Details relating to encroachment drive were denied claiming that the records are not untraceable - CIC: This showed an attitude of apathy; Make a genuine effort to trace the records; submit an affidavit that no such records are available in 30 days
Date of hearing : 25.11.2016
The appellant had sought details relating to encroachment drive conducted on 23.10.2010, copy of the list of vehicles with details which was part of the encroachment drive, copy of list of policemen, list of materials confiscated, liability of the board to return the confiscated items, status of the letter dated 13.10.2014 and other related information.
Grounds for Second Appeal
The CPIO did not provide the desired information.
Appellant : Absent
Respondent : PIO, Shri S.D. Bhinde, Office Suptdt.
During the hearing the representative of the respondent CPIOs (Health & Revenue) submitted that records are still untraceable. When the representatives of the CPIO were asked as to why the order of FAA dated 06.05.2015 was not complied with by them, they were unable to explain the reason. This showed an attitude of apathy on the part of the CPIO(s)/ representatives. The CPIOs, Health and Revenue Department did not even bother to comply with the order of the FAA dated 06.05.2015 wherein clearly both the CPIOs (Health & Revenue) were directed to search for the required information and inform the appellant within 15 days from the receipt of the FAA’s order. The CPIOs failed to comply with the order of their FAA for no apparent reason. Since it is a matter of urgent public concern, the CEO, Cantonment Board, Pune is directed to conduct an enquiry for non compliance of the said order of the 1st Appellate Aurhority, Cantonment Board, Pune within a reasonable period & submit a copy of the same to the Commission for information & further necessary action.
The appellant was unable to be present before the Commission on the date of hearing and submitted (through e-mail) that because of the delay in complying with the said order of the FAA, he suffered financial losses, and had requested for granting him compensation u/s 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. The Commission found no ground to direct the respondent to compensate the appellant as encroachment drive is an administrative action. However, the FAA shall conduct an enquiry as discussed above and submit an action taken report to the Commission within a reasonable time for further action, if any by the Commission.
The present CPIOs are directed to declare on affidavit that no records are available with them relating to the encroachment drive conducted on 23.10.2010 and status of the letter dated 13.10.2014. The Commission believes that before making the above averments, the CPIOs shall make genuine efforts to trace out the old records, if these are still available.
The above said affidavit shall be submitted to the Commission within 30 days from the date of receipt of this order, with a copy to the appellant.
The CPIO may note that non compliance of this order may lead to penal action u/s 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. With the above direction, the appeal is disposed of.
Citation: Salim Abdul Rehman Shaikh v. Ministry of Defence, Pune Cantonment Board Building, Pune in File No : CIC/VS/A/2015/003079-AB