Information regarding the adjournments of parliament - PIO: no separate registers were being maintained to calculate the period of adjournment - CIC: it is not the job of the PIO to research and generate the statistical details desired by the applicant
Information regarding the adjournments of the functioning of both the Houses – PIO: no separate registers were being maintained to calculate the period of adjournment, the information could be found only in the website of the respective House – CIC: it is not the job of the PIO to research the database and generate the statistical details desired by the information seeker
1. The Appellant had sought the details about the time lost due to adjournments of both the Houses of the Parliament during the period of both Sri Atal Vihari Vajpayee and Dr Manmohan Singh as Prime Ministers of India. The CPIO concerned of both the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha had separately responded to him and advised him to visit their respective website to find out the desired information. Not satisfied, he had preferred an appeal. The Appellate Authority had disposed of the appeal after endorsing the order of the CPIO.
2. During the hearing, the Appellant complained that he had visited the website as advised by the CPIO but could not find the entire information there. The respondents, on the other hand, submitted that all the information regarding the adjournments of the functioning of both the Houses during sessions could be found in the respective website. On our express instruction, the respondents opened the website of the Lok Sabha Secretariat and showed us all the details regarding the functioning of the Lok Sabha and the periods for which the business was not conducted due to adjournments. This information is available for the period from 2000 to 2004 when Sri Atal Vihari Vajpayee was the Prime Minister of India. The respondents further clarified that no separate registers were being maintained to calculate the period of adjournment of either of the Houses and the only information on this subject could be found under the Business Link in the website of the respective House.
3. We have carefully considered the facts of the case and the submissions made during the hearing. We are completely in agreement with the CPIO concerned of both the Houses. In the absence of any specific register containing the data regarding the adjournments, the CPIO had no choice but to advise the Appellant to visit the respective website to find out the necessary details about the adjournments and to compute the total period for which a particular House had not functioned during any specific session. It is not the job of the CPIO to research the database and generate the statistical details desired by the information seeker. His responsibility is to provide that information which is available either in material form nor in their digital database. This is what precisely the CPIO concerned has done.
4. It is good to use RTI for research purposes but not by dislocating the functioning of any public authority by putting them to unnecessary research. As the information is available in the website, freely available to anyone, it is for the Appellant to find out the details.
Chief Information Commissioner
Citation: Shri Hemant Panda v. Lok Sabha Secretariat, Rajya Sabha Secretariat in File No. CIC/SM/A/2013/000556