Information about implementation of OM - CIC: Chairman advised to examine the issue of uploading the vast volume of guidelines issued by CBEC and institutionalize a mechanism for consistent dissemination of this information on the website for the public
O R D E R
The complainant, vide his RTI Application dated 08.10.2013, sought following information from the CPIO (Sh. N K Gupta, Asst. Director), CBEC, Department of Revenue:
A. “Please provide details of the implementation para 1.0 to 6.1 (including all subpara, clauses and sub clauses) of the Guidelines issued under DOPT Office Memoranda NO. 1/6/2011IR dated 15.04.2013 (Copy enclosed).
B. Please provide date on which information referred to in points 1.1, 1.3, 1.4, 1.6, 2.1, 2.2 (a) to 2.2(I), 3, 4, 5, 6, 4.0 and 5.0 of the aforesaid Guidelines has been put in public domain and mode of such disclosure.
C. Please provide the name and designation of the Officers who are responsible for implementation of each of the paras 1.0 to 6.1 (including each of the clauses and subclauses) of the aforesaid Guidelines).
D. Please provide list of the items, para, subparas, clauses and subclauses of aforesaid Guidelines have not so far been implemented and name of the official responsible for such non-implementation.
E. Please provide date and diary no. under which the aforesaid OM dated 15.04.2013 of DOPT has been received.
F. Please provide file nos. under which the aforesaid OM dated 15.04.2013 has been dealt with and provide photocopies of all note sheets of said file/files.
G. After providing the above information, please provide inspection of all records, documents, notesheets and files relating to the information as referred to in point (A) to (F) above, Please provide inspection of complete file(s) even if they contain part of the information.”
The CPIO did not respond within the mandated time limit of 30 days. Aggrieved with the non-supply of information within the prescribed time, the complainant filed Complaint before the Commission vide his letter dated 18.03.2014. He alleged that CPIO defied information to him deliberately and malafidely for long without any valid and reasonable ground for the same. He did not supply even correct and complete information. The complainant, therefore, prayed for imposition of penalty on the CPIO (Sh. N K Gupta, Asst. Director), for grant of compensation to him for avoidable harassment, mental agony and unnecessary expenditure caused to him. He has also prayed for recommending disciplinary action against the CPIO.
Facts emerging during the hearing: The following were present:
Complainant: Mr. R. K. Jain (M:9810077977); Respondent: Mr. Yogender Singh, FAA & Jt. Director (Directorate of System and Data Management) (M:9999253110) and Mr. Vijender Kumar, Superintendent (RTI) (M:9711360317);
The complainant while reiterating the facts contained in the complaint stated that there has been an abnormal delay of 114 days in replying to the RTI application. The respondent stated that the complainant had not exhausted the legal remedy available under the RTI Act by approaching the FAA in the matter and has directly filed the complaint before the Commission. As regards the Section4 disclosures are concerned it was informed that there are approximately 30 different divisions in the CBEC from where the information is collated in bilingual format and their responsibility is to upload it on their website. It was explained that they are not the content managers for the website and information/content is fed to them by dealing officials of various divisions. Primarily their job is to maintain the website after the information is provided to them. The complainant argued that if they are not the custodians of the information then they should have primafacie transferred the RTI application to the correct authority which was not done in the present case. However, the respondents stated that the updation of the website is a dynamic and continuous process which is being consistently followed up. In the present case the respondents agreed to transfer the application to CX9 division for further necessary action.
Considering the vast volume of circulars/guidelines that are issued by the public authority from time to time which has a direct bearing on the larger public interest, it is imperative that the respondents evolve a mechanism for consistent dissemination of this information on the website for the benefit of the public. Therefore, the head of the public authority, Chairman CBEC is advised to examine this matter in totality and institutionalize a mechanism for its implementation.
Keeping in view the facts of the case and submissions made by both the parties, the respondent is directed to be more vigilant and sensitive to the provisions contained in the RTI Act, 2005 to be followed in letter and spirit. The complaint stands disposed accordingly.
Citation: Shri R K Jain v. DG of Systems and Date Management in Complaint No.:CIC/KY/C/2014/000132/BJ