Missing information about the conduct of an employee
The Appellant sought some information regarding some enquiry which has been made in the past as well as about some complaint he had made against the conduct of an employee. The PIO provided some information and informed him in the latter case that the relevant file was not traceable.
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During the hearing before the Central Information Commission, the Respondents completely failed to explain the status regarding the availability of the desired information. The respondent blamed some other official of the public authority for not providing the relevant and correct information. About the missing file, no satisfactory explanation was offered and the Commission felt that the assurance given by the PIO that the information would be provided as and when the missing file would be traced was not definitive. Holding that the Respondents representing the Central Reference Library were not even sure if such a file ever existed, the Commission ruled that the appellant had to suffer a lot of detriment and harassment on account of the failure of the PIO concerned in providing adequate and complete information to him in time. The Commission directed both the National library and Central Reference Library to compensate him by an amount of Rs 5000/- each for this harassment caused to him. The Commission also directed to place their order before the competent authority in the Library who shall enquire into the circumstances of the missing file and fix responsibility and take further disciplinary action in terms of the rules and regulations of the organization.
In case of a missing file, this case provides definite guidelines for the future course of action for a PIO. A PIO should try to trace the record and take a definite stand whether the same can be located. If the files are not traceable, the matter should be brought before a competent authority for fixing of responsibility.
Citation: Shri Arun Kumar Sinha v. Govt. of India in file no. CIC/SM/A/2011/000217, 3542509
RTI Citation : RTIFI/2012/CIC/91
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