CIC: Sh. Sachin Mittal, crossed all limits of an Advocate by way of his conduct; He tried to influence the Commissioner by making his submissions aggressively in a high tone & spoke un-parliamentary words; He threatened to implicate the Commissioner
1. Vide RTI application dated 30.09.2013, the Appellant sought information on the 5 issues.
2. CPIO, vide its response dated 22.01.2014, denied information to the appellant by stating in public domain.
3. The First Appeal (FA) was filed on 18.02.2014, as the desired information was not provided.
4. First Appellate Authority (FAA), on 18.03.2014, upheld the decision of CPIO.
5. Grounds for the Second Appeal filed on 12.06.2014 are contained in the Memorandum of Appeal.
Respondent opted to be absent despite of our due notice to them. Appellant appeared before the Commission personally and made the submissions at length.
It would be seen here that the appellant, vide his RTI Application dated 30.09.2013, sought information from the respondents on five issues. Respondents, vide their response dated 22.01.2014, denied the required information to the appellant by taking a plea that desired information already in public Domain. Being aggrieved by the aforesaid response, FA was filed by the appellant on 18.02.2014 before the FAA, who vide his order dated 18.03.2014, upheld the decision of CPIO. Hence, a Second Appeal before this Commission.
2. It is pertinent to mention here that appellant, vide his first appeal challenged CPIO response dated 22.01.2014. It is needless to mention here the CPIO vide his response dated 22.01.2014 dealt with only issue no.4 of the RTI application dated 30.09.2013. As such, it is amply clear that non-responding of remaining issues of the RTI application dated 30.09.2013 by the respondents was wilfully left out by the appellant in his first appeal before FAA. In view of this, it may be legally inferred that appellant opted to waive voluntarily his right to challenge the remaining other issues i.e., issues no. 1, 2, 3, & 5, before the learned FAA, and so as, it can’t be raised even before this bench, as well.
3. For the sake of clarity it would be appropriate and even justified to quote the issue no. 4 of the appellant’s RTI application dated 30.09.2013 and the CPIO’s response thereon. (a) issue no. 4 of RTI application dated 30.09.2013 reads as follows:
“What are the transfer guidelines, rules, regulations, standing orders etc. governing the transfer/rotation/shifting/posting of Inspector (Preventive Officers) within R&I?”
(b) The CPIO’s response of issue no. 4 reads as under:
“That transfer/rotation/shifting/posting of Preventive Officers (Inspectors) within R&I wing is governed by the CBEC guidelines vide F.No. A-35017/28/92-AD-III-B dated 30.06.1994, displayed on CBEC govt. website, Preventive Officers (Inspector) are being rotated between Sensitive and Non-Sensitive posting.”
(c) Further learned FAA, vide its order dated 18.03.2014, after analyzing the factual position of the case well disposed of the FA as under:
(i) Discussions and Findings -
“I have carefully gone through the records of this case. The appellant did not attend the scheduled personal hearing on 07.03.2014. In respect of the appeal file by the appellant against the CPIO’s reply, the CPIO has reiterated and revealed that the Administrative Section follows the guidelines issued by the CBEC vide letter F. No. A-35017/28/92-AD-III-B dated 30.06.1994”
“In view of the above, it is held that the reply given by the CPIO is correct. The hard copy of the CBEC guidelines vides F.No. A-35017/28/92-AD-III-B dated 30.06.1994 is enclosed herewith.”
4. Furthermore, after careful perusal of the contents of memorandum of FA, Commission feels that appellant also tried to raise a new plea as “what a those transfer guideline, rules, regulations, standing orders etc. which are followed for selection of officers for RSR, DIU, NSPU and APU etc. Thus, the information furnished by the respondent in its reply dated 22.01.2014 is not relevant to the information sought” at the stage of First Appeal (vide grounds of FA at page no. 3). However, it is to be seen here that the new plea (i.e. selection of officers…..) has not been mentioned anywhere in issue no.4 of the RTI Application. Thus, this seems that it is a totally new plea taken by the appellant at the appellate stage and the Commission is of the considered view that it is not legally tenable at all on the basis of catena of cases decided by Hon. High Courts and even Hon. Supreme Court, on this issue.
5. The Commission heard the submissions made by appellant at length. The Commission also perused the case-file thoroughly; specifically, nature of issues raised by the appellant in his RTI application dated 30.09.2013, respondent’s response dated 22.01.2014, FAA’s order dated 18.03.2014 respondent’s written submissions dated 14.01.2015 and also the grounds of memorandum of second appeal.
6. In view of the position above and in the circumstances of the case, the Commission is of the considered view that the respondents have provided the required information to the appellant in terms of Section 2(f) “information” means any material in any form, including records, documents, memos, e-mails, opinions, advices, press releases, circulars, orders, logbooks, contracts, reports, papers, samples, models, data material held in any electronic form and information relating to any private body which can be accessed by a public authority under any other law for the time being in force; of the RTI Act, 2005. In view of this, the Commission feels that the appellant’s second appeal becomes redundant in this regard. Thus, the appellant’s second appeal deserves to be dismissed. Therefore, it is dismissed.
7. Apart from above, it is mentioned here that Sh. Sachin Mittal, Advocate, who calls himself as an Advocate but crossed all limits of an Advocate by way of his conduct as shown during the hearing of the appeal before this bench. Sh. Sachin Mittal, Advocate tried his best to influence the Commissioner by making his submissions aggressively and with very high tone despite of restraining by the bench time and again. Sh. Sachin Mittal, Advocate also started from very beginning itself to address the bench with hard and un-pleasant tone. Not only this, Sh. Sachin Mittal, Advocate also threatened the bench to implicate the Commissioner by way of filing a writ petition before Hon. High Court in case the bench is not going to accept his irrelevant and illogical arguments made in the case.
8. Furthermore, Sh. Sachin Mittal, Advocate has also spoken so many un-parliamentary words during the hearing of the appeal in the presence of staff member of the bench. The bench will not like to quote those un-parliamentary words in its order for the sake of preserving the dignity of bench. However, bench would like to request the Hon. Court to take a judicial notice of the same if the matter reaches to them in any form and may kindly recommend the appropriate action, if found correct, against Sh. Sachin Mittal, Advocate, including removal from the role of State Bar, as Sh. Sachin Mittal, Advocate, violated not only the provisions of Advocate Act 1961, but also crossed limits of all ethic i.e., legal, moral and even social. The Appeal is dismissed accordingly.
(M.A. Khan Yusufi)
Citation: Shri Sachin Mittal v. CBEC in File No. CIC/KY/A/2014/000787