CIC: In view of the fact that the PIO has already replied to the complainant u/s 18, the Commission does not find any reason to intervene in the matter; if the complainant is aggrieved with the reply provided by the respondent, an appeal may be filed
1. The complainant, Shri G.P. Roy, submitted RTI application dated 10.04.2014 before the Central Public Information Officer (CPIO), Ministry of Finance, Department of Financial Services, Board for Industrial & Financial Reconstruction (BIFR), New Delhi seeking action taken on his representation dated 22.7.2011 and subsequent reminder dated 9.8.2012 addressed to Chairman, BIFR pertaining to the outstanding amount of his salary and other statutory / retirement dues, copy of joint report dated 15.7.2002 along with copy of note sheet attached with his joining report, etc. through four points having multiple sub-paras.
2. The CPIO vide letter dated 15.05.2014 provided copy of joining report dated 15.7.2002 and informed the complainant that as ordered by Hon’ble CAT no recovery of the amount overpaid has been made. Further, since the Hon’ble CAT had not passed any specific direction with regard to his appointment and fixation of pay (Rs. 13,825/-) no action in this regard was taken. The complainant was further informed that the matter continues to be sub-judice as subsequent to the Hon’ble CAT’s order this matter was heard in appeal before the Hon’ble High Court of Delhi and the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India. In compliance with Supreme Court’s order no recovery of the amount overpaid has been made by BIFR As salary @ Rs. 13,825/- has already been over paid to the complainant, prima facie no amount is due towards salary. This had been upheld by the Hon’ble CAT and Hon’ble Supreme Court, who had ordered ‘stay’ on the recovery of the said over paid amount. The CPIO also provided draft due-drawn statement indicating the amount overpaid to the complainant was provided to him.
3. Thereafter the complainant filed the instant complaint before the Commission.
4. The matter was heard by the Commission. The complainant stated that he wanted factual information but the same had not been provided by the respondents. At the time of joining his pay was fixed in the pay scale of Rs. 12,000-16,500/- and it was paid to him upto 3 years. He has not been issued any appointment letter and terms of appointment so far. He sought reasons for not issuing appointment letter. There are outstanding dues towards pay and superannuation dues that have been withheld by the respondents. The respondents are taking the plea that the mater is sub-judice. The respondents stated that the complainant’s RTI application was not a request for information but was a set of questions regarding why the public authority had not taken certain action etc. The CPIO is not supposed to create information or to interpret information or to solve problems raised by the applicant or to furnish replies to the hypothetical questions. The information as per available records and as held by the respondents had been provided to the complainant. The respondents further added that the complainant had not raised the question of issue of appointment letter in his RTI application. The complainant had also not exhausted the first appellate channel u/s 19(1) Any person who, does not receive a decision within the time specified in sub¬section (1) or clause (a) of sub-section (3) of section 7, or is aggrieved by a decision of the Central Public Information Officer or State Public Information Officer, as the case may be, may within thirty days from the expiry of such period or from the receipt of such a decision prefer an appeal to such officer who is senior in rank to the Central Public Information Officer or State Public Information Officer as the case may be, in each public authority: Provided that such officer may admit the appeal after the expiry of the period of thirty days if he or she is satisfied that the appellant was prevented by sufficient cause from filing the appeal in time. of the RTI Act and had approached the Commission in complaint. The respondents further added that in case the complainant wants to inspect the records, they have no objection in providing the complainant an opportunity for inspection of his relevant file.
5. The Apex Court vide Judgment dated 12.12.2011 in the matter of Chief Information Commissioner and Another Vs. State of Manipur and Another (Civil appeal Nos. 10787-10788 of 2011 arising out of S.L.P(C) No. 32768-32769/2010) held as under:
“Therefore, the procedure contemplated under Section 18 and Section 19 of the said Act is substantially different. The nature of power under Section 18 is supervisory in character whereas the procedure under Section 19 is an appellate procedure and a person who is aggrieved by refusal in receiving the information which he has sought for can only seek redress in the manner provided in the statute, namely, by following the procedure under Section 19. This Court is, therefore, of the opinion that Section 7 read with Section 19 provides a complete statutory mechanism to a person who is aggrieved by refusal to receive information. Such person has to get the information by following the aforesaid statutory provisions. The contention of the appellant that information can be accessed through Section 18 is contrary to the express provision of Section 19 of the Act.”
6. The present complaint has been filed under Section 18 of the RTI Act, 2005 and is being dealt with accordingly. In view of the fact that the respondent CPIO has already replied to the complainant vide letter dated 15.05.2014, the Commission does not find any reason to intervene in the matter. However, in case, the complainant is aggrieved with the reply provided by the respondent, the complainant shall be at liberty to file an appeal under Section 19 of the RTI Act, 2005.
Citation: Shri G.P. Roy v. Board of Industrial & Financial Reconstruction (BIFR) in Appeal: No. CIC/MP/C/2014/000192