Is a database maintained by CVC to monitor the progress in disciplinary cases?
The appellant filed an application under the Right to Information (RTI) Act with the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) seeking information regarding the civilian employees of the Defence Ministry as the first and second stage advice given by the CVC in various disciplinary cases and the compliance of such advice by the Ministry. The Public Information Officer (PIO) denied the information stating that the CVC did not maintain such information in the format in which the appellant had sought. After the directions of the First Appellate Authority (FAA), the list of cases in which advice had been tendered and as available in the electronic database of the CVC was provided to the appellant.
During the hearing before the Central Information Commission (CIC), the appellant submitted that the CVC was duty bound to monitor all such cases in which its advice was sought by various ministries and departments including the Defence Ministry and it was odd that it should not have such information. He also submitted that the Defence Ministry had selectively acted on the CVC advice, sometimes disagreeing with the advice or sometimes agreeing with the advice. He argued that this is arbitrary and the CVC should scrupulously monitor all such cases so that a uniform approach is followed in every case. The respondent submitted that the practice followed by the CVC was to render appropriate advice in all disciplinary cases referred to it in individual case files. She further pointed out that the CVC does not maintain a detailed database to show the progress in such cases. The CVC maintains only a simple statement containing the case number, the name of the officer concerned and the date of the advice and the same was provided to the appellant after the FAA’s direction. The respondent submitted that the CVC has no further centralised information about the cases of the Defence Ministry than what has already been provided.
View of CIC
The Commission observed that the information being maintained by the CVC is too inadequate for any meaningful monitoring of the cases. Commission held that it should be possible to develop an appropriate MIS by which all such cases can be monitored closely and to capture more data about the pending cases. This would help in better control and also in disseminating the information if sought under the RTI Act. The CIC stated that the CVC would review its current arrangements and bring about necessary modifications to make the monitoring more meaningful and technology based.
Citation: Mr. Ajay Choudhary v. Central Vigilance Commission in File No. CIC/SM/A/2012/001060
RTI Citation : RTIFI/2013/CIC/1136
Click here to view original RTI order of Court / Information Commission