Copy of citizen charter & details of Section 4 obligations fulfilled by EPFO were sought - PIO provided the website link - CIC: Information is placed in public domain cannot be said to be ‘held’ & thus would cease to be an information accessible under RTI
1- On which date and where the details of Section-4 obligations were displayed/published by the department? Provide complete documents and details?
2- When Section-4 obligations were required to be published with 120 days i.e by 11/10/2005 then why the department has not implemented it within time and who are the responsible officers in the matter.
3- Copy of citizen charter alongwith name of officer, post, telephone, address, pin code etc…
Grounds for the Second Appeal: The CPIO has not provided the desired information.
Relevant Facts emerging during Hearing: The following were present
Appellant: Mr. R B Patil through VC
Respondent: Mr. Shailender Singh CPIO’s representative through VC
The appellant stated that he is not satisfied with the information supplied and the reply was given late. The CPIO’s representative stated that information as mandated under Section 4(1) (b) of the RTI Act and the Citizen’s Charter including the name of the nodal officer is displayed on the department’s website. He informed that the website address on which the information is available is ‘epfindia.gov.in’ & ‘epfindia.com’. He, however, as a special case agreed to supply printed booklets on the above subjects to the appellant. As regards the delay the CPIO’s representative explained that the then CPIO was making efforts to supply photocopies but the information was very voluminous. The appellant pleaded that some compensation should be awarded for the detriment caused to him due to the delay in supply of information.
This Commission while deciding the matter Mr. K. Lall vs. Mr. M.K. Bagri, Assistant Registrar of Companies & CPIO in file no. CIC/AT/A/2007/00112 dated 12/04/2007 has held as under:
“9………..Inferentially it would mean that once a certain information is placed in the public domain accessible to the citizens either freely, or on payment of a pre-determined price, that information cannot be said to be ‘held’ or ‘under the control of’ the public authority and, thus would cease to be an information accessible under the RTI Act…………….”
However, as agreed by the CPIO’s representative he should supply copy of booklets printed by the department relating to RTI Act and Citizen’s Charter, free of cost, to the appellant within 7 days from the date of receipt of this order. The appellant did not receive the information timely. For the detriment caused he deserves to be compensated, therefore in exercise of the powers vested in the CIC under section 19(8)(b) In its decision, the Central Information Commission or State Information Commission, as the case may be, has the power to require the public authority to compensate the complainant for any loss or other detriment suffered; of the RTI Act, we direct the department to compensate him by an amount of Rs.500/- for the inconvenience and detriment caused to him. Accordingly, the CPIO should ensure that this amount is remitted to the appellant by demand draft/pay order within 30 days from the date of receipt of this order. The appeal is disposed of accordingly.
Citation: Mr. R. B. Patil v. EPFO in File No. CIC/SG/A/2011/001098/BS/7392