PIO furnished part information - Appellant approached the CIC directly alleging that the PIO had not furnished the particulars of the FAA - CIC: PIO is directed to be more careful in future while dealing with RTI matters & provide the details of the FAA
1. The appellant, Shri Sayed Thaha Bafayhi, submitted RTI application dated 10 January 2014 before the Central Public Information Officer (CPIO), State Bank of India, Koyilandy; seeking information regarding the loan application submitted on behalf of himself, his wife Smt. Anushi K. S. and his sister Ms. Safiya for equitable mortgage in the year 2007 etc., through a total of 26 points.
2. Vide reply dated 28 January 2014, CPIO furnished point wise information to the appellant except on point nos. 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11 & 17 for which he required additional time for furnishing the same.
3. Not satisfied with the response of the public authority, the appellant preferred second appeal before the Commission alleging that he had not been furnished complete information and also the information regarding the appellate authority was not furnished by the CPIO concerned and prayed for the appropriate action against the CPIO concerned who had furnished him incomplete information. In the mean time, the appellant approached the Hon’ble High Court of Kerala at Ernakulam through W.P.(C) No.10509 of 2014 (K) with the prayer to give direction to the CPIO to furnish complete information and to this Commission to take action against the CPIO concerned in this matter. The Hon’ble High Court of Kerala at Ernakulam disposed of the mater vide order dated 28.5.2014 with the direction to this Commission to pass an appropriate order upon necessary inquiries within a period of three months from the date of receipt of a copy of that judgment.
4. The matter was heard today in compliance of the above mentioned order of the Hon’ble High Court of Kerala at Ernakulam.
5. The appellant instead of exhausting the channel of First Appellate Authority (FAA) approached the Commission directly on the grounds that the CPIO had not furnished the particulars of the FAA. The appellant is informed that Section 19(1) Any person who, does not receive a decision within the time specified in sub¬section (1) or clause (a) of sub-section (3) of section 7, or is aggrieved by a decision of the Central Public Information Officer or State Public Information Officer, as the case may be, may within thirty days from the expiry of such period or from the receipt of such a decision prefer an appeal to such officer who is senior in rank to the Central Public Information Officer or State Public Information Officer as the case may be, in each public authority: Provided that such officer may admit the appeal after the expiry of the period of thirty days if he or she is satisfied that the appellant was prevented by sufficient cause from filing the appeal in time. of the RTI Act stipulates “Any person, who does not receive a
decision within the time specified, or is aggrieved by a decision of the CPIO, as the case may be, may, within thirty days from the expiry of such period or from the receipt of such a decision prefer an appeal to such officer who is senior in rank to the CPIO, as the case may be, in each public authority.” However, the CPIO is hereby directed to be more careful in future while dealing with RTI matters and provide the name, designation and address of the First Appellate Authority.
6. During the hearing the respondent CPIO stated that they have provided pointwise information in response to appellant’s RTI application dated 28.1.2014 of 26 queries, except Point No. 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11 and 17 for which the CPIO requested the appellant that they require some more time to obtain the reply from the concerned Departments of SBI. The CPIO further stated that the appellant had simultaneously filed another RTI application raising similar queries including the points which were omitted. The CPIO vide letter dated 10.3.2014 replied to the appellant in response to his other RTI application, covering those points which were earlier omitted. The appellant stated that the CPIO had not provided information in time and insisted on imposing penalty upon the CPIO under the provisions of Section 20(1) Where the Central Information Commission or the State Information Commission, as the case may be, at the time of deciding any complaint or appeal is of the opinion that the Central Public Information Officer or the State Public Information Officer, as the case may be, has, without any reasonable cause, refused to receive an application for information or has not furnished information within the time specified under sub-section (1) of section 7 or malafidely denied the request for information or knowingly given incorrect, incomplete or misleading information or destroyed information which was the subject of the request or obstructed in any manner in furnishing the information, it shall impose a penalty of two hundred and fifty rupees each day till application is received or information is furnished, so however, the total amount of such penalty shall not exceed twenty-five thousand rupees: Provided that the Central Public Information Officer or the State Public Information Officer, as the case may be, shall be given a reasonable opportunity of being heard before any penalty is imposed on him: Provided further that the burden of proving that he acted reasonably and diligently shall be on the Central Public Information Officer or the State Public Information Officer, as the case may be. of the RTI Act, 2005 and also added that he had not received a copy of the letter dated 10.3.2014 which held the replies to the points of the RTI request that left out earlier.
7. Having considered the submissions of the parties, the Commission is of the view that requisite information has been provided to the appellant well within the stipulated period of time. The question of imposing penalty upon the CPIO does not arise. However, the Commission hereby directs the CPIO to provide a copy of their letter dated 10.3.2013 to the appellant covering all points which were omitted by the CPIO earlier within one week of receipt of this order. The appeal is disposed of.
Citation: Shri Sayed Thaha Bafayhi v. State Bank of India in Appeal: No. CIC/MP/C/2014/000078