Respondent: Information sought vide the two applications was the same, so in effect the information has been supplied - CIC expressed serious displeasure over the avoidable confusion created in the matter by the CPIO and his Representative
CIC: The correspondence was a copy of Second Appeal & not the RTI Application - Respondent: Information sought vide the two applications was the same, so in effect the information has been supplied - CIC expressed serious displeasure over the avoidable confusion created in the matter by the CPIO & his Representative
The Appellant sought information through 11 points regarding recruitment of Ex – Servicemen in Draughtsman trade DCRE.
Grounds for the Second Appeal:
The CPIO has not provided the desired information.
Relevant Facts emerging during Hearing:
The following were present:-
Appellant: Present on phone.
Respondent: Lt Col. Rajesh Sharma, Rep. of CPIO and Subedar Davender Singh, E-in-C’s Branch, Kashmir House, New Delhi present in person.
Rep. of the CPIO submitted that information has been provided to the Appellant upon receipt of the RTI Application dated 04.07.2016 on 22.07.2016 and after receipt of notice of hearing, additional information has been collated from different agencies and sent to the Appellant on 15.09.2017. He presented copy of these replies for Commission’s perusal.
Commission appraised the rep. of CPIO that the correspondence dated 04.07.2016 was in fact copy of Second Appeal received by them as intimation from the Appellant. It was again clarified to him that the RTI Application under reference is dated 08.03.2016 and not 04.07.2016. To this, the rep. again asserted that information sought vide applications dated 08.03.2016 and 04.07.2016 is the same, so in effect the information has been supplied. After much deliberation, Rep. of CPIO understood the observation of the Commission and regretted that as such no information appears to have been supplied on the RTI Application dated 08.03.2016, and as he tried to refresh his memory, he also stated that, the RTI Application dated 08.03.2016 was returned to the Appellant for want of some documents or appropriate fees. He agreed to send the copy of the action taken on the RTI Application dated 08.03.2016 through email after the hearing.
Appellant stated that he has received the reply dated 22.07.2016, but the reply dated 15.09.2017 is awaited.
Rep. of CPIO as agreed during the hearing sent the relevant correspondence to the registry attached to this bench via email at 2.19 pm. The perusal of the enclosures attached reveal that a RTI Application dated 07.03.2016 was referred to the RTI Cell, E-in-C’s Branch by Lt. Col Amit Kumar, GSO-1 Engrs (Pers) vide letter no. 36789/RTI/V-09/123/7/E1A dated 01.04.2016 stating that such dated RTI Application has been received without postal order and prescribed format, seeking further course of action therewith.
Clearly, the RTI Application under reference does not figure in this correspondence as well, although in substance it appears to be in regard to the same, but the anomaly in dates suggest otherwise. Besides, the RTI Application dated 08.03.2016 mentions the enclosure of appropriate fees being paid through IPO Nos. 66C 955542 and 66C 955543. It is also not established that the RTI Application was returned to the Appellant for want of any procedural rectification.
Commission expresses serious displeasure over the avoidable confusion created in the matter by the CPIO and his Rep. It is also appalling to note that the RTI Cell of E-in-C’s Branch and the CPIO could not differentiate between copy of a Second Appeal and a RTI Application. The rep. of CPIO was sent with the brief of reply sent on Second Appeal but not on the RTI Application which was the source of primary contention in the matter.
The RTI Cell of E-in-C’s Branch and CPIO is hereby warned to ensure that correspondences under RTI Act are perused carefully before acting upon them.
No action lies with regard to the information sought, since part of it has been received by the Appellant and the remaining has been sent on 15.09.2017.
The appeal is disposed of accordingly.
(Divya Prakash Sinha)
Citation: Pranav Sharma v. IHQ of MoD (Army) in File No. : CIC/AB/A/2016/001146/SD, Date of Decision: 21/09/2017