Is a PIO obliged to provide the weeded out records under RTI?
The appellant filed an application under the Right to Information (RTI) Act with the Superintendent of Post Offices Department of Posts seeking information with respect to a money order which was misplaced and a new money order that was issued instead. With respect to new money order, the appellant wanted to know to whom this money order was delivered and photocopy of the receipt with signature of recipient if it is preserved. The Public Information Officer (PIO) informed that records related to money-orders were kept for 18 months only and hence providing information was not possible.
During the hearing before the Central Information Commission (CIC), the appellant stated he has been informed by the PIO that relevant records have been weeded out and as such it was not possible to furnish the information. He further stated that he had filed another RTI application asking for a copy of voucher of payment of MIS interest and the demanded a fee of Rs. 2/- for supply of photocopy PIO after a delay of almost three months. Though he deposited the fee, but still no information was provided.
View of CIC
The Commission observed that the relevant records with reference to the appellant’s RTI application had been weeded out and hence it was not possible to supply the information. As regards the another RTI application, the Commission ruled that the PIO should have furnished copy of voucher of MIS interest payment free of cost as the time limit of 30 days for disposal of request had been exceeded. The CIC held that non-supply of information within time limit prescribed in the act and wrong demand of further fee has caused detriment to the applicant. In terms of section 19(8)(b) In its decision, the Central Information Commission or State Information Commission, as the case may be, has the power to require the public authority to compensate the complainant for any loss or other detriment suffered; of the RTI Act, the CIC awarded compensation of Rs.250/- to the appellant and directed the PIO to provide a photocopy of voucher as requested by the appellant.
Citation: Mr. Shreenarayan Agrawal v. Superintendent of Post Offices Department of Posts in File No. CIC/LS/A/2011/001094/BS/0853
RTI Citation : RTIFI/2012/CIC/729
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