Information regarding Junior/Senior residents appointed under SC/ST/OBC/PH categories was sought - PIO: the RTI application & first appeal has not been received - CIC: appeal rejected due to the amplitude of information sought & relying on SC case
The complainant has sought information regarding Junior/Senior residents appointed under the category SC/ST/OBC/PH categories; their salaries, allowance details, accommodation facility available; no. of patients treated in OPD, etc. since the year 2000 up to 2012.
Relevant facts emerging during hearing:
The complainant is not present. The respondents stated that neither the RTI application nor the first appeal has been received in the RTI Cell of the Hospital. The CPIO present stated that the complainant is a habitual petitioner who has filed numerous RTI applications dealing with various matters thereby exhausting the limited resources of the respondent authority. He further informed that in most of his petitions, his applications do not have the prescribed fee attached and that the letters sent to him to pay the same go unheeded. The respondents urged that such misuse of RTI Act should be prevented and discouraged.
From the submissions made by the public authority, the Commission observes that the RTI questions asked by the appellant are wide-ranging and would require a lot of effort on the part of public authority to collect documents for the years 2000 up to 2012. The scope of information sought by the complainant includes details of Junior/Senior residents appointed under the category SC/ST/OBC/PH categories; their salaries, allowance details, accommodation facility available; no. of patients treated in OPD, etc. The Delhi High Court in Shail Sahni V. Sanjeev Kumar & Ors., [WP(C) 845/2014] held:–
“6. In the opinion of this Court, the primary duty of the officials of Ministry of Defence is to protect the sovereignty and integrity of India. If the limited manpower and resources of the Directorate General, Defence Estates as well as the Cantonment Board are devoted to address such meaningless queries, this Court is of the opinion that the entire office of the Directorate General, Defence Estates Cantonment Board would come to stand still…. ” In the instant case, the complainant has sought information from a hospital, where Doctors are the ones who are acting as CPIOs and FAAs and are burdened with the mammoth task of providing information under the Act apart from their professional duties. The doctors cannot be made to address such meaningless queries, especially from an information seeker who, appears to, have made nothing short of mockery of process of law.
The Supreme Court in CBSE vs. Aditya Bandopadhyay, (2011) 8 SCC 497, has held as under:– “62. When trying to ensure that the right to information does not conflict with several other public interests (which includes efficient operations of the Governments, preservation of confidentiality of sensitive information, optimum use of limited fiscal resources, etc.), it is difficult to visualise and enumerate all types of information which require to be exempted from disclosure in public interest.… 67. Indiscriminate and impractical demands or directions under the RTI Act for disclosure of all and sundry information (unrelated to transparency and accountability in the functioning of public authorities and eradication of corruption) would be counterproductive as it will adversely affect the efficiency of the administration and result in the executive getting bogged down with the non-productive work of collecting and furnishing information. The Act should not be allowed to be misused or abused, to become a tool to obstruct the national development and integration, or to destroy the peace, tranquillity and harmony among its citizens. Nor should it be converted into a tool of oppression or intimidation of honest officials striving to do their duty. The nation does not want a scenario where 75% of the staff of public authorities spends 75% of their time in collecting and furnishing information to applicants instead of discharging their regular duties. The threat of penalties under the RTI Act and the pressure of the authorities under the RTI Act should not lead to employees of a public authorities prioritising information furnishing, at the cost of their normal and regular duties.”
Keeping in view the amplitude of information sought by the complainant and the ratio above, the Commission does not find any merit in the complaint and the same is dismissed.
Citation: Shri Nitesh Kumar Tripathi v. R.M.L. Hospital in F.No. CIC/LS/C/2012/000835-YA