CIC directed the PIO (IIM, Ahmedabad) to put the rules on disciplinary action & human resource policy manual on the department’s website u/s 4 of the RTI Act; provide in writing that there was no administrative order to not put these documents on website
1. Shri Ketan Bhatt, the appellant, sought particulars of the official/s, whose duty was to publish and disseminate (electronic copy for the purpose of Section 4 of the RTI Act) of the rules on disciplinary action and human resource policy manual-staff; the date/s on which the above said rules and policy manual were published and disseminated and the administrative reason for not publishing and not disseminating these rules and policy on the institute’s website.
2. The CPIO intimated the appellant that the institute was responsible for publishing all such relevant documents whenever it was required. Being dissatisfied, the appellant approached the FAA with a request to provide required information. The FAA directed the CPIO to supply relevant information to the appellant within 7 days. The CPIO provided a point wise response to the appellant stating that Establishment Office was responsible for the publishing of such rules and policy, which were available with the office for employee’s viewing. Not quite satisfied with the reply of the CPIO, the appellant came in appeal before the Commission.
3. The matter was heard by the Commission. The appellant through email dated 16.06.2017 intimated that he was pressing only for the information sought under point 4 i.e. the dates on which rules on disciplinary action and human resource policy manual-staff were disseminated for the purpose of Section 4 of the RTI Act and point 5 i.e. the administrative reason for not publishing and not disseminating these rule and policy on the institute’s website. During the hearing the appellant reiterated the same as submitted in his email. He alleged that the FAA in his order had confirmed wrongful denial of information. He requested the Commission to initiate penal proceedings against the CPIO for inordinate delay in providing information and wrongful denial of information.
4. The respondent stated that the reply to the RTI application dated 25.08.2014 was provided on 24.09.2014 which was well within time stating that the institute was responsible for publishing all such relevant documents whenever it was required. Further, in compliance of the FAA’s order dated 09.12.2014 the point wise reply had been provided to the appellant on 16.12.2014 clarifying that the duty to publish rules on disciplinary action and human resource policy manual-staff was of Establishment Office and the institute had no system of internal publishing of such documents. The CPIO stated that the IIM, Ahmedabad was a single location building and the HR department was accessible to all the employees and all such type of rules and policy/s were available with the HR department and was accessible to all the employees on demand. He added that the institute followed an informal way of working and since all rules and policy/s related to the employees were easily accessible to them at HR department, there was no need to put these documents on department’s website. However, there was no administrative decision on record to not put these documents on website. The CPIO stated that an elaborated point wise reply had been furnished to the appellant on 15.05.2017 mentioning the dates on which these rules and policy/s were published. He also admitted that there these rules and policy/s could be put on intra-net for the employees viewing.
5. On hearing both the parties, the Commission observes that the CPIO had furnished the reply to the appellant’s RTI application within the stipulated time on 24.09.2014 and in compliance of the FAA’s order dated 09.12.2014, a point wise reply had been provided timely on 16.12.2014 and no wrongful denial of information has been found on the part of the CPIO. With respect to point 4 and 5 pressed by the appellant the Commission therefore keeping in view the objective of bringing about transparency and accountability directs the CPIO to put the rules on disciplinary action and human resource policy manual-staff on the department’s website u/s 4 of the RTI Act, 2005 and provide the appellant in writing that there was no administrative order to not put these documents on website within 20 days from the date of receipt of this order. The CPIO is also directed to send a copy of reply dated 15.05.2017 again to the appellant.
The appeal is disposed of.
Citation: Shri Ketan Bhatt v. IIM, Ahmedabad in Appeal No. CIC/CC/A/2015/002317/MP, Date of Decision: August 10, 2017