CIC: Once an RTI application was finally decided it cannot be filed again; To hear & respond to such repeated application will block the activity of public authority, FAA & Information Commission; It deprives other genuine applicants waiting for info
1. The appellant through his RTI applications had sought for copy of Order along with notes regarding Sr DDG (BW) DOT post in which Shri. U.N Srivastava was ordered to join on or after 01.10.2000, copy of Order along with notes regarding creation/extension orders in respect of Sr DDG (BW) DOT/TCHQ post presently held by Shri. P.K Panigrihi etc. He also sought for copy of Order along with notes regarding post of Dir (Civil) DOT/TCHQ in which Shri SPS Grewal was ordered to join etc.
2. PIO replied on 21.08.2013, wherein for para 1 (a) & 2 (a) to 1 (c), he stated that the information sought does not constitute information under section 2 (f) of RTI Act, for para 1 (b) to (d) stated that copy of the application is being forwarded to Director (E) and for Para 3 stated that the information is not specific, detail of the orders referred file no. may be provided. PIO, Director (E) requested the appellant to come for inspection with respect to para 1 (b) to (d). Being unsatisfied, appellant filed First Appeal.
3. FAA by his Order dated 15.01.2014 directed the director (E) and CPIO that if any information sought by the appellant after the inspection of document dated 17.09.2013 is not supplied, the same may be supplied within 15 days of receipt of the Order. He further stated that most of the information in the material form in civil and electrical wing during the last 6 years has been supplied from time to time to the appellant. 15 complaints filed by the appellant in CIC for nonsupply of information were dismissed by CIC by decision dated 15.07.2013. The appellant is advised to approach the appropriate forum seeking Redressal of his grievances instead of filling numerous representations/applications/appeals on the same issue. In view of the decision taken by the CIC and the fact that the provisions of the RTI Act are subverted and misused by the appellant, the Appellate Authority has decided that no further application and appeals will be entertained from the appellant in future on the same issues.
4. Claiming non-furnishing of complete information, appellant has approached Commission.
5. The appellant is not present for video conference at NIC studio, Rohtak. The Public authority made their submissions. The respondent officer submitted that the requisite information had already been furnished to the appellant and the same had been shown to the Commission during hearing.
6. Having heard the submission and perused the record, Commission agrees with the observation of the First Appellate Authority in Para 3. This Commission has earlier ordered that once an RTI application was finally decided it cannot be filed again (CIC/LS/C/2012/000860SA, http://indiankanoon.org/doc/140925637/). To hear and respond to such repeated application and continuing the same in first and second appeals will block the activity of public authority, FAA and Information Commission and deprive the other genuine first applicants waiting for information or adjudication. Reckless repetition of this kind without any feel about responsibility is nothing but abusing of RTI. From the reading of his multiple applications the Commission comes to inevitable inference that this retired appellant is misusing the free time available for him to harass his colleagues through the RTI, using the information and knowledge which he gained during his service in the Department in a most unreasonable manner. His own colleagues and subordinates are the victims of this harassment. From DoT, 24 officers including the senior officers like Chief Engineer, etc have attended the hearing. They are expected to devote their valuable time for office work and grievances of the consumers, but they are busy with answering the appellant’s RTI applications without any aim or purpose, repeating the same answers. It is obvious that the appellant has no public interest behind such multiple, repeated frivolous RTI applications. In fact, the appellant has caused huge loss of public money which should be recovered from him.
7. The First Appellate Authority has rightly observed as follows:
“The appellant is not using the RTI for obtaining the information in public interest but using the RTI as a forum for Redressal of personal grievances and settlement of personal scores. From the plethora of RTI application filed by the appellant, a never ending process since 2007 when the appellant retired from service, it is seen that that the provisions of the RTI Act are subverted and misused by the appellant. The appellant is informed that the RTI Act has not been framed to take away the time of the Public Authority on frivolous application”
8. In view of the above stated facts, Commission directs that any information sought about colleagues, inquiry officers, witnesses and complainant, DPC members, selection committee members or any other officer, by present/retired employee with private motive like vengeance against complainant or inquiry officer etc who are connected with disciplinary inquiry or action taken by virtue of their seniority or authority, should be thoroughly examined and if the motive is proved to be so, shall be denied under relevant exceptions of section 8(1) (d), (e), (g), (h), and (j). The second appeal is hereby found as frivolous, vexatious, lack in even the quality of grievance and devoid of any public interest. The CPIOs have sufficiently and substantially furnished the information to their best of their capacity from the available records. There is nothing left to be given to this appellant. He does not deserve any more information, sympathy or consideration. Hence, the present second appeal is rejected as abusive.
9. This Commission’s order in case No.CIC/BS/A/2014/002319SA, wherein the appellant was admonished for misuse of RTI, shall be read as part of the present order in this appeal.
(M. Sridhar Acharyulu)
Citation: H.K.Bansal, Rohtak v. DOT, New Delhi in Case No. CIC/BS/A/2015/001293SA