Details regarding installation of unauthorised mobile tower on the roof of a house provided – CIC: matter cannot be allowed to rest at this stage in the larger public interest – provide current status of this tower – case referred to Vigilance Department
1. Appellant submitted RTI application dated 11 April 2012 before the CPIO, North Delhi Municipal Corporation, New Delhi seeking details in respect of alleged installation of tower on House no. 19444546 and 49, Mohalla Imli Bazar, Sita Ram Delhi6 and other related information through multiple points.
2. Vide CPIO Order dated 12 June 2012, partial point wise reply was provided to the Appellant, who preferred first Appeal dated 26 June 2012 to the First Appellate Authority.
4. Vide FAA Order dated 26 July 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 drew the attention of the Commission to response of the CPIO at point 2 of his order dated 23 April 2012 as forwarded to him vide letter of 12 June 2012 wherein it is clearly stated by the executive engineer (B) that as per the official records no permission had been granted for erection of mobile tower on house no. 1944 – 45 – 46 and 49 Mohalla Imli, Bazaar Sitaram, Delhi. However to date the tower remains standing and no action had been taken by the MCD to remove this unauthorised tower which incidentally is also erected on the roof of an authorized construction thereby endangering the lives and property of the residents of several nearby houses in the colony.
7. Commission has perused the facts on record and also heard the averments of the parties. While accepting that information as held by the public authority has already been provided to the appellant, in our view, this matter cannot be allowed to rest at this stage in the larger public interest. By providing information to the appellant that mobile tower referred to in the RTI application is in fact erected without proper authorisation (and consequently one can presume, without proper prescribed safety checks), MCD authorities have left the matter at that. Such callousness and disregard for adherence to the guidelines prescribed for authorising the erection of mobile telephone tower particularly in the congested residential area cannot be allowed to continue by the public authority after it has been brought to their knowledge through the RTI route that the said tower is unauthorised. The RTI act is not only about disclosure of information but the object of the Act as enshrined in its Preamble is to eradicate corruption, provide good governance and provide transparency in the actions public authorities. Therefore keeping in mind the larger object of the RTI Act, Commission directs the CPIO to provide the current status of this tower to the appellant within four weeks of receipt of the order.
8. In our view, this is a fit case to be referred to the Vigilance Department of the North Delhi Municipal Corporation to enquire into the reasons for not taking action in respect of the un – authorised mobile tower even after the concerned Superintending Engineer and executive engineer (B) in charge of the city zone became aware of its existence.
(Smt. Deepak Sandhu)
Information Commissioner (DS)
Citation: Shri Anil Kumar Goyal v. North Delhi Municipal Corporation in Appeal: No. CIC/DS/A/2012/002162