Information was denied claiming that the IPO was not drawn in favour of Accounts Officer, Min of Power - CIC: RTI Act was enacted to ensure that all the citizens have the right to seek information; This right cannot be denied merely on technical grounds
O R D E R
1. The appellant filed an application under the Right to Information Act, 2005 (RTI Act) before the Central Public Information Officer (CPIO), Ministry of Power, New Delhi seeking information on five points pertaining to free electricity provided by the Central Government to U.P. Electricity Department, including, inter-alia,
(i) whether the Central Government is supplying 300MW free electricity to Bundelkhand, UP and
(ii) the date from which such free electricity was supplied and till when.
2. The appellant filed a second appeal before the Commission on the grounds that neither the CPIO nor the FAA provided the information till date. The appellant requested the Commission to direct the CPIO to provide the information sought for.
3. The appellant Shri Suraj Prakash Khare and the respondent Shri Suman Chatterjee, Deputy Secretary (RTI), Ministry of Power were present in person.
4. The appellant submitted that no information was provided to him in response to his RTI application dated 06.09.2016 as well as the first appeal dated 15.10.2016.
5. The respondent submitted that the IPO submitted by the appellant was drawn in favour of CPIO, Ministry of Power instead of Accounts Officer, Ministry of Power. Hence, the appellant was requested vide letter dated 16.09.2016 (English version) and 26.09.2016 (Hindi version) to forward his application alongwith requisite fee by way of cash or other prescribed mode of payment in favour of “Accounts officer, Ministry of Power” for taking further action. However, no response was received from the appellant. The respondent further submitted that the information sought shall be provided to the appellant on receipt of the requisite fee.
6. The Commission, after hearing the submissions of both the parties and perusing the records, notes that the respondent had not provided the information to the appellant on the grounds that the IPO was not drawn in favour of Accounts Officer, Ministry of Power. The RTI Act was enacted to ensure that all the citizens have the right to seek information and this right cannot be denied merely on technical grounds. In view of this, the Commission directs the respondent to provide complete and correct information to the appellant within a period of four weeks from the date of receipt of a copy of this order.
7. With the above observations, the appeal is disposed of.
8. Copy of the decision be provided free of cost to the parties.
Citation: Suraj Prakash Khare v. Ministry of Power in Decision No. CIC/POWER/A/2017/103517 Dated 01.12.2017