Information regarding action taken on complaint alleging misuse of Red Cross Funds and recruitment of employees - Appellant: PIO forwarded the application to wrong PA - CIC: obtain information from holder and provide it, compensation of Rs. 1000/- awarded
Action taken complaint alleging misuse of Red Cross Funds and official powers for recruitment of employees - PIO forwarded the application to Red Cross - Appellant: representation addressed to Chandigarh Administration had been forwarded to Advisor to Administrator and PIO had forwarded the application to the wrong PA - CIC: obtain the information from the holder and provide it, compensation of Rs. 1000/- awarded to the appellant
1. Appellant submitted RTI application dated 25 March 2013 before the CPIO, Additional Secretary, Chandigarh Administration, Chandigarh seeking details regarding the action taken by the Public Authority over Appellant’s complaint alleging misuse of Chandigarh UT Red Cross Funds and misuse of official powers for recruitment of employees.
2. Vide Order dated 5 April 2013, CPIO forwarded the RTI Application to the O/o Secretary, Red Cross, Chandigarh.
3. Appellant preferred first Appeal dated 3 June 2013 to the First Appellate Authority.
4. Vide Order dated 3 July 2013, FAA directed the CPIO Additional Secretary, Chandigarh Administration to forward the representation letter dated 3/7/2012 of the Appellant to the Indian Red Cross Society.
5. Being aggrieved and not being satisfied by the above response of the public authority, the appellant preferred second appeal before the Commission.
6. Matter was heard today. Both parties, as above, appeared in person and made submission. The CPIO, Indian Red Cross Society stated that they had already responded to the Additional Secretary (Home)cumCPO vide their letter dated 22.4.2013 that the representation of the appellant dated 3.7.2012 was never received by them and therefore, the requested information regarding action taken on the said letter could not be provided to the appellant. Copy of this letter was also forwarded to the appellant for his information. Appellant drew the attention of the Commission to letter dated 3.9.2013 addressed to the CPIO/Additional Secretary (Home), Chandigarh Administration signed by the Supdt., Punjab Raj Bhawan with copy to the appellant in which it is clearly mentioned in para 3 that the appellant’s representation dated 3.7.2012 addressed to the Administrator of Chandigarh Administration had been forwarded to O/o Advisor to Administrator vide diary No. 896R, dated 6.7.2012 for necessary action. Appellant submitted that the CPIO/AS(Home) had erred in forwarding the RTI application of the appellant to the CPIO, Indian Red Cross Society when it was in his full knowledge that the requested information was in fact not held by them and that the representation of 3.7.2012 had been forwarded to the O/o Adviser to the Administrator, Chandigarh for necessary action. It was pleaded by the appellant that this amounted to delay tactics with a view to denying the disclosure of the information sought by the appellant.
7. After hearing both the parties, Commission finds merit in the plea of the appellant and remands the matter back to the CPIO/AS(Home), U.T., Chandigarh with directions to forward the RTI application to the holder of information (after ascertaining the same) and obtain the information from the holder of the information within three weeks of receipt of order and to provide the same to the appellant failing which the CPIO will attract penalty. It can not be denied that on account of the transfer of the RTI application by the CPIO/Additional Secretary (Home) to the wrong Public Authority even though he had knowledge regarding the identity of the holder of the requested information, the appellant has been denied the right given to him under RTI Act thereby causing him mental harassment and financial detriment as he has been required to run from pillar to post to obtain the requested information. Therefore, under the provisions of section 19(8)(b), Commission awards compensation of Rs. 1000/to the appellant with a warning to the then CPIO/Additional Secretary (Home) to be more careful while discharging the duties the onus of which has been placed upon himunder the RTI Act. Attention of Secretary (Home) is drawn to this order so that he may take adequate measures to avoid such occurrences in future.
(Smt. Deepak Sandhu)
Chief Information Commissioner
Citation: Shri G.S. Guleria v. Chandigarh Administration in Appeal: No. CIC/DS/A/2013/002076