CIC: Only such information as is available and held by the public authority can be provided; Redressal of grievance, reasons for non compliance of rules/contesting the actions of the respondent public authority are outside the purview of the Act
O R D E R
The appellant vide his RTI application sought information regarding rules relating to privilege passes issued to railway employees, whether there existed any rule to submit separate reservation form for each pass and matter related thereto. The CPIO vide its letter dated 17.01.2014, provided a response to the appellant. Dissatisfied by the response of the CPIO, the appellant approached the FAA. The FAA vide its order dated 19.03.2014, concurred with the reply of the CPIO.
Facts emerging during the hearing:
The following were present: Appellant: Mr. Kakubhai R (M: 9913560110) through VC; Respondent: Mr. Rakesh Purohit, ACM/APIO (M: 9724094952) through VC;
The appellant reiterated the contents of his RTI application and stated that he had retired as Master Craftsman. Explaining the background, it was submitted that his main grievance relates to the interpretation of pass manual and clauses related thereto. It was argued that despite being eligible for first class pass, the public authority officials had not been honouring several clauses related to the journey performed by a pass holder. Replying on the issue, the respondent clarified that the information sought by the appellant had been provided vide their letter dated 17/01/2014 and 19/03/2014. The present complaint of the appellant relates to a grievance which needs to be resolved by the competent authority at an appropriate level. He further submitted that after receipt of the hearing notice from the Commission, a consolidated set of replies had been to the appellant on 15/11/2016. The appellant confirmed receipt of the earlier communications. At the outset the Commission observed, that under the provisions of the RTI Act, 2005, only such information as is available and existing and held by the public authority or is under control of the public authority can be provided. The PIO is not supposed to create information that is not a part of the record. He is also not required to interpret information or furnish replies to hypothetical questions. Similarly, redressal of grievance, reasons for non compliance of rules/contesting the actions of the respondent public authority are outside the purview of the Act.
In the light of the facts available on record and the submissions made by both the parties, it is evident that the appeal relates to the grievance of the retired employee regarding utilization of railway passes and lack of awareness and sensitization of the work force dealing with such matters. This aspect needs to be re-examined by the competent authority to provide relief and succour to the affected retired employees in an objective and transparent manner. No further intervention of the Commission is warranted. The appeal stands disposed with the above direction.
Citation: Appeal No.: Mr. Kakubhai R. v. CPIO & Sr. DCM, Divisional Office, Western Railway v. CIC/VS/A/2014/003044/BJ