Information pertaining to records of demonetization of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 currency notes including the prevalence of the currency notes was sought - PIO: The weblink provided is functional its printout was produced - CIC: Provide relevant extracts
O R D E R
1. The appellant filed an application under the Right to Information Act, 2005 (RTI Act) before the Central Public Information Officer (CPIO), Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Human Resource Management, Mumbai, seeking information on three points pertaining to records of demonetization of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 currency notes as on the date of 08.11.2016 including, inter-alia, (i) documents with regard to total price of the aforementioned currency notes from Reserve Bank of India, scheduled and non-scheduled banks and (ii) prevalence of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 currency notes in all nationalized and private banks as on the date of 08.11.2016.
2. The appellant filed a second appeal before the Commission on the grounds that the CPIO on 24.01.2017 advised the appellant to resubmit the fees through valid mode and subsequently on 31.01.2017, the CPIO intimated that they have received the application along with the requisite fee but no information was provided to him even after a lapse of two months from the date of RTI application. The appellant requested the Commission to direct the respondent to facilitate inspection of records and provide certified copies of the documents selected by him under Section 7(6) of the RTI Act, free of cost. The appellant also requested the Commission to impose a penalty as well as recommend disciplinary action against the CPIO/FAA for not providing the information.
3. The appellant Shri Gautam Kothari, the respondent no. 1, Shri Chetan Balbir, Deputy General Manager-HR, RBI and the respondent no. 2, Shri K. Rajendra Prasad, Assistant General Manager, Department of Currency Management, RBI, Mumbai attended the hearing through video conferencing.
4. The appellant submitted that on 16.02.2018 a reply was received from Department of Currency Management intimating the weblink pertaining to the information sought vide point no. 1 of the RTI application but the weblink showed error message. He further apprised the Commission that he only wants to have the information pertaining to the documents relating to the number of Rs. 500/- and Rs. 1000/- currency notes deposited with the Reserve Bank of India, scheduled and non-scheduled banks as on 08.11.2016 and the number of Rs. 500/- and Rs. 1000/- deposited from 10.11.2016 till the disposal of the RTI application with the Reserve Bank of India, scheduled and non-scheduled banks as on 08.11.2016.
5. The respondent no. 2 submitted that the weblink provided vide their letter dated 16.02.2018 is functional since that date and even today a print of the information sought for has been obtained. He also stated that the information sought vide point nos. 1 and 2 of the RTI application is available in public domain as the same has been in the Annual Report of RBI. With regard to point no. 3, he admitted that due to oversight, no response could be provided to the appellant. He, however, assured that the information sought vide point no. 3 of the RTI application shall be provided to the appellant.
6. The Commission, after hearing the submissions of both the parties and perusing the records, observes that, as per the respondent, the information sought vide point nos. 1 and 2 of the RTI application is available on the weblink of the RBI. Nonetheless, the Commission directs the respondent to provide the relevant extracts from Annual Report of RBI pertaining to point nos. 1 and 2 of the RTI application as well as the information sought vide point no. 3 of the RTI application to the appellant within a period of four weeks from the date of receipt of a copy of this order under intimation to the Commission.
7. With the above observations, the appeal is disposed of.
8. Copy of the decision be provided free of cost to the parties.
Citation: Gautam Kothari v. CPIO, Reserve Bank of India in Second Appeal No. CIC/RBIND/A/2017/112412, Date 04.12.2018