Information about the ground handling of domestic and international airlines was sought - CIC: No sincere efforts have been made by the respondents to answer the queries - CIC directed to seek explanation of the officer regarding the routine approach
Date of Decision : 17/05/2016
Date of filing of RTI application 17/08/2013
Date of filing complaint before the Commission 29/05/2014
O R D E R
The complainant through his RTI application dated 17/08/2013 had sought following information:
1. “What is the present information on the ground handling of domestic and international airlines?
2. What are the directions for staffs working for domestic and international airlines from DGCA. What would be their position i.e. where they would go?
3. Whether as per your policy the ground handling licensing given to (i) Air India (2) Indian Airlines (3) Airport Authority will be of Central Government.
4. Which out of these are part of Central Government (i) Indian Airlines (2) BWFS (3) Air India SETS (4) CELBI ?
5. How many ground handling workers in the above four companies have joined. Provide separate details?
6. On what grounds these found companies were given ground handling and for how many years? Who will pay salary of ground staff Central Government or Delhi Government?
7. What all benefits government gets from these four companies and how much revenue has been collected till July 2013 from these companies.
8. As per DGCA policy only three ground handling companies will operate whereas there are number of companies are operating such as Indigo/Interglobal/NEHA Aviation etc..
9. Why foreign companies cannot deploy ground handling staff, what is the problem kindly explain?
10. There are more than 100 companies operating at Terminal3 of Delhi Airport, when contract is given to GMR then why the staffs are not being asked from GMR etc..”
The CPIO/Under Secretary, M/o Civil Aviation vide his letter dated 17/09/2013 forwarded the RTI application to CPIO/Jt. GM(Commercial), Airport Authority of India, Safdarjung Airport, New Delhi who in turn vide letter dated 01/11/2013 returned the RTI application to CPIO/Under Secretary stating that “we have not received complete application of Shri Jagpal, New Delhi.”
Facts emerging during the hearing: The following were present:
Complainant: Mr. Jagpal (M:9818422665);
Respondent(s): Mr. K. V. Unnikrishnan, Under Secretary & CPIO (M:9868432360); Mr.
Vinod Kumar, GM(C) (M:9818643472); Mr. Ajay Shiva GM(OPS) (M:9868188391); Mr. Pradeep Kumar, SSA (M9810956054); Mr. Sunil Sharma, Sr. AGM(M:9810449904); Mr. Sunil Pant, Under Secretary & CPIO (M:9650060475); Mr. Sunil Bajaj, AGM(OA) (M:9868825605) Airports Authority New Delhi; And Mr. Ravi Nikalje, Manager (Admin) (M:9833402858) and Mr. Vivek Aagwekar, Manager (Admin) Air India Air Transport Services Ltd., Mumbai through VC; The Complainant pressed for information to be provided, hence, the Commission is treating the matter as a second appeal.
Both the parties were present during the hearing. The applicant reiterated the contents of the complaint wherein he had sought information pertaining to the ground handling policy as per the guidelines laid down by the M/o Civil Aviation/DGCA and points related thereto. The Commission perused the records and the letter written by M/s Civil Aviation to Air India Ltd. dated 17/09/2013 transferring the application as per provisions in Section 6(3) of the RTI Act. The representatives from various arms of the M/o Civil Aviation were represented in great strength but none could satisfactorily reply to the queries raised by the applicant. It appeared to be an exercise of musical chairs without owning responsibility for the information sought by the applicant. The representatives of M/o Civil Aviation were also not able to reply in the matter.
On observing text of the deliberations held during the hearing, it appeared that this RTI matter has been dealt with in a most casual manner with total disregard to the spirit of the Act. This casual and callous approach of the M/o Civil Aviation and the organizations working under its ambit is very pathetic and disgraceful which defeats the spirit of empowering citizenry in accordance with the provisions of the RTI Act.
Considering the facts of the case as also the submissions made by various parties present at the hearing it is evident that no sincere efforts have been made by the respondents to answer queries raised by the applicant. It reflects a very uncalled for and unfortunate situation where none of the respondents owned up the responsibility for reply to be submitted to the applicant. Even in the letter of M/o Civil Aviation dated 17/09/2013 the then Under Secretary was unaware of the organization which is to supply information in the matter. Commission, therefore, instructs the CPIO, M/o Civil Aviation to seek explanation of the above officer regarding the routine approach adopted by him in passing the buck rather than attending to the RTI applications in a diligent manner. In order to ensure that justice is meted out to the applicant the Commission directs the CPIO, M/o Civil Aviation to attend to the matter expeditiously and provide information to the Applicant within 15 days, from the date of receipt of this order. The inability of the CPIO to act within the specified time period would be viewed adversely.
The matter stands disposed accordingly.
Citation: Mr. Jagpal v. M/o Civil Aviation in Complaint No.:CIC/YA/C/2014/000201/BJ