PIO should give specific date to the applicant for inspection of records
The appellant had filed an application under the Right to Information (RTI) Act with the Department of Revenue seeking some information related to the service of Justice R.M.S Khandeparker, Ex. President of CESTAT from the date of appointment till the date of his retirement. The Public Information Officer (PIO) provided some information after the inspection done by the appellant of the relevant file. The Central Information Commission (CIC) issued show cause notice to the Public Information Officer (PIO) for not providing the sought information to the appellant.
During the second hearing before the Central Information Commission (CIC), the respondent submitted that the file was inspected repeatedly by the RTI applicant on various dates under various RTI applications. The respondent also submitted the details of the inspection and copies supplied to the appellant. The respondent further submitted that the applicant has filed many RTI applications and he visits the department on regular basis for inspection, therefore, he was offered inspection of relevant file on his next date of visit. The appellant submitted that the entire file was not made available to him for inspection only certain pages were made available to him for inspection.
View of CIC
The Commission observed that while inviting the appellant for inspection it would have been appropriate to give a certain date of inspection rather than stating that the appellant may inspect the file on his next visit. The Commission held that there do not seem to be malafide intention of the PIO in doing so and the information has already provided to the appellant. The Commission dropped the penalty proceedings against the PIO.
This site recommends that 2 to 3 alternative dates may be provided by the PIO for inspection of records. This would show the sincerity on the part of the PIO and also avoid unnecessary correspondence in case the applicant is unable to come for inspection on a particular day.
Citation: Mr. R.K Jain v. Department of Revenue in Case No. CIC/SS/A/12/000913
RTI Citation : RTIFI/2013/CIC/1336
Click here to view original RTI order of Court / Information Commission