CIC: SCN issued to PIO for imposing penalty for not replying in prescribed time period - recommends suitable action against first appellate authority as per the conduct rules for delay - the said officer also to be trained to deal with transparency law
1. Applicant presented RTI application dated 29 March 2012 before the CPIO, SP Zone, North Delhi Municipal Corporation to obtain information regarding the policy of the Corporation pertaining to construction of balcony etc. as per the contents of a news item appearing in leading national daily (Hindustan Times) in April 2011. Appellant also sought information regarding the procedure to be adopted and permission to be obtained prior to covering of balcony, front courtyard in DDA LIG flats, Motia Khan, Paharganj, Delhi including the prescribed format for making application through seven points.
2. Vide CPIO order dated 18 May 2012, part information was provided to the appellant who preferred appeal dated 26 May 2012 before the first appellate authority. While disposing of the said application vide his order dated 17 January 2013, the first appellate authority observed that the information provided by the Department to the appellant is not correct and the CPIO was directed to provide the requisite information to the appellant within seven days positively.
3. Appellant preferred second appeal before the Commission.
4. Matter was heard today. Both parties as above appeared in person and made submissions. Respondent CPIO/ EE (B)/SPZ stated that he had provided the requested information to the appellant on 6 March 2013 and that he had received the order of the first appellate authority on 7 February 2013. Appellant stated that he had received information in response to this RTI application dated 29 March 2012 after almost one year. Appellant also submitted that the first appellate authority had disposed of his first appeal after a delay of seven months.
5. After hearing the averments of both parties and perusing the facts on record, Commission issues notice to the CPIO/EE (B)/SPZ, North Delhi Municipal Corporation to show cause why penalty should not be imposed upon him for not having provided information to the appellant within the timeframe prescribed under the RTI Act.
6. Taking note of the submissions of the appellant that the first appellate authority disposed of his first appeal after a delay of seven months, Commission draws the attention of the Commissioner, North Delhi Municipal Corporation to the provisions of section 19(6) An appeal under sub-section (1) or sub-section (2) shall be disposed of within thirty days of the receipt of the appeal or within such extended period not exceeding a total of forty-five days from the date of filing thereof, as the case may be, for reasons to be recorded in writing. of the Act that obliges the first appellate authority to dispose of the matter within 45 days from the date of filing first appeal. Therefore under the provisions of section 25(5) of the Act Commission recommends to the Commissioner, North Delhi Municipal Corporation to take suitable action as per the conduct rules governing the first appellate authority who in this case was Shri Kuldeep Singh Yadav, Deputy Commissioner, SPZ. It is further recommended that the said officer is provided with training and knowledge pertaining to the provisions and practical regime set out under the transparency Act.
(Smt. Deepak Sandhu)
Information Commissioner (DS)
Citation: Shri K.P. Saraswat v. North Delhi Municipal Corporation, Delhi in Appeal: No. CIC/DS/A/2012/001619