Copies of letters from the Central Excise Commissionerate, in pursuing the DM concerned for cancellation of appellant’s arm licence were sought - CIC: PIO has provided the false and misleading information, a compensation of Rs. 50,000/- awarded
Copies of letters from the Central Excise Commissionerate, in pursuing the DM concerned for cancellation of appellant’s arm licence was sought - PIO: no official letter was ever received - CIC: earlier letter from PIO contravenes the aforesaid respondent’s version, PIO has provided the false and misleading information to the appellant, Complainant awarded a compensation of Rs. 50,000/-, respondents to submit exhaustive comments on the complainant’s complaint, matter to attain finality after next hearing
1. Vide RTI application dated 24.03.2012 appellant has sought information on three issues as contained in his RTI Application.
2. CPIO vide letter dated 26.03.2012 has provided the information to the appellant.
3. The first appeal is not on record.
4. FFA Order is not on record.
5. Grounds for the Complaint filed on 09.06.2012 are contained in the Memorandum of Complaint.
Appellant as well as respondent opted to be absent despite of our due notice to them.
It is to be seen here that the complainant vide his RTI Application dated 24.03.2012, asked information from the respondents on three issues as contained therein. As per the contents of RTI Application, certified copies of all document/ letters from the office of Central Excise, Commissionerate, Allahabad, in pursuing the DM concerned for cancellation of his arm licence. However, respondents vide their letter dated 27.03.2012, informed the complainant that no official letter was ever received from the Central Excise, Allahabad to pursue DM, Maharajganj, UP, for cancellation of arm licence. However, it is pertinent to mention here that respondents earlier letter dated 22.03.2012, contravenes the aforesaid respondent’s version, which, clearly shows that directions were issued from the office of the Asstt. Commissioner Central Excise, Allahabad to the O/o Asstt. Commissioner Central Excise, Division Gorakhpur, UP, for deputing an officer to approach the DM, Maharajganj, UP, for initiating the necessary action regarding revocation/cancellation of the Arm Licence dated 07.06.1994 issued to Sh. V K Pandey, Complainant. It is pertinent to mention here that as per the contents of complainant’s complaint, the PIO vide his letter dated 26.03.2012 has provided the false and misleading information to the appellant. Therefore, he should be penalized under section 20(1) Where the Central Information Commission or the State Information Commission, as the case may be, at the time of deciding any complaint or appeal is of the opinion that the Central Public Information Officer or the State Public Information Officer, as the case may be, has, without any reasonable cause, refused to receive an application for information or has not furnished information within the time specified under sub-section (1) of section 7 or malafidely denied the request for information or knowingly given incorrect, incomplete or misleading information or destroyed information which was the subject of the request or obstructed in any manner in furnishing the information, it shall impose a penalty of two hundred and fifty rupees each day till application is received or information is furnished, so however, the total amount of such penalty shall not exceed twenty-five thousand rupees: Provided that the Central Public Information Officer or the State Public Information Officer, as the case may be, shall be given a reasonable opportunity of being heard before any penalty is imposed on him: Provided further that the burden of proving that he acted reasonably and diligently shall be on the Central Public Information Officer or the State Public Information Officer, as the case may be. of the RTI Act 2005 and the Complainant should be awarded a composition of Rs. 50000/- for being harassed and malafide denial of the information sought for. It is also requested that CPIO may also be proceeded for disciplinary action as per the conduct rules. On careful perusal of the case file, especificaly the contents of respondents response dated 26.03.2012 and other documents made available in the record, it is revealed that the PIO vide his letter dated 26.03.2012 did not provide any information to the appellant but the complainant was informed that the information sought by you does not fall in the 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: of the RTI Act 2005, as such, the desired information will be supplied to you in due course. It may further be seen here that the contents of PIO’s letters dated 22.03.2012 & 27.03.2012 openly contravenes each other by stating the PIO’s version in opposite direction. In view of the position above, the Commission feels that it would be appropriate and even justified to seek the complete report from the respondents by providing an opportunity to them in the matter. Thus, an opportunity is provided to them for the purpose. Therefore, respondents are hereby directed to submit the exhaustive comments on the complainant’s complaint (copy enclosed) and also on their letters dated 22.03.2012(copy enclosed), 26.03.2012(copy enclosed) & 27.03.2012(copy enclosed) on or before 17th April 2014 to enable the Commission to decide of the complaint under the provisions of the RTI Act 2005, at earliest. Let the case be listed on 17th April 2014 at 1500 hours in the room no. 308, 2nd Floor, Bhikaji Cama Place, August Kranti Bhawan, New Delhi – 110066, for further hearing/order.
(M.A. Khan Yusufi)
Citation: Shri. V. K Pandey v. Central Excise Division, CBEC in File No. CIC/SS/C/2012/000651/KY