PIO denied information u/s 241(2) of the Companies Act 1956 which specifies a certain legal obligation on the part of respondents while imparting any information to someone - CIC: section 22 of the RTI Act has overriding effect; provide information
1. Vide RTI application dated 16.03.2013, the Appellant sought information on the sole issue.
2. CPIO, vide its response dated 23.04.2013, provided the information to the appellant.
3. The First Appeal (FA) was filed on 29.04.2013, as the desired information was not provided
4. First Appellate Authority (FAA), vide its order dated 04.06.2013, upheld the decision of CPIO.
5. Grounds for the Second Appeal filed on 24.08.2013, are contained in the Memorandum of Appeal.
Appellant opted to be absent despite of our due notice to him. Respondents appeared before the Commission personally and made the submissions at length.
It would be seen here that the appellant, vide his RTI Application dated 16.03.2013, sought information from the respondents on sole issue as contained therein. Respondents vide their response dated 23.04.2013, allegedly provided the required information to the appellant on the issue. Being aggrieved by the aforesaid response, FA was filed by the appellant on 29.04.2013 before the FAA, who vide his order dated 04.06.2013, upheld the decision of CPIO. Hence, a Second Appeal before this Commission.
2. As per the submissions made by Ms. Indrani Sen Chawdharee, CPIO, that the required information was not provided to the appellant on his RTI application dated 16.03.2013, by taking a plea under section 241(2) of the Companies Act 1956. It is needless to mention here that Section 241(2) of the Companies Act 1956, specifies a certain legal obligation on the part of respondents while imparting any information to someone.
3. It is pertinent to mention here that the CPIO, vide his response dated 23.04.2013, denied the required information to the appellant without considering the very object of the RTI act 2005 for which it was legislated by India. Not only this, as per the section 22 The provisions of this Act shall have effect notwithstanding anything inconsistent therewith contained in the Official Secrets Act, 1923 (19 of 1923), and any other law for the time being in force or in any instrument having effect by virtue of any law other than this Act. of the RTI Act 2005, the provisions of this Act, shall have effect notwithstanding anything inconsistent therewith contained in the Official Secret Act 1923 and any other Law for a time being enforced or in any instrument having effect by virtue of any Law other than this Act.
4. By virtue of the legal position above, it may be legally inferred that RTI Act 2005 shall have overriding effects over other Acts passed by the Indian Legislature i.e. RTI Act 2005 is a special Act. Further, learned FAA, vide his order dated 04.06.2013, disposed of the FA by upholding the views of CPIO, without application of his mind. Thus, according to Hon. Commission, CPIO’s views vis-à-vis to learn FAA’s order dated 04.06.2013 are not legally tenable and needs to be quashed and set aside. In view of this, the respondent’s response as well as FAA order are hereby quashed and set aside.
5. The Commission heard the submissions made by respondents at length. The Commission also perused the case-file thoroughly; especifically, nature of issues raised by the appellant in his RTI application dated 16.03.2013, respondent’s response dated 23.04.2013, FAA’s order dated 04.06.2013 and also the grounds of memorandum of second appeal.
6. The Commission is of the considered view that the appellant has been deprived by the respondents deliberately from having the benefits of the RTI Act 2005, even after lapse of more than seventeen months period. Thus, the respondents have defeated the very purpose of the RTI Act 2005 for which it was legislated by Parliament of India. As such, the Commission feels that appellant’s second appeal deserves to be allowed in toto. Therefore, it is allowed in toto.
7. In view of the above, the respondents are hereby directed to provide the complete and categorical information, issue-wise, to the appellant as per his RTI application, within 30 days from the date of receipt of this order under intimation to this Commission. If need be, Section 5(4) of the RTI Act 2005 be also invoked in the matter. The Appeal is disposed of accordingly.
(M.A. Khan Yusufi)
Citation: Mr./Ms. G. Rajrajeshwari v. M/o. Corporate Affairs Serious Fraud Investigation Office in File No. CIC/SS/A/2013/002886/KY