Respondent: Information sought was not maintained in the desired format & compilation sought would result in disproportionate diversion of their resources - CIC: Provide inspection to the appellant to identify the record for getting copies thereof
Information relating to Non-Executives in HR cadre along with their date of posting, those who had been internally transferred from one desk to another and those who had never been transferred etc. was sought - Respondent: The information sought was not maintained by the authority in the format as desired by the appellant and compilation of the information sought would result in disproportionate diversion of their resources - CIC: Provide an opportunity to the appellant to see the relevant records and identify the record for getting copies thereof and provide copies of identified records
1. Shri H. Tiwari, the appellant, had sought the names and designations of Non Executives (NE-4 to NE-9) in HR cadre working in CHQ along with their date of posting; names and designations of Non-Executive (NE-4 to NE-9) in HR cadre who had been internally transferred from one desk to another and those who had never been transferred etc.
2. The CPIO provided point wise reply to the appellant. Dissatisfied, the appellant approached the FAA with a request for providing the desired information/documents. The FAA directed the CPIO to have a relook in the matter and provide the reply/information to point 1, 2, 3, 4 and 6 of the RTI application. Later the CPIO intimated the appellant that the available information had been provided. Aggrieved, the appellant came in appeal before the Commission requesting the Commission to direct the CPIO to provide complete information on point 1, 2, 3, 4 and 6 of the RTI application to him.
3. The matter was heard by the Commission. The appellant was not present in spite of the notice of hearing having been sent to him.
4. The respondents stated that the appellant in his RTI application dated 14.09.2015 sought information relating to Non-Executives (NE-4 to NE-9) in HR cadre working in CHQ along with their date of posting, those who had been internally transferred from one desk to another and those who had never been transferred etc. The information sought was not maintained by the authority in the format as desired by the appellant and compilation of the information sought would result in disproportionate diversion of their resources. Although, the available information which contained the name, designation and place of posting of the non-executive staff had been provided to the appellant, the CPIO added that for providing the date of posting and transfer of the staff one had to go through the personal file of each employee. They added that if the appellant wanted he could inspect the relevant records and identify the information he needed.
5. The Commission observes that the CPIO, under the RTI Act, is required to furnish information/documents as available on record and is not supposed to collect and collate information in the manner in which it was sought by the appellant. The Hon’ble Supreme Court in decision dated 09/08/2011 in the matter of CBSE & Anr. Vs. Aditya Bandopadhyay & Ors. (C.A. No. 6454 of 2011) held:
“35……… But where the information sought is not a part of the record of a public authority, and where such information is not required to be maintained under any law or the rules or regulations of the public authority, the Act does not cast an obligation upon the public authority, to collect or collate such non- available information and then furnish it to an applicant….. 67.……… The nation does not want a scenario where 75% of the staff of public authorities spends 75% of their time in collecting and furnishing information to applicants instead of discharging their regular duties. The threat of penalties under the RTI Act and the pressure of the authorities under the RTI Act should not lead to employees of a public authorities prioritizing information furnishing, at the cost of their normal and regular duties”
The matter has been further clarified by the Division Bench of Hon’ble Delhi High Court in its decision dated 07/01/2016 [LPA 24/2015 & CM No. 965/2015 The Registrar of Supreme Court of India vs Commodore Lokesh K Batra & Ors.] holding as under:
“15. On a combined reading of Section 4(1)(a) Every public authority shall maintain all its records duly catalogued and indexed in a manner and the form which facilitates the right to information under this Act and ensure that all records that are appropriate to be computerised are, within a reasonable time and subject to availability of resources, computerised and connected through a network all over the country on different systems so that access to such records is facilitated; and Section 2(i), it appears to us that the requirement is only to maintain the records in a manner which facilitates the right to information under the Act. As already noticed above, “right to information” under Section 2(j) “right to information” means the right to information accessible under this Act which is held by or under the control of any public authority and includes the right to- (i) inspection of work, documents, records; (ii) taking notes, extracts or certified copies of documents or records; (iii) taking certified samples of material; (iv) obtaining information in the form of diskettes, floppies, tapes, video cassettes or in any other electronic mode or through printouts where such information is stored in a computer or in any other device; means only the right to information which is held by any public authority. We do not find any other provision under the Act under which a direction can be issued to the public authority to collate the information in the manner in which it is sought by the applicant.”
The Commission while upholding the decision of the respondent authority directs the CPIO to provide an opportunity to the appellant to see the relevant records and identify the record for getting copies thereof and provide copies of identified records keeping the provisions of the RTI Act, 2005, in view on a mutually convenient date and time within 15 days from the date of receipt of this order.
The appeal is disposed of.
Citation: Shri H. Tiwari v. Airport Authority of India in Appeal No. CIC/RK/A/2016/000911/MP, Date of Decision : August 10, 2017