Reasonable causes for delay can safeguard the PIO from penalty
The Central Information Commission (CIC) issued show cause notice to the Public Information Officer (PIO), Estate Office, UT Chandigarh for delay in providing the information. During the hearing of the show cause notice, the PIO submitted that special efforts were made to collect the information sought by the appellant as it was not readily available. The building plans of the school were required to be checked by the field staff as the school authorities were making claims that they had submitted building plans. Therefore, in order to avoid legal implications at any stage, the field staff had to make sure that no wrong action is taken. The PIO submitted that all of this exercise resulted in delay in furnishing the information to the appellant.
View of CIC
The CIC perused the copies of the communication signed by the Estate Officer and addressed to the Finance Secretary and Administrator stating that the department is working with only half of the staff which was sanctioned in 1960s – 70s when in fact the work load had since increased hugely. The Commission accepted the explanation of the PIO and dropped the penalty proceedings.
Citation: Mr. Hoshiar Singh v. Estate Office in Adjunct to Appeal: No. CIC/DS/A/2012/001284
RTI Citation : RTIFI/2013/CIC/1251
Click here to view original RTI order of Court / Information Commission