The proceedings under the RTI Act cannot be converted into proceedings for adjudication of disputes as to the correctness of the information furnished - CIC: This matter pertains to redressal of grievance that needs to be resolved at an appropriate forum
O R D E R
The Appellant vide his RTI application sought information regarding the photocopies of the two cheques deposited, copy of application form, reasons for not issuing the policy and issues related thereto. The CPIO and Manager (CRM) vide its letter dated 28.09.2016, inter alia informed that the said Cheque was dishonoured at the FP Stage itself as a result of which no policy was issued. It was also stated that no application form was received by their office and the agent whose details were mentioned in the said letter was also terminated. Dissatisfied by the response of the CPIO, the Appellant approached the FAA. The FAA, vide its order dated 05.11.2016 concurred with the response of the CPIO.
Facts emerging during the hearing:
The following were present:
Appellant: Mr. Shashipal Singh through VC;
Respondent: Mr. Rajnish Kumar, Manager (CRM) through TC;
Due to holiday the Videoconferencing at NIC-Agra could not be connected and hence the Respondent was heard on phone. The Appellant reiterated the contents of the RTI application and stated that no satisfactory information was provided to him, till date.
The Commission was also in receipt of a written submission from the Respondent dated 13.02.2018 wherein the reply of the CPIO/ FAA were reiterated. The Appellant acknowledged the receipt of response from the CPIO / FAA but remained dissatisfied. The Commission observed that the framework of the RTI Act, 2005 restricts the jurisdiction of the Commission to provide a ruling on the issues pertaining to access/ right to information and to venture into the merits of a case or redressal of grievance.
The Commission in a plethora of decisions including Shri Vikram Singh v. Delhi Police, North East District, CIC/SS/A/2011/001615 dated 17.02.2012, Sh. Triveni Prasad Bahuguna vs. LIC of India, Lucknow CIC/DS/A/2012/000906 dated 06.09.2012, Mr. H. K. Bansal vs. CPIO & GM (OP), MTNL CIC/LS/A/2011/000982/BS/1786 dated 29.01.2013 had held that RTI Act was not the proper law for redressal of grievances/disputes.
The Hon’ble Supreme Court of India in the matter of Union of India v. Namit Sharma in REVIEW PETITION [C] No.2309 OF 2012 IN Writ Petition [C] No.210 OF 2012 with State of Rajasthan and Anr. vs. Namit Sharma Review Petition [C] No.2675 OF 2012 In Writ Petition [C] No.210 OF 2012 had held as under:
“While deciding whether a citizen should or should not get a particular information “which is held by or under the control of any public authority”, the Information Commission does not decide a dispute between two or more parties concerning their legal rights other than their right to get information in possession of a public authority. This function obviously is not a judicial function, but an administrative function conferred by the Act on the Information Commissions.”
Furthermore, the High Court of Delhi in the matter of Hansi Rawat and Anr. vs. Punjab National Bank and Ors. LPA No.785/2012 dated 11.01.2013 held as under:
“6. The proceedings under the RTI Act do not entail detailed adjudication of the said aspects. The dispute relating to dismissal of the appellant No.2 LPA No.785/2012 from the employment of the respondent Bank is admittedly pending consideration before the appropriate fora. The purport of the RTI Act is to enable the appellants to effectively pursue the said dispute. The question, as to what inference if any is to be drawn from the response of the PIO of the respondent Bank to the RTI application of the appellants, is to be drawn in the said proceedings and as aforesaid the proceedings under the RTI Act cannot be converted into proceedings for adjudication of disputes as to the correctness of the information furnished.”
Keeping in view the facts of the case and the submissions made by both the parties, it is evident that this matter pertains to redressal of grievance that needs to be resolved at an appropriate forum. A copy of the correspondence by the Respondent to the Appellant and the agent be furnished to the Appellant afresh.
The Appeal stands disposed accordingly.
Citation: Mr. Shashipal Singh v. LIC of India in Appeal No.:-CIC/LICOI/A/2017/102691-BJ, Date of Decision : 05.03.2018