Information regarding violation of programmes & advertising codes was sought - CIC: U/s 19(8) (a) (iii), PIO directed to ensure that the block figures of the violations report along with the major categories be placed on the EMMC website u/s 4(1)(b)
Complainant sought information on 16 points regarding various issues pertaining to the functioning of Electronic Media Monitoring Centre (EMMC).
Relevant facts emerging during hearing:
Both parties are present and the appellant is heard through video conference. The complainant sought the above information by filing an RTI application dated 09.11.2012. PIO vide letter dated 20.12.2012, provided point wise reply. The FAA vide order dated 12.02.2013 disposed of the appeal upholding the decision of the PIO. Being not satisfied with the response of the public authority, complainant filed the present complaint before the Commission.
The complainant submits that the information regarding violation of programmes and advertising codes, which is the core work of EMMC is not provided to him and requested to direct the authority to publish the same u/s 4(1)(b) Every public authority shall publish within one hundred and twenty days from the enactment of this Act,- (i) the particulars of its organisation, functions and duties; (ii) the powers and duties of its officers and employees; (iii) the procedure followed in the decision making process, including channels of supervision and accountability; (iv) the norms set by it for the discharge of its functions; (v) the rules, regulations, instructions, manuals and records, held by it or under its control or used by its employees for discharging its functions; (vi) a statement of the categories of documents that are held by it or under its control; (vii) the particulars of any arrangement that exists for consultation with, or representation by, the members of the public in relation to the formulation of its policy or implementation thereof; (viii) a statement of the boards, councils, committees and other bodies consisting of two or more persons constituted as its part or for the purpose of its advice, and as to whether meetings of those boards, councils, committees and other bodies are open to the public, or the minutes of such meetings are accessible for public; (ix) a directory of its officers and employees; (x) the monthly remuneration received by each of its officers and employees, including the system of compensation as provided in its regulations; (xi) the budget allocated to each of its agency, indicating the particulars of all plans, proposed expenditures and reports on disbursements made; (xii) the manner of execution of subsidy programmes, including the amounts allocated and the details of beneficiaries of such programmes; (xiii) particulars of recipients of concessions, permits or authorisations granted by it; (xiv) details in respect of the information, available to or held by it, reduced in an electronic form; (xv) the particulars of facilities available to citizens for obtaining information, including the working hours of a library or reading room, if maintained for public use; (xvi) the names, designations and other particulars of the Public Information Officers; (xvii) such other information as may be prescribed and thereafter update these publications every year; of the RTI Act on their website. Respondent submits that EMMC has got the mandate to point out violations in the electronic media as per the provisions of the Cable Television (Regulations) Network Act, 1995. The mandate of the office is to submit the violations before the Scrutiny Committee, the Committee prepares a report and submits the same to the Ministry or the concerned dept. for necessary action as deemed fit by them. In case, any complaint is received in EMMC, the same is forwarded to the M/o I & B for necessary action. He further submits that EMMC was situated at IP Estate, New Delhi has recently been shifted to its new office Soochna, Bhawan, CGO Complex, Lodhi Road, New Delhi, due to this reason, website of EMMC is under construction and is likely to be re-launched in a month. On a query by the Commission as to what is the no. of violations in the previous year found by EMMC, respondent submitted that more than 13000 violations have been found including the advertisement violations.
After hearing both parties and on perusal of record, the Commission notes that the demand of the complainant to publish the information regarding violations of the codes appears to be a reasonable demand and the Commission under its powers under Section 19(8) (a) (iii) directs the CPIO to ensure that the block figures of the violations report along with the major categories be placed on the website of the EMMC within the one month period after the relaunching of the same. This would be in fulfilment of its obligation under Section 4(1) (b) (xvii) of the RTI Act. The complaint is disposed of accordingly.
Citation: Shri Edara Gopi Chand Guntur v. Electronic Media Monitoring Centre M/o Information & Broadcasting in Case No.CIC/YA/C/2014/000255