Disclosure of discretionary appointments in the Lok Sabha and its secretariat
The appellant sought information concerning various appointments made in the Lok Sabha and its secretariat including those on discretionary basis. The Public Information Officer (PIO) provided most of the information except the one related to discretionary appointments. The First Appellate Authority (FAA) observed that it would disproportionately divert the resources of the Lok Sabha if this information would be provided in the form in which it had been sought. Instead, he invited the appellant to inspect the relevant records.
During the hearing, the appellant submitted that he was mainly interested in the information related to all discretionary appointments made in the Lok Sabha. He further submitted that the advice for inspection of records was made to him some 80 days after he filed his RTI application and that he was not interested in only inspecting the records and that he wanted some minimum details about all such appointments. The respondents pointed out that all appointments in the Lok Sabha were made under various rules and orders framed from time to time in this regard and, therefore, it would not be right to say that some appointments were made purely on discretionary basis. The respondent also produced the copy of the said rules, according to which certain authorities in the Lok Sabha can choose to employ officials in their personal office at their discretion and that such employees would serve on coterminous basis.
View of CIC
The Central Information Commission (CIC) observed that the details about all such appointments should be regularly published in compliance with the provisions of section 4(1)(b) Every public authority shall publish within one hundred and twenty days from the enactment of this Act,- (i) the particulars of its organisation, functions and duties; (ii) the powers and duties of its officers and employees; (iii) the procedure followed in the decision making process, including channels of supervision and accountability; (iv) the norms set by it for the discharge of its functions; (v) the rules, regulations, instructions, manuals and records, held by it or under its control or used by its employees for discharging its functions; (vi) a statement of the categories of documents that are held by it or under its control; (vii) the particulars of any arrangement that exists for consultation with, or representation by, the members of the public in relation to the formulation of its policy or implementation thereof; (viii) a statement of the boards, councils, committees and other bodies consisting of two or more persons constituted as its part or for the purpose of its advice, and as to whether meetings of those boards, councils, committees and other bodies are open to the public, or the minutes of such meetings are accessible for public; (ix) a directory of its officers and employees; (x) the monthly remuneration received by each of its officers and employees, including the system of compensation as provided in its regulations; (xi) the budget allocated to each of its agency, indicating the particulars of all plans, proposed expenditures and reports on disbursements made; (xii) the manner of execution of subsidy programmes, including the amounts allocated and the details of beneficiaries of such programmes; (xiii) particulars of recipients of concessions, permits or authorisations granted by it; (xiv) details in respect of the information, available to or held by it, reduced in an electronic form; (xv) the particulars of facilities available to citizens for obtaining information, including the working hours of a library or reading room, if maintained for public use; (xvi) the names, designations and other particulars of the Public Information Officers; (xvii) such other information as may be prescribed and thereafter update these publications every year; (ix) and (x) of the Right to Information (RTI) Act. The Commission directed the PIO to bring this to the notice of the competent authority in the Lok Sabha and ensure that all such details are published. The Commission also directed the PIO to provide a complete list of all employees in the roles of the Lok Sabha who had been appointed at the discretion of various authorities and as per the rules/ orders framed for such appointment. The list should include the names of the employees, the date of their first appointment, and the authority with whom and at whose discretion the said employee has been appointed and the total monthly emoluments being paid to the employee concerned.
Citation: Mr. Subhash Chandra Agrawal v. Lok Sabha Secretariat, in File No.CIC/SM/A/2011/002250
RTI Citation : RTIFI/2012/CIC/510
Click here to view original RTI order of Court / Information Commission