Contradictory information given by two PIOs under RTI
The appellant alleged that two stones had been placed by the Railways close to his residence. He filed an application under RTI seeking reasons why they had been placed at the wrong place. He also wanted to know how a RPF constable can be present at two different places at the same time as per the attendance records. The Public Information Officer (PIO) furnished the point wise information.
During the hearing, the appellant stated that two railway stones were installed near his residence and that in response to an earlier RTI application, he was informed that these two stones were installed jointly by the employees of the Railways and Head Constable of RPF. The appellant also stated that in response to the instant RTI application a copy of a Joint Inspection Report was provided to him in which states that the report was prepared on 19.2.11 jointly by the Head Constable of RPF and Section Engineer (Works). The appellant further stated that while 19.2.11 has been given as the date in the joint inspection report, it is on 24.2.11 that these two stones were actually placed near his residence. The appellant wanted to know as to how the Head Constable of RPF could be present at two different places i.e. Mohan Nagar and in Shamli on the same day i.e. on 19.2.11 since from the copy of the attendance register which he had obtained in response to the earlier RTI application, he was very much present at Shamli (where the constable was posted) on that day.
View of CIC
The Central Information Commission (CIC) noted that the appellant’s complaint was related to some contradictory information provided to him, apparently by two PIOs. On perusal of records the CIC stated that the PIOs in both cases have made no attempts to hide any information and have provided the information as it existed in the records along with copies of supporting documents. The Commission directed the First Appellate Authority to enquire into the whereabouts of the constable on the said dates and take appropriate action if any irregularity is confirmed. The Commission further directed to keep the appellant informed about the outcome of the enquiry and the action taken.
This case law shows how the RTI Act can be used for a purpose beyond obtaining copies of documents. An enquiry, in this case about the whereabouts of the constable, would help in maintaining transparency in the working of the public authority.
Citation: Shri. Pramod Khokhar v. Northern Railway in File No: CIC/AD/A/2012/000277
RTI Citation : RTIFI/2013/CIC/343
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