Collection of information would amount to creation and is not required under RTI Act – the further fee was not deposited by the appellant who refused to give any commitment when he would deposit it – CIC reprimands the appellant for irresponsible conduct
1. Appellant submitted RTI application dated 18 March 2012 before the CPIO, O/o Chief Engineer, Chandigarh seeking complete details of the enquiry conducted by the Public Authority in case no. 2/VIG/C dated 12/1/2000 till date and other related information through multiple points.
2. Vide Orders dated 20 April and 9 May 2012, Appellant was informed by the CPIO that collection of the information would amount to the creation of information and the same is not required under the RTI Act, 2005.
3. The Appellant preferred first Appeal dated 6 May 2012 to the First Appellate Authority.
4. Vide FAA Order dated 6 September 2012, CPIO’s Order was upheld.
5. Being aggrieved and not being satisfied by the above response of the public authority, the appellant preferred second appeal before the Commission.
6. Matter was heard today. Both parties, as above, appeared in person and made submissions. Appellant insisted that the date on which he submitted his RTI application i.e. 18.3.2012 at the Sampark Centre be the day from which the period of 30 days prescribed under Section 7(1) Subject to the proviso to sub-section (2) of section 5 or the proviso to subsection (3) of section 6, the Central Public Information Officer or State Public Information Officer, as the case may be, on receipt of a request under section 6 shall, as expeditiously as possible, and in any case within thirty days of the receipt of the request, either provide the information on payment of such fee as may be prescribed or reject the request for any of the reasons specified in sections 8 and 9: should be calculated and continued to insist inspite of being shown the printed provision on the receipt which clearly stated that the time taken to dispatch the RTI application from the Sampark Centre to the CPIO would not be counted while calculating the time period prescribed in the aforementioned Section. It was submitted by the CPIO that the amounts of Rs. 28, Rs. 61 and Rs. 128 required to be deposited by the appellant to obtain information as sought under Points 7, 8 and 9 of the RTI application had not been deposited by the appellant to date. Inspite of repeated queries from the Commission, appellant refused to give any commitment regarding the date by which he would deposit this fees.
7. After hearing both the parties, the Commission is satisfied that the appellant is not serious about taking the requested information from the respective CPIOs and has not deposited the prescribed photocopying fees. The Commission is satisfied that the demand for depositing the said fees by the CPIO was made well within 30 days of receiving the RTI application. The Commission warns the appellant to refrain from misusing the cherished right given to the citizens under the Transparency Act in future. It is clarified that the onus of compiling and collating the information to suit the information needs of applicants under the RTI Act is not placed on the CPIO under the provisions of the Act. Such misuse of the right given under the Transparency Act, in our view, results in depletion of the scarce human and financial resources of the public authority which must be eschewed by all responsible citizens who exercise their right to information.
The Commission reprimands the appellant for his irresponsible conduct and dismisses the appeal.
(Smt. Deepak Sandhu)
Information Commissioner (DS)
Citation: Shri Sat Pal v. Chief Engineer’s Office in Appeal: No. CIC/DS/A/2012/002398