CIC recommends distribution of sweets on national festivals
The appellant filed an RTI application on 09.04.2014, seeking the information regarding distribution of sweets / gifts on several festivals/occasions by NDMC and relevant rules/norms in that regard. The PIO (Health) provided point-wise information and the FAA (Medical Officer) of Health in his order gave detailed explanation to the appellant. The appellant stated that he had sought specific rules/norms but the respondent has given vague reply. The respondent stated that since they do not have any specific rules /norms in this regard, they cannot provide the information sought. The appellant stated that if there is no such rule /regulation then the same should have been categorically stated. On query by the Commission as to on what festivals are the sweets distributed, the respondent stated that earlier it was only on Diwali, but now sweets are distributed also on the festival of Holi.
View of the CIC
1. The PIO was directed by the CIC to provide a copy of rule/regulation as sought by the appellant, if the same is available on record; in case it is not available, the CIC directed the PIO to categorically state the same.
2. Further, the CIC bench of Shri Yashovardhan Azad recommended that the sweets distribution should be done on National Festivals, in order to promote the cultural diversity of the Nation. A copy of the order was also marked to Commissioners, North DMC, South DMC and East DMC for necessary action.
The CIC order raises several questions:
1. Does the CIC have the powers to make such recommendations? If so, under what section of the RTI Act, 2005?
2. In case the distribution of sweets needs to be done, shouldn’t the Municipal Corporation other than that of Delhi also promote ‘cultural diversity’?
3. Which are the national festivals on which distribution of sweets should be done? Who has defined them?
4. Are other public authorities across the nation also being asked to follow the same pattern and distribute sweets?
Citation: Shri Subhash Chandra Agrawal v. New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) in F.No.CIC/YA/A/2014/001712
For a reading of the order of the CIC, please refer to the link - http://rti.india.gov.in/cic_decisions/CIC_YA_A_2014_001712_M_148881.pdf