How should the CIC frame its order?
The appellant filed an application under the Right to Information (RTI) Act with the State Bank of India (SBI) seeking detail of money which was remitted by public during the financial year 2010-2011 for works related to the Collectorate Vellore. He wanted to know the number of persons who paid for the works and the total amount transferred by the government and also about any plans for opening of a new branch or counter at the Collectorate by the bank. The Public Information Officer (PIO) informed that it was not possible to provide information on the various points and that the question of branch opening did not come under the RTI Act.
During the hearing before the Central Information Commission (CIC) the appellant stated that sought information was denied to him on the argument that the information in this format was not available. The respondent stated that the format on which the information was asked was not available as the payment for the Collectorate has a number of accounts in various banks across the district. It was added that there are a large number of activity heads that come in the name of the Collector and the information had to be denied as the RTI application was very general and widespread in nature.
View of CIC
The Commission directs the respondent to provide the sought information on point no. 4 of the RTI application to the appellant.
The orders by the CIC have sometimes been cryptic – a reader can never figure out what has been ordered to be provided as in this case, the order makes no mention of what is point no 4. Further, there are no details of point nos. 1 to 3 about which information has been denied. In such a situation, how is a citizen going to rely on a decision? The CIC must keep in mind that its decisions are being reported and cited by others in the field. It is the responsibility of the CIC to ensure “speaking” orders.
Citation: Mr. B. Robert v. State Bank of India in Decision No.CIC/DS/C/2011/001705/VS/02074
RTI Citation : RTIFI/2013/CIC/1098
Click here to view original RTI order of Court / Information Commission