CIC: In view of the contradiction about availability of the Urdu manuscript in the records of the PIO/SDM, an enquiry to be conducted by the FAA/ADM to find out the actual status of the Urdu manuscript and the cause of non-availability of the document
Information sought and background of the case:
The Appellant vide RTI application dated13.12.2016, sought information regarding the certified copy in Urdu manuscript and its translation into English of Award No. 1723 dated 16.06.1964 by Shri Nand Kishore, Land Acquisition Collector, of H. No XI/3923, near Jagat Cinema, Jama Masjid, Delhi-6.
Having not received any response from the CPIO, the appellant filed First Appeal dated 19.01.2017. FAA/ADM(C) vide order dated 15.03.2017 directed the PIO/SDM (HQ) to furnish information to the appellant within 2 working days. Sh. M. L MeenaKgo was directed to ensure to put up document/information to PIO/SDM (HQ) within a day.
Feeling aggrieved over the non-compliance of FAO, the appellant approached the Commission with the instant Second Appeal.
Facts emerging in Course of Hearing:
Both parties are present for hearing. Respondent is unable to answer the query of the Commission explaining the cause for non-compliance of FAA’s order. Appellant present during hearing informed that he had inspected the records in the year 2017 and had seen the records in original Urdu manuscript, in the officeof the Respondent SDM. However, the NaibTehsildar present during hearing has submitted a written statement from the PIO/SDM(HQ)-Sh. D P Arora stating that no such record is available in their office currently, and only the English (translated) versionis available and is being supplied to the appellant during the hearing.
After hearing the parties and on perusal of record, the Commission finds the submissions of the respondent to be contradictory to those made by the appellant. The respondent has not offered any cogent reason for the non-availability of the information, in the form that the appellant has seen in their records, just a year back. The untraceability of documents needs a thorough examination of facts. The PIO/SDM has not appeared for hearing to explain the position and the official viz. the Naib Tehsildar present for hearing is unable to provide any assistance to the Commission during the hearing. The Commission finds such representation by the respondentto be futile since officials not possessing knowledge about the facts of the case fail to provide any assistance in adjudicating the case. Having come across such unhelpful proxy representation/s in some cases, the Commission hereby directs that in future representative/s on behalf of the PIO or FAA shall not be permitted to attend the hearing/s unless they have sound knowledge about facts of the case and are able to assist the Commission in the process of adjudication.
Considering the absence of the PIO/SDM, it is imperative that the matter be remanded to the FAA/ADMto ensure compliance of the order dated 15.03.2017 passed by Sh, Pravesh Kumar Jha and also to fix responsibility of all the PIOs since 15.03.2017 till date responsible for violation of the specific directions of the FAA and submit an action taken report with respect to the errant officials.
In view of the inherent contradiction about availability of the Urdu manuscript in the records of the PIO/SDM, the Commission directs that an Enquiry be conducted by the FAA/ADM to find out the actual status about availability of the Urdu manuscript pertaining to Award no. 1723 dated 06.06.1964 and also investigate about the cause of non-availability of the document.
Upon compliance of the aforementioned two directions, the FAA/ADM shall submit a complete Action Taken report before the Commission, within three weeks of receipt of this order, failing which the Commission will be constrained to initiate appropriate proceedings for non-compliance of the Commission’s directions.
The appeal is disposed of accordingly.
Y. K. Sinha
Citation: Shri Anwar Khan v. PIO, O/o Deputy Commissioner, Central District, Govt. of NCTof Delhi in Second Appeal No. CIC/ADDDM/A/2017/139279, Date of Decision: 13.03.2019