Information related to enquiry into damage to an art work during the ‘Venice Biennale’ - CIC: PIO to facilitate inspection of records; FAA to ensure that all the appeals on RTI matters are disposed of strictly within the time frame laid down in RTI Act
According to the appeal, the Appellant filed an RTI application on 3.5.2013, seeking information on twenty points regarding the ‘Venice Biennale’. The CPIO responded on 31.5.2013, stating that since an enquiry was being conducted on the matter, no information / documents could be provided till the enquiry was completed. Not satisfied with the reply of the CPIO, the Appellant filed an appeal to the First Appellate Authority on 3.6.2013. Not having received a response from the FAA, he approached the CIC in second appeal on 29.8.2013.
2. We heard the submissions of the Appellant and the Respondents. The Appellant stated that he had still not received the information sought by him. The Respondents stated that the subject of the RTI application related to an ongoing enquiry and that the Appellant had been given a large number of documents in the course of the enquiry. In response to our query, the Respondents stated that the enquiry related to damage to an art work during the ‘Venice Biennale’. We note that only one query in the RTI application, at Serial No. 20, relates to the above mentioned subject of damage to an art piece. We further note that some of the queries do not fall within the scope 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 Respondents stated that they were willing to have the relevant records inspected by the Appellant in respect of the queries pointed out by the Commission.
3. Taking into account the records and submission before us, we direct the CPIO to facilitate inspection of records, in respect of the following queries of the RTI application, by the Appellant within fifteen days from the receipt of a written communication from him to that effect: Queries No. 1 to 4, 6 to 8, 11, 12, 14, 16 and 18. The CPIO is further directed that after the inspection, the Appellant should be given photocopies of upto 30 documents, selected by him, free of cost.
4. We also note that the FAA did not pass any order on the appeal, filed by the Appellant before him. We direct the FAA to ensure that all the appeals on RTI matters, filed before him, are disposed of strictly within the time frame laid down in the RTI Act.
5. With the above directions, the appeal is disposed of.
6. Copies of this order be given free of cost to the parties.
Citation: Shri D S Yadav v. Lalit Kala Akademi in File No. CIC/BS/A/2013/002285/SH