One PIO cannot interpret the actions of other PIO
The appellant filed an application under the Right to Information (RTI) Act with a government department seeking some information. The Public Information Officer (PIO) declined to disclose the information on the ground that some guidelines issued by the Department of Personnel & Training (DoPT) did not permit disclosure of such information. The appellant then filed a RTI application with the DoPT seeking whether the PIO of the other department was right in declining the information. The PIO of DoPT replied that it was not his duty to interpret any action of another PIO.
View of CIC
The Central Information Commission (CIC) rejected the appeal observing that whether the PIO concerned interpreted the guidelines correctly or not or whether he exceeded his brief and duty beyond what is laid down in the Right to Information (RTI) Act is an issue which can be adjudicated only by the CIC and not by another PIO. The right course for the appellant should have been to come before the CIC in second appeal against the denial of information by the other department and not go back to the PIO of the DoPT seeking clarification on the rightness of the action of the other PIO.
Citation: Mr. Mahesh Kumar Pandey v. Department of Personnel & Training in File No.CIC/SM/A/2011/001279 & 1426
RTI Citation : RTIFI/2012/CIC/400
Click here to view original RTI order of Court / Information Commission