Information regarding 10 issues were denied by PIO of President’s secretariat claiming that since the information pertains to several public authorities, separate RTI applications may be filed - CIC: provide part information; rest is not covered u/s 2(f)
Shri Rajender Prasad, hereinafter called the appellant, has filed the present appeal dated 15.5.13 before the Commission against the respondent President’s Secretariat in respect of his RTI application dated 25.2.13. The matter was heard today in the presence of respondent’s representative Shri J.G. Subramanian, Under Secretary. The appellant was not present during the hearing.
2. The appellant through his said RTI application sought information on 10 points.
At point no.1, appellant requested to know the number of pending mercy petitions along with the names.
Point no.2 of his RTI application pertains to the letters sent by Shri Anna Hazare to President or Prime Minister;
Point no.3 relates to the copies of the President’s speeches on Independence Day/Republic Day.
Point no.4 pertains to letters sent by actor Aamir Khan to President or Prime Minister;
Point no.5 relates to number of President’s visits to Uttarakhand/Bihar and the expenditure incurred on such visits.
Point no.6 relates to gifts presented by foreign countries to the President.
Point no.7 relates to the parameters for conferment of civilian awards.
Point no.8 relates to copies of letters sent by actor Amitabh Bachchan to the President/Prime Minister.
Point no.9 relates to the number of persons invited by the President to meet him;
Point no.10 pertains to name, address and telephone number of the FAA.
3. The CPIO vide letter dated 18.3.13 informed the appellant that since he has requested to obtain information which pertains to several public authorities, he may file separate RTI applications.
4. However, not being satisfied with the reply of the CPIO, the appellant filed first appeal under Section 19(1) Any person who, does not receive a decision within the time specified in sub¬section (1) or clause (a) of sub-section (3) of section 7, or is aggrieved by a decision of the Central Public Information Officer or State Public Information Officer, as the case may be, may within thirty days from the expiry of such period or from the receipt of such a decision prefer an appeal to such officer who is senior in rank to the Central Public Information Officer or State Public Information Officer as the case may be, in each public authority: Provided that such officer may admit the appeal after the expiry of the period of thirty days if he or she is satisfied that the appellant was prevented by sufficient cause from filing the appeal in time. of the RTI Act on 6.4.13 before the FAA. The FAA vide his order dated 29.4.13 upheld the response of the CPIO.
5. Commission is of the view that the information requested at point nos. 1,3 & 5 is to be provided by the respondent CPIO. Further, the information requested at point nos. 6 & 7 is to be provided, if available with the respondent, or to be transferred by the respondent CPIO under Section 6(3) of the RTI Act to appropriate public authority. As far as the information sought at point nos. 2, 4, 8 & 9 is concerned the respondent submit that this information cannot be given since the information requested is not specific and they are not expected to search for and glean this information from numerous files, this would amount to creation of information which is not covered by the definition of ‘information’ as defined in Section 2(f) “information” means any material in any form, including records, documents, memos, e-mails, opinions, advices, press releases, circulars, orders, logbooks, contracts, reports, papers, samples, models, data material held in any electronic form and information relating to any private body which can be accessed by a public authority under any other law for the time being in force; of the RTI Act. The Commission finds merit in the contention of the respondent that collecting such information would amount to creation of information which the respondent are not expected to do under the provisions of the RTI Act. However in respect of the information requested at pt. nos.1,3 & 5 and at pt.nos. 6 & 7, the orders of the Commission are to be complied with within 10 days of receipt of this order. With these observations/directions, appeal is disposed of.
Chief Information Commissioner
Citation: Shri Rajender Prasad v. President’s Secretariat in Case No. CIC/SM/A/2013/000888/SS