CIC: information about the designation, salary & seniority of an individual can be given; make effort to trace the record & initiate against action against the officer who is supposed to protect the records, if proved that he did not protect them properly
The appellant is present. The Public Authority from Department of Labour is represented by Ms. Shashi Bala Sharma, SPIO(HQ) & SO (Planning), and from Services Department, is represented by Shri Sanjeev Saroha, PIO, Satinder Mohan, Supdt (Coord), Mr. R.P.Singh, Supdt (Services), Mr. Rajesh Kumar, GrIII and Mr. Balvinder , GrIII, Government of NCT of Delhi, Delhi.
2. The appellant filed the above two appeals on the same subject against two Departments and hence they are heard together today.
3. In the first RTI application dt. 1412013, the appellant submitted that he is seeking the service details of one employee by name Mr. JBL Tandon – about his date of appointment as Inspecting Officer (Bonus), his appointment letter, date of reversion of Mr. Tandon from the excadre post, how Mr. Tandon was selected as Inspecting Officer, etc. PIO of the Department of Labour, replied on 3012013, on which the appellant filed first appeal before the First Appellate Authority on 4-2-2013. Not having received any order from the FAA, the appellant filed 2nd appeal before the Commission, after the mandatory period.
4. In the second RTI application with the same date as the first, filed against the Services Department, the appellant is again seeking the service details of the same employee Mr. JBL Tandon, who retired in January 2004 raising mainly the issue of seniority and seeking the same copies as he has asked in the case No.(1) above. The PIO of the Services Department who replied on 13-1-2013, stated that his RTI application stands transferred to the Labour Department, as his desired information mostly pertains to the said Department. The appellant was also asked to deposit a fee of lRs.16/ for obtaining the rest of the information available with the Services Department. Even though the appellant made first appeal before the FAA of Services Department in this case, no order of FAA is available on the file. Therefore, the appellant filed 2nd appeal in this case before the Commission.
5. Heard the submissions made by the appellant and the representatives of the two Departments, namely, Department of Labor and Services Department.
In the first case, the appellant is asking for the service details of one employee by name, Mr. JBL Tondon, Inspecting Officer (Bonus), working with the respondent authority. The appellant has some problem with the seniority visàvis Mr. JBL Tondon as the latter happened to be the colleague of the appellant. The appellant claims that Mr Tondon was given seniority which he does not deserve. He wanted to have the letter of appointment and letter of regularization, letter of reversion to the general pool, copy of the order issued by the Services Department, etc of Mr. JBL Tandon. The Commission is of the view that all these letters need not be given to the appellant by the respondent authority, as the some of the points sought by the appellant is ‘third party’ information for which the department should have taken the consent of Mr. JBL Tondon. The respondent authority can give information about the designation, salary, seniority of Mr. JBL Tondon. The respondent authority is, therefore, directed to comply with the procedure prescribed under the RTI Act regarding giving third party information. The respondent authority is claiming that the concerned records are not available. The Commission also recommends the respondent authority to initiate every possible effort to trace the record and find out who is in charge of those documents and initiate against action against the said officer, who is supposed to protect the records, and if proved, not protected the records properly. The respondent authority can give the information to the appellant, in response to his RTI application, only after considering the objections of the third party.
6. As far as the second case is concerned, the respondent authority (Services Department) says that copy of the seniority list, copy of promotion order of Mr. Tandon were given to the appellant. Copy of regularization of promotion dt. 6-8-1992 was also given to the appellant. The remaining are pertained to the Department of Labour. The respondent submitted that the copies supplied to the appellant, are combined orders, not individual orders, and they are already available in the public domain. The Commission observes that the appellant has already secured the copies of the letters, which he was seeking from the Labour Department in the first file mentioned above and the Department of Labor are unnecessarily saying that the file is not available. The information sought under points 2 and 3 of the RTI application, are general questions of enquiry and they do not fall under the definition of ‘information’ under section 2(f) “information” means any material in any form, including records, documents, memos, e-mails, opinions, advices, press releases, circulars, orders, logbooks, contracts, reports, papers, samples, models, data material held in any electronic form and information relating to any private body which can be accessed by a public authority under any other law for the time being in force; of the RTI Act. As regards copy of appointment order of Mr. Tandon, sought under point No.5, the respondent authority submitted that the appointment order will be given to the individual officer and it is not the combined order which can be supplied to the appellant. The Services Department also submitted that the appointment and other related service details will be available with the Labor Department, which was the subject matter of RTI application before the Labor Department. Thus the appellant got sufficient information in these two RTI applications and no further information need to be given to him. The appellant says that he was not given the annexures, which the respondent authority claims that they have dispatched the same to the appellant twice. The respondent authority (Services Department) is therefore, directed to verify whether these annexures were given or not. If not the appellant shall be given those copies.
7. With the above observations, the two appeals are disposed of accordingly.
(M. Sridhar Acharyulu)
Citation: Mr. Narain Singh v. Labour Dept. GNCTD, Delhi & Services Deptt, GNCTD, Delhi in (1) File No.CIC/AD/A/2013/001155SA (2) File No.CIC/AD/A/2013/001156SA