Procedure for deposit/receipt of the fees for registration - FAA failed to give credible explanation for not hearing the first appeal even after issuing notice of hearing to the appellant - CIC recommended disciplinary action against FAA u/s 25(5)
1. Appellant submitted RTI application dated 05 November 2012 before the CPIO, O/o Registration and Licensing Authority, U.T., Chandigarh seeking information relating to procedure for deposit/receipt of the fees for registration etc. in the Registration and Licensing Authority through multiple points.
2. Appellant preferred First Appeal to the First Appellate Authority dated 28 December 2012, when he did not receive any information from the concerned CPIO.
3. Vide FAA notice dated 08 February 2012, the FAA had requested the Appellant to present before FAA on 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. February 2013 at 3:00 PM. Appellant has alleged that FAA was not present at the venue for the hearing.
4. Being aggrieved and not satisfied by the above response of the Public Authority, the Appellant preferred Second Appeal before the Commission.
6. Matter was heard today. Both parties, as above, appeared in person and made submissions. Appellant presented proof of submission of RTI application by way of receipt issued by eJan Sampark Centre. However, the then CPIO Shri Deepak Kainth stated that he had never received the RTI application and therefore, no action was taken to provide information to the appellant. Further, appellant stated that he had received Memo No. DC/R&LA/2013/1281, dated 8.2.2013 from the Registering & Licensing Authority cum FAA directing him to appear before the FAA on 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. .2.2013 at 3.00 P.M. Accordingly, the appellant had presented himself but was asked to wait by the FAA and was never called for hearing even though the appellant waited outside the office of FAA for over 1½ hrs. Subsequently, appellant left after recording his presence.
7. Shri Mahavir Kaushik, HCS in his written submission dated 11 September 2013 has not given any valid or credible explanation for not having heard the matter pertaining to the first appeal of the appellant even after issuing notice of hearing to the appellant and therefore, same can not be acceptable. The conduct of the FAA is in complete violation of the responsibility to be discharged by him under 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. and Section 19(6) An appeal under sub-section (1) or sub-section (2) shall be disposed of within thirty days of the receipt of the appeal or within such extended period not exceeding a total of forty-five days from the date of filing thereof, as the case may be, for reasons to be recorded in writing. of the Act. The conduct of the FAA in this case indicates wilful violation of the provisions of the RTI Act with malafide intent to deny information to the appellant. Therefore, in pursuance of the provisions of Section 25(5) of the Act, the Commission recommends disciplinary action against Shri Mahavir Kaushik, HCS under the Service Rules applicable to him. Even the contention of the CPIO that he did not receive the RTI application that was submitted through the EJan Sampark Centre is suspect and is indicative of the manner in which the RTI regime is being implemented by the Public Authority. It is also noted that the FAA has never provided his name in any of the communications addressed to the Commission and has instead tried to pass on the blame to his junior namely the former CPIO Shri Deepak Kainth in a manner which is not befitting a senior officer. The Commission has now been informed that the information has been provided to the appellant on 7.9.2013 but without enclosures pertaining to points 2 & 4. Copies of these enclosures will be provided to the appellant within two days. For the determent and harassment caused to the appellant on account of denial of information, as per provisions 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 RTI Act, 2005 the Commission awards compensation of Rs. 5,000/to the appellant which amount will be paid by the Public Authority within two weeks of the receipt of the order.
(Smt. Deepak Sandhu)
Chief Information Commissioner
Citation: Shri Sumit Thakur v. Registering & Licensing Authority in Appeal: No. CIC/DS/A/2013/000593