Dismantling of National Police Memorial - RTI application was transferred from one authority to another, no response was provided - The memorial was constructed and then dismantled without any reason, resulting in unnecessary expenditure from public fund
“The Commission observes that, the notice of hearing was also sent to the Joint Secretary (PoliceI), Ministry of Home Affairs, North Block, New Delhi but no one appears in the hearing. On telephonic enquiry by the Commission in this respect it was revealed that the Notice for hearing was duly received by the JS (PoliceI), MHA who further sent it to the CPIO (UTS Division), MHA to attend the hearing and do the needful. The CPIO (UTS Division), MHA further sent it to the JS (MHA). This shows that public authorities are escaping from the liability to respond. The Commission hereby directs the following public authorities namely –
(1) CPIO (Police DivisionI), MHA,
(2) CPIO (Police DivisionII), MHA,
(3) CPIO and Director (Delhi, MHA,
(4) CPIOUTS Division), MHA and
(5) CPIO, CPWD to appear personally before the Commission along with their written submissions and all relating documents in respect of this matter in the next date of hearing on 29.10.2013 at 1300 hrs.”
3. The matter came for hearing on 29.10.2013. The appellant was present whereas the respondent were represented by Sri Arun Kumar Manda, CPIO/US (DPII), MHA, Shri Shantanu, Director (Pers), PII, MHA, Shri Harish Chander Deputy Secretary, MHA, Shri G.C. Yadav, Under Secretary, MHA and Shri Vishwanath Singh, Assistant Engineer, CPWD.
4. The Appellant through the RTI application dated 1.9.2012 sought information in respect of dismantling of National Police Memorial in Chanakyapuri, Delhi by the Government. The appellant specifically asked 12 queries in respect of the said matter.
4.1. ACPIODelhi Police Headquarters vide letter No:XXIV/29/Spl/ID4581/ 2012/3179495/[ RTI]/PHQ dated 7.09.2012 transfer RTI application to the CPIO/Director (Delhi), Government of India (MHA), North Block, New Delhi and to the PIO/Addl. Dy. Commissioner of Police – I, New Delhi District, P.S Parliament Street, Delhi. After this CPIO/Director (Delhi), Government of India (MHA), North Block, New Delhi vide letter dated: 1.10.2012 replied to the Appellant as follows: “…In this connection, it is informed that the information sought by you is not specifically maintained/available in this public authority. However, since the subject matter of your RTI application is related to Police Division, MHA, NDMC, DDA and Ministry of Urban Development, also and, therefore, u/s 6 (3) of RTI Act, 2005, your application is being transferred to these public authorities for furnishing the requisite information directly to you against the relevant points of your RTI application.”
4.2 Being aggrieved with no response to RTI Application, the appellant filed a second appeal before the Commission and states that the Public authorities unnecessarily transfer his RTI application thus wasting money of these public authorities that too by not providing fruitful response to his RTI application.
4.3. During hearing before the Commission, ACPIODelhi Police Headquarters submits that the subject matter of the RTI application do not pertain to their office. On the other hand, the Appellant submits that his RTI Application has been unnecessarily transferred from one public authority to another public authority so as to avoid the responsibility to disclose the information. Appellant also submits that the same RTI application has also been submitted in the office of CPWD, Nirman Bhawan, New Delhi and in the office of PWD, Government of NCT but no response has been received till date and they also transferred his application to some other public authority.
4.4. The Commission observes that the RTI application of the Appellant is with regard to information in respect of dismantling of National Police Memorial in Chanakyapuri, Delhi by the Government. The appellant specifically sought information on the following 12 queries in respect of the said matter:
“(1) Is it true that Memorial by Delhi Police was first started to be constructed, and subsequently dismantled in between;
(2) Copy of complete filenotings/ documents/ correspondence on decision taken to build the said Police Memorial (later dismantled) and also on decision taken to dismantle it;
(3) Complete information on planned budget for the said Police Memorial (later dismantled) and money actual spent on its construction under different heads;
(4) Dates of start of construction work, stopping construction work, start of dismantling and completion of dismantling;
(5) Names of the agencies assigned for (a) construction work, (b) dismantling work of the said (now dismantled) Police Memorial providing complete information with related correspondence/file notings/documents etc. on assigning respective construction and dismantling work to the concerned agencies;
(6) Complete information on cost incurred on dismantling the said Police Memorial under different heads;
(7) Complete information together with related file notings/ correspondence/ documents etc. on disposal of scrap recovered from dismantled Police Memorial mentioning also mode of disposal, cost recovered from scrap of dismantled Police Memorial, account under which scrap cost deposited, name of agency to which scrap disposed of, mode of selection of agency for disposal of scrap of now dismantled Police Memorial etc;
(8) Copy of complete file notings/ documents/ correspondence on decision taken to build a new Police Memorial together with planned budget for the said new Police Memorial and money spent till now on its construction under different heads; Date of start of construction work and estimated date of completion of project of the said new Police Memorial;
(10) Names of the agency assigned for construction work of new Police Memorial providing complete information with related correspondence/file notings/documents etc. on assigning construction work to the said agency;
(11) Any other related details;
(12) File notings on movement of this RTI petition as well”.
4.5. After hearing the submission of the Appellant, the Commission observes that the RTI application of the Appellant has been transferred by one public authority to another. The Appellant has not received any information on his RTI Application.”
5. During the hearing the CPIO, MHA states that the Intelligence Bureau is the nodal authority for implementing the project through Central Public Works Department (CPWD), New Delhi.
6. The CPIO/Development Project Circle, CPWD, New Delhi during the hearing filed his submissions and provided a copy of the same to the appellant, which is reproduced as under:
The new construction of Police Memorial is not yet assigned to CPWD and regular maintenance is also not with CPWD hence a Nil report was submitted in this impression;
Point No. 1: Yes, the Police Memorial at Chanakyapuri was started in the year 2003 on the express approval of Ministry of Home Affairs conveyed through letter No. II27012/ 39/92PF. I dated 14.7.2013 from the Director Intelligence Bureau (MHA). Subsequently the decision for dismantling the Memorial Structure was taken in the meeting of Group of Ministers on 6.2.2007 conveyed vide letter No. MHA U.O. No. II27011 dated 19.3.2007 received from (Director Police Finance) after the stay order of Hon’ble High Court;
Point No. 2: Copies of relevant documents attached;
Point No. 3: S. No. Purpose of Allotment Allotment of Budget by MHA Allotment of Budget by MOUD Expenditure 1 For construction 10,43,88,900/( For memorial structure 2,91,54,100/( For Development works) 8,79,16,563/( Memorial Structure) 1,97,00,000/( Development Works) 2 For Dismantling 73 lakhs Nil 21,78,604
Point No. 4: Date of start of construction work 6.7.2003, Date of stopping construction work 10.4.2004, Date of start of dismantling work 17.10.2007, Date of completion of dismantling work 1.5.2008.
Point No. 5: Name of the agency assigned for construction work M/s, Nagarjuna Construction Co. Name of Agency assigned for dismantling work M/s. Premier Construction Co.
Point No. 6: Cost incurred on dismantling the said Police Memorial Rs. 21,78,604/.
Point No. 7: The materials received from dismantling the Police Memorial Structure has been shifted to the CRPF Camp at Ghitorni as s per decision taken by GOM to build Martyr’s Memorial at Ghitorni;
Point No. 8: The construction of New Police Memorial is a planning stage and no work has been taken up till date;
Point No. 9: No comments in view of Para 8 above;
Point No. 10: No comments in view of Para 8 above.
Point No. 11: No comments;
Point No. 12: No other noting is maintained by this office.
7. On receipt of the above information from the CPIO, CPWD, the appellant feels satisfied with the information provided to him in response to his RTI application dated 1.9.2012. However, the appellant pointed out the delay in providing information by the CPIO, CPWD. The Commission hereby cautions the CPIO, CPWD to be more careful in future while dealing with RTI matters. The matter is disposed of on the part of the Commission.
Citation: Shri Subhash Chandra Agrawal v. Delhi Police, Ministry of Home Affairs & CPWD in Case No. CIC/SS/A/2013/000156