Instead of transferring of application, the respondent merely stated that the appellant should file a fresh RTI application with the public authority concerned - CIC: The PIO ought to have transferred the RTI Application; PIO counselled to be more careful
1. The appellant filed an application under the Right to Information Act, 2005 (RTI Act) before the Central Public Information Officer (CPIO), Reserve Bank of India, Central Office, Mumbai, seeking information pertaining to various issues, including, inter-alia,
(i) procedure of enquiry against a bank employee and
(ii) posting and transfer details of Ms. Ankita Singh, AGM, Central bank of India, Tajganj Branch, Agra.
2. The appellant filed a second appeal before the Commission on the grounds that he is not satisfied with the reply provided to him by the CPIO. He requested the Commission to direct the CPIO to provide the desired information as sought by him. Hearing on 07.05.2018:
3. The appellant was not present despite notice. The respondent, Shri Shubhashish Roychowdhary, Asstt. General Manager, Reserve Bank of India, Central Office, Mumbai attended the hearing through video-conferencing.
4. The respondent submitted that in response to the RTI application the CPIO vide letter dated 25.10.2016 informed the appellant that the information sought is not clear. Further, the FAA vide order dated 02.12.2016 advised the appellant to file a fresh RTI application to the appropriate public authority i.e. Central Bank of India. The respondent stated that since the appellant has sought information pertaining to the procedure of inquiry against a bank official of Central Bank of India and other details of the particular bank employee, the information sought ought to be available with the Central Bank of India. However, inadvertently the RTI application was not transferred to the CPIO, Central Bank of India. The respondent tendered his unconditional apology for this lapse and requested the Commission to condone the same.
5. The Commission, on perusal of the records, observes that due notice has not been served on the appellant. Hence, in the interest of justice, the matter is adjourned to 15.06.2018 at 10.30 am. The Commission, therefore, directs the Registry of this Bench to issue a fresh Notice of Hearing to both the parties. Hearing on 15.06.2018:
6. The appellant was not present despite notice. The respondent, Shri Girish Prabhu, Manager, Reserve Bank of India, Central Office, Mumbai attended the hearing through video-conferencing.
7. The respondent reiterated the submissions made by him in the hearing held on 07.05.2018.
8. The Commission, after hearing the submissions of the respondent, and perusing the records, observes that the information sought by the appellant pertains to the procedure of inquiry against a bank official of Central Bank of India and other details of the particular bank employee. The Commission further observes that as per Section 6(3) of the RTI Act, where an application is made to a public authority but the subject matter of the RTI application pertains to another public authority, the CPIO of the public authority receiving the RTI application has to transfer the same to the public authority concerned. However, the respondent instead of transferring of application merely stated that the appellant should file a fresh RTI application with the public authority concerned, i.e. Central Bank of India. The CPIO is, therefore, counselled to be more careful in future, so that such lapses do not recur. The Commission also directs the CPIO to transfer the RTI application along with a copy of the Commission’s decision to the CPIO, Central Bank of India within a period of two weeks from the date of receipt of a copy of this order under intimation to the appellant. The Commission further directs the CPIO, Central Bank of India to provide point-wise information, as per the provisions of the RTI Act, to the appellant within a period of four weeks from the date of receipt of a copy of this order under intimation to this Commission.
9. With the above observations, the appeal is disposed of.
10. Copy of the decision be provided free of cost to the parties.
Citation: Riaz Ahmed vs. CPIO, Reserve Bank of India in Decision No. CIC/RBIND/A/2017/195214, dated 18.06.2018