PIO: The record regarding current status of a specific case is non-traceable - CIC: Non traceability of record is not a ground to deny information; It is shocking particularly since the file in question is not old; It would frustrate the very purpose
Information sought and background of the case:
The Appellant vide his RTI application on 13.04.2017sought information on 03points regarding the Gold Croft CGHS Ltd Vs. Sanjay Kumar Ranga (MS No. 617) application dated 12.08.2015 under section 84 read with section 89 of the DCS Act, 2003. The requisite information is as under:
1. Current status of the subject case.
2. Details of movement of the file after 15.10.2015. 3. Status of issue of Recovery Certificate under Section 151 of court of Civil procedure, 1908.
The PIO vide letter dated 13.10.2017 held the record to be non-traceable and thus no information was furnished to the Appellant.
Dissatisfied with the reply, the Appellant filed first appeal on 10.07.2017. Aggrieved over non-adjudication of his First Appeal, he approached the Commission with the instant Second Appeal.
Facts emerging in Course of Hearing:
The Appellant is absent despite service of notice. The PIO submits that the then PIO could not locate the record despite best efforts. He feigns ignorance of the status of the present case.
Non traceability of record is not a ground to deny information. It is shocking indeed particularly since the file in question is not old. Nothing has come on record to suggest that the PIO made efforts to inquire into the missing record or to reconstruct the record. Such a callous approach towards information management and record retention would frustrate the very purpose of the RTI Act. The Commission sets aside the decision of PIO and directs the PIO to take action as per the Public Records Act, 1993 for record reconstruction forthwith. The PIO shall endeavor to trace or reconstruct the record and furnish information to the Appellant within 04 weeks of receipt of the order.
The Commission entrusts the FAA to inquire into the matter of missing records in the present instance and fix the responsibility for the same. Inquiry report shall be submitted to the Commission by 01.07.2019, positively.
The appeal is disposed off with the above directions.
Y. K. Sinha
Citation: Lt. Col. S K Singh v. O/o the Registrar Cooperative Societies, GNCTD in Second Appeal No. CIC/RECOS/A/2017/175912, Date of Decision: 31.05.2019