The respondent tendered her unconditional apology for not implementing CIC order & requested to condone the same - CIC: There is nothing to establish that the PIO acted consciously & deliberately with intent to obstruct information; No penalty
1. The Commission vide order no. CIC/VS/A/2012/0003113/SB dated 25.02.2016, had directed the then DCP, North District, Delhi Police to submit an explanation both by post and through email before the Commission on or before 07.04.2016, explaining why action should not be initiated against him for not complying with the earlier directions of the Commission vide its Order dated 27.07.2012 to provide categorical reply to the appellant regarding the reasons as to why the inquiry was conducted by an officer of the rank of Sub Inspector and not by an A.C.P., along with copies of statements of witnesses recorded within two weeks from the date of receipt of its order.
2. The then DCP, North District, Delhi Police was further directed to appear before the Commission on 14.04.2016 at 1 PM along a copy of his written explanations. Since 14.04.2016 was declared a closed holiday by the Government of India, the matter has been adjourned to 03.05.2016 at 12.00 Noon.
Hearing on 03.05.2016:
3. The respondent Ms Sindhu Pillai, FAA, Delhi Police and Shri Sushil Tyagi, APIO and ACP, Delhi Police were present in person.
4. The respondent submitted that the order of the Commission dated 27.07.2012 directing the CPIO to look into the reasons as to why the complaint had not been inquired into by an Officer of rank of ACP initially was not put to her and hence due to oversight due action could not be taken. The respondent tendered her unconditional apology for this lapse and requested the Commission to condone the same. The respondent further submitted that subsequently, when the order of the Commission was brought to her notice she had immediately directed ACP, Civil Lines to hold a fresh inquiry into the matter. Accordingly, a fresh inquiry was conducted by ACP, Civil Lines, North District, Delhi. During the inquiry, on 07.02.2013 a request was sent to the appellant through registered post to join the inquiry on any of the working day. Besides this, one Constable Abhishek Rana (2155/N) was also sent to the address of the appellant informing her of the enquiry. But the appellant did not join the inquiry. The respondent further submitted that the appellant’s husband Shri Jagdish Chandra was also contacted by ACP, Civil Lines but he also did join the inquiry. The appellant was also apprised about the fresh inquiry being conducted by the then ACP, Civil Lines under intimation to the Hon’ble Commission.
5. The Commission heard the submissions of the respondent and perused the records. The Commission observes that the respondent considerably delayed compliance of the order of Commission dated 27.07.2012. However, there is nothing to establish that the CPIO acted consciously and deliberately with intent to obstruct information sought by the appellant.
6. In WP(C) 3114/2007 Bhagat Singh Vs. CIC & Anrs. Hon’ble Delhi High Court vide order dated 03.12.2007 held that “……This Court takes a serious note of the two year delay in releasing information, the lack of adequate reasoning in the orders of the public information officer and the Appellate Authority and the lack of application of mind in relation to the nature of the information sought. The materials on record clearly show the lackadaisical approach of the second and third respondent in releasing the information sought. However, the petitioner has not been able to demonstrate that they malafidely denied the information sought. Therefore, a direction to the Central Information Commission to initiate action under Section 20 of the Act cannot be issued…..”
7. In view of the above, the show cause notice issued to DCP, North District, Delhi Police is dropped.
8. The Commission also directs the DCP, North District. Delhi Police to look into the reasons as to why the complaint had not been inquired into by an officer of the rank of ACP and inform the appellant. The DCP, North District, Delhi Police is also directed to have the inquiry conducted by the ACP completed within a period of six weeks from the date of receipt of a copy of this order.
9. The Show Cause notice is disposed of. Copy of decision be given free of cost to the parties.
Citation: Smt. Usha Paharia Aasiwal v. Delhi Police in Decision No.CIC/VS/A/2014/003113/SB