CIC observed that the respondent has not provided information sought by the appellant on the plea that collating information would disproportionately divert the resources of the Public Authority; It does not imply malafide intention to conceal information
1. Shri Prakash Singh filed an application dated 30.06.2014 under the Right to Information Act, 2005 before the Central Public Information Officer (CPIO), Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) seeking information on two points pertaining to providing certified copies of documents related to direct recruitment of SAOI and SAOII in DRDO, including (i) copies of DRDO Hqrs requisitions dated 19.11.2012, 05.12.2012 and 10.12.2012 (9 pages) along with enclosures (17 pages) and (ii) certified copies of all documents in the UPSC files relating to direct recruitment of SAOI and SAOII advertised in 2001.
2. The complainant filed the complaint dated 05.09.2014 before the Commission on the ground that the stand taken by the UPSC that the information sought by the appellant is spread in 11 files is factually incorrect and that the CPIO and the FAA have acted as law unto themselves and have acted in an arbitrary manner disregarding the provisions of the RTI Act. The complainant has requested the Commission to take action under Section 18 of the RTI Act relying on the Delhi High Court, order dated 28.04.2009 (CWP 3845/2007).
3. The complainant Shri Prakash Singh did not participate in the hearing and the respondent Shri T.K. Gulati, Deputy Secretary and Shri Gopal R. Nikhare, UDC, UPSC, were present in person.
4. The respondent submitted that the complainant has been provided information vide letter dated 10.07.2014. The complainant was informed that the information sought is voluminous and would disproportionately divert the resources of the public authority. Hence, disclosure of information is exempted under Section 7(9) An information shall ordinarily be provided in the form in which it is sought unless it would disproportionately divert the resources of the public authority or would be detrimental to the safety or preservation of the record in question. of the RTI Act.
5. The Commission observes that the respondent has not provided information sought by the appellant on the plea that collating information would have disproportionately diverted the resources of the Public Authority. However, this does not imply that there was any malafide intention on the part of the respondent to conceal the information from the complainant.
6. In WP(C) 3114/2007 Bhagat Singh Vs. CIC & Anrs. Hon’ble Delhi High Court vide order dated 03.12.2007 held that:
“…… This Court takes a serious note of the two year delay in releasing information, the lack of adequate reasoning in the orders of the public information officer and the Appellate Authority and the lack of application of mind in relation to the nature of the information sought. The materials on record clearly show the lackadaisical approach of the second and third respondent in releasing the information sought. However, the petitioner has not been able to demonstrate that they malafidely denied the information sought. Therefore, a direction to the Central Information Commission to initiate action under Section 20 of the Act cannot be issued…..”
7. In view of the above, no further action is required on prayer of the complainant for taking action against the CPIO/FAA concerned under the RTI Act.
8. With these observations, the complaint is disposed of.
9. Copy of decision be given free of cost to the parties.
Citation: Shri Prakash Singh v. Union Public Service Commission in Decision No. CIC/CC/C/2014/000128/SB