CIC: NALCO is represented in DPS School Management Committee & it provides the quarters for use of teachers and other staffs of DPS – CIC concluded that the information can be accessed by the NALCO from DPS, NALCO Nagar; provide the information
The appellant sought information on 19 points regarding teachers working in DPS, Nalco Nagar, Angul.
Relevant facts emerging during hearing:
Both parties are present and heard. The appellant filed an RTI application on 23.09.2013 seeking the above information. PIO vide reply dated 11.10.2013 informed the appellant that DPS, Nalco Nagar, Angul is an independent educational institute and is managed by Delhi Public School Society Delhi and no records of the school are maintained by NALCO. The FAA vide order dated 19.12.2013 upheld the stand of the PIO. Not satisfied with the response of the public authority, appellant filed the present appeal before the Commission. The appellant stated that she had sought information about the teachers employed in DPS, Nalco Nagar, Angul but the PIO malafidely denied the information stating that information sought is not available with NALCO. The respondent stated that the DPS Nalco Nagar is run by Delhi Public School Society and there is a agreement between NALCO and DPS Society in which the NALCO provides the infrastructure to the school and the DPS society runs the school as per their rules and guidelines. On queries by the Commission as to whether in their agreement, there is any clause by which they can access the information from the DPS, Nalco Nagar, Angul, further, do they have any administrative control over the said school and whether they have any right to interfere in the recruitment of the teachers in the school, admission etc. The respondent requested 10 days time to answer the queries of the Commission through their written submission.
The appellant requested to impose penalty on the PIO for malafide denial of information and compensation to her for mental agony suffered by her to get the information.
Interim Decision Notice:
Considering the request of the respondent, the Commission directs the respondent to submit their written submission demonstrating in detail as to whether in their agreement, there is any clause by which they can access the information from the DPS, Nalco Nagar, Angul, further, do they have any administrative control over the said school and whether they have any right to interfere in the recruitment of the teachers in the school, admission etc. along with the copy of the agreement between NALCO & DPS Society positively by 30th of July 2015.
Respondent through written submission dated 29th July, 2015 submitted as follows:
a) as per the MoU signed between the NALCO and Delhi Public School Society, Mathura Road, New Delhi, the power to establish, maintain and manage the said school vested in the School Managements wherein the representative of NALCO management are members. The DPS society manages the day to day functioning of the school. The School Management Committee is only responsible for overall supervision of the functioning of the School. Further, the information/data regarding the school is not maintained by NALCO management and is maintained by the DPS society.
b) The information sought by the information seeker in the original RTI application dated 23/09/2013 are from 1984 onwards. As per Chapter-I, Clause-2(f) of Right to Information Act, “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,. As per aforesaid definition, the information seeker can only seek documents as stated above and the public authority is not supposed to give any clarification or reason. Further, as per the DOPT guidelines dated 16th September 2011, quote “But where the information sought is not a part of the record of a public authority, and where such information is not required to be maintained under any law or rules or regulations of the public authority, the act does not cast an obligation upon the public authority, to collect or collate such non available information and then furnish it to an applicant” unquote.
c) In view of the above, since the information as sought by the information seeker is not maintained by the NALCO management, hence denied. Respondent also provide a copy of the MoU signed between the NALCO and Delhi Public School Society. Relevant paras are as follows:
That the powers to establish maintain and manage the said school shall vest the School Management Committee, consisting of nine members. Five to be nominated by the Chairman, Delhi Public School Society and four to the nominated by General Manager (Smelter) NALCO.
That the salaries of the staff employed for Delhi Public School, NALCO NAGAR shall be on the same pattern as in Delhi Pubic School at Delhi. Specific jobs of responsibilities shall be provided for different categories of members of staff. However, a detailed scheme including allowances and other emoluments shall be prepared and implemented as soon as possible after approval by the school management committee.
That the NALCO shall also provide (initially to DPS quarters in NALCO NAGAR at its own cost for the exclusive occupation and use of teachers and other staff members of Delhi Public School, NALCO NAGAR.
That the employees of DPS will be treated at par with NALCO employees so far as (medical) consumer cooperative, club and alike facilities are concerned.
That save as otherwise provided in this agreement all rights and liabilities in respect of DPS, NALCO Nagar shall vest in the Board of Governors of DPS Society, Delhi and school management committee, NALCO NAGAR.
That NALCO shall meet the revenue deficit of DPS NALCO NAGAR for the first five years commencing from 1983-84 on actual basis, subject to an ultimate ceiling limit on the subsidy per child to Rs.75/- in the subsequent years, though in the initial years the amount of subsidy per child will be higher. Since NALCO shall be subsiding tuition fees and meeting the capital expenditure and the revenue deficit, NALCO shall have the right to fix the tuition fees and other charges from time to time for the children of NALCO employees and non NALCO employees. After completion of the 5 years period, if NALCO wants to continue to subsidise the fee for the wards of its own employees, the difference between the fee charges by DPS, Ranipur and DPS, NALCO NAGAR will be borne by NALCO.
That the School Accounts will be audited yearly by the Auditors as appointed by School Governing body / School Management Committee.
That it shall also be lawful for DPS, NALCO NAGAR to raise funds by way of loans, donations and voluntary contributions and the Governing Body of the School, NALCO NAGAR shall use the same in the manner decided by it for the betterment of and in the interest of the school, provided that no endowment fund shall be created and all funds at the credit of the school, shall, in the event of termination of this agreement pursuant to this belong to and vest in NALCO absolutely.
That if any of the parties hereto, at any time wish to terminate this agreement, it shall do so on giving at least six months prior notice in writing to the other party of such an intension, provided that such termination shall be effective only at the close of the academic session, provided further that in the event of such termination, the services of the staff employed by the school shall, subject to any agreement to the contrary between the two parties hereto be terminated in accordance with the terms of their appointment in the DPS, NALCO NAGAR.
The Commission vide order dated 20th July, 2015 directed the PIO to submit their stand with respect to access of information from DPS but the submission is silent on this point. The submission is based upon the premise that information is not held by them and that is why they are not in a position to provide information to the appellant. They have neither denied this fact nor made any submission against the same. On a bare reading of the MoU signed between the NALCO and Delhi Public School Society, the Commission finds that the respondent is represented in School Management Committee, as 4 members are nominated by General Manager, NALCO and the MoU itself says that a detailed scheme including allowances and other emoluments shall be prepared and implemented as soon as possible after approval by the School Management Committee. NALCO provides the quarters for use of teachers and other staffs of DPS, Nalco Nagar and NALCO also has power to terminate the agreement. NALCO also treats DPS employees at par with NALCO employees so far as (medical) consumer cooperative, club and alike facilities are concerned. In view of the above facts, the Commission concludes that the information can be accessed by the NALCO from DPS, NALCO Nagar.
The Commission directs the respondent to provide the information on point no. 2, 4, 5, 7, 9 12, 14, 15, 17 and 18 of the RTI application dated 23.09.2013 to the appellant after accessing from DPS, Nalco Nagar within 4 weeks of receipt of this order under intimation to the Commission. The appeal is disposed of accordingly.
Citation: Dr. Puspalata Rout Angul v. National Aluminium Company Ltd. (NALCO) in F.No. CIC/YA/A/2014/001053