PIO asked to deposit the requisite fee as per the Delhi HC Rules - CIC: when there are two streams of RTI available at the public authority, the complainant can choose any, the Public Authority is under a legal obligation to comply with the RTI Act
Certified copy of statement recorded by Patiala House Court was sought - PIO: deposit the requisite fee as per the Delhi High Court Rules - CIC: when there are two streams of RTI available at the public authority, the complainant can choose any; the Public Authority is under a legal obligation to comply with the RTI Act and should develop a proper policy on this subject and create a mechanism to provide easy process to obtain information
1. Complainant through his RTI application had sought for Certified copy of statement of the Complainant, recorded by Sh Akash Jain, Ld MM, Patiala House Court
2. PIO requested the applicant to obtain the information as per Delhi High Court Rules.
Ground for First Appeal :
3. Nonfurnishing of information as per the RTI application.
First Appellate Authority Order:
4. FAA directed the complainant to deposit the requisite fee as per the Delhi High Court Rules and obtain the information.
Ground for Complaint:
5. Nonfurnishing of information as per the RTI application by PIO.
Proceedings Before the Commission :
6. The respondent stated that the complainant has sent four application and all of them common. The reply was sent to the complainant on 23/9/2013 with the stipulated time period and also shown the receipt for dispatch of the reply. The letter was received back by the respondent ‘due to non availability of the address ‘ remarks given by the Postal Authorities. The complainant wanted certain copies of documents filed in the court.
7. Both the parties made their submission. According to the Delhi High Court Rules under Cr. PC, the party to the litigation is entitled to get copies by following the procedure prescribed and after paying the fee prescribed under the Rules. This means the information under RTI can be obtained under Delhi Court and Cr. PC by virtue of RTI Act 2005 declared as a similar right wherein he has to pay Rs. 2/per page and get a copy. Under Delhi High Court Rules relating to certified copies in a correct manner, they have to pay Rs. 5/per page. The officer has rightly submitted that if they provide certain copies under RTI Act, the Public Authority would lose an amount of Rs.3/per page. The Commission appreciates this question and Commission would like to state that when there are two streams of RTI available, if the complainant chooses RTI stream, the Public Authority is under a legal obligation to comply with the RTI Act. It is not legal and proper for the Public Authority to direct the complainant to relinquish his right under RTI and approach the other stream. Similarly, the complainant approaches the other stream he cannot be directed to follow the RTI stream. In such cases it would mean to refusal of information. The Commission recommends the Public Authority to explain the difference to the complainant between two streams with reference to the usage of certified copies issue. For instance, if certified copies issue under Delhi High Court rule will be followed to use any correct procedures and certified copies issue under RTI cannot be used for that purpose. For any reason this has to be explained to the complainant the chance of complainant depending on his needs to chose the stream where he has to exercise his right. If the complainant needs the certified copies for informal purpose, he can approach under RTI and Public Authority cannot deny the information as per RTI Act, if he is entitled. The Commission recommends the Public Authority to develop a proper policy on this subject and create a mechanism to provide easy process to obtain information. The Commission also recommends the Public Authority to explore the possibility of synchronizing of these two streams of RTI and create a easy mechanism which common for both the streams.
8. The Commission also recommends that the complainant to provide the mobile number and personal email id. The Commission recommends the Public Authority to ensure that proper receipt of communication to the complainant by mobile phone and email id besides sending the reply by post. They can also send an intimation that letter has been dispatch on the particular day mentioning the receipt/Speed Post number.
(M. Sridhar Acharyulu)
Citation: Mr. Vijay Prakash Gupta v. PIO, Patiala House Court in Case No. CIC/SA/C/2014/000295