is directed to provide point wise reply complete in all respects to the appellant as available on record in the form of certified true copies of the documents sought e.g. note sheet, letters, correspondence, e-mail etc free of charge u/s 7(6) of the RTI Act within 07 days of the receipt of the order.
The respondent CPIO is further directed to send a report containing the copy of the revised reply and the date of despatch of the same to the RTI appellant within 07 days thereafter to the Commission for record.
With the warning and direction as above, the appeal is disposed of.
Copies of the order be sent to both the parties free of cost.
Citation: ASHISH PANDEY v. Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Ltd. in File No.: CIC/AB/A/2016/000866, Date of hearing : 06.09.2017