Circular dated 10.08.1950 issued by Dr. Rajendra Prasad regarding categories of scheduled castes containing representations submitted before Constituent Assembly - CIC: Information should have been disclosed voluntarily u/s 4(1)(b); Provide the soft copy
1. The appellant sought the certified copy of letter no. 1/14/2012-ORR Government of India, Ministry of Home Affairs dated 29.10.2012, whether the circular issued by Dr. Rajendra Prasad, First Hon’ble President of India on 10.08.1950 is available with their office. The CPIO furnished the copy of letter dated 29.10.2012 to the appellant.
2. The appellant stated that the circular dated 10.08.1950 issued by first President of India Dr. Rajendra Prasad is regarding categories of scheduled castes and contained representations submitted before Constituent Assembly.
3. Mr. Udey Shankar, officer representing the Public Authority stated that the appellant was asked to deposit Rs. 360 for 180 pages of the entire file concerning the information sought on 06.04.2018 but the appellant did not respond and approached this Commission with a second appeal.
4. The officer stated that file concerning the letter belonged to Ministry of Law and Justice and it is currently with a few researchers. He also submitted that the files under the possession of National Archives of India are being digitized according to priority basis and the file concerning RTI queries raised by the appellant in this matter shall also be digitized.
5. The Commission finds that the letter as stated by both parties contains subject-matter of constitutional benefits to Scheduled Castes and categories concerning crucial issues of reservation in education and employment, which as a matter of fact and law should have been disclosed voluntarily on their website under Sectin 4(1)(b) Every public authority shall publish within one hundred and twenty days from the enactment of this Act,- (i) the particulars of its organisation, functions and duties; (ii) the powers and duties of its officers and employees; (iii) the procedure followed in the decision making process, including channels of supervision and accountability; (iv) the norms set by it for the discharge of its functions; (v) the rules, regulations, instructions, manuals and records, held by it or under its control or used by its employees for discharging its functions; (vi) a statement of the categories of documents that are held by it or under its control; (vii) the particulars of any arrangement that exists for consultation with, or representation by, the members of the public in relation to the formulation of its policy or implementation thereof; (viii) a statement of the boards, councils, committees and other bodies consisting of two or more persons constituted as its part or for the purpose of its advice, and as to whether meetings of those boards, councils, committees and other bodies are open to the public, or the minutes of such meetings are accessible for public; (ix) a directory of its officers and employees; (x) the monthly remuneration received by each of its officers and employees, including the system of compensation as provided in its regulations; (xi) the budget allocated to each of its agency, indicating the particulars of all plans, proposed expenditures and reports on disbursements made; (xii) the manner of execution of subsidy programmes, including the amounts allocated and the details of beneficiaries of such programmes; (xiii) particulars of recipients of concessions, permits or authorisations granted by it; (xiv) details in respect of the information, available to or held by it, reduced in an electronic form; (xv) the particulars of facilities available to citizens for obtaining information, including the working hours of a library or reading room, if maintained for public use; (xvi) the names, designations and other particulars of the Public Information Officers; (xvii) such other information as may be prescribed and thereafter update these publications every year; of RTI Act. Therefore, the Public Authority should have scanned and uploaded such files on their official website in compliance of section of 4 (1) (b) of RTI Act or even after receiving the RTI application or given the complete document in CD collecting the cost. He should have enquired if the appellant is from BPL category that should have been furnished free of cost. This information should have been made available by other concerned ministries also.
6. The Commission directs the CPIO to provide soft copy of the entire document sought in a CD in fifteen days and furnish the same free of cost and upload the digitized form of the documents on their website as soon as possible.
(M. Sridhar Acharyulu)
Central Information Commissioner
Citation: Shri Ram Autar Singh Appellant v. National Archives of India in Second Appeal No.: CIC/MHOME/A/2017/109861/MCULT, Date of Decision - 03.08.2018