Seeking information regarding a government bungalow's occupation under RTI
The appellant filed an application under the Right to Information (RTI) Act with the Central public works department (CPWD) seeking detailed information regarding a news item about a government bungalow's occupation, unauthorized structures, rent, various permissions and authorizations. The Public Information Officer (PIO) provided some information to the appellant.
During the hearing before the Central Information Commission (CIC), the respondent submitted that the points raised in the RTI application do not concern CPWD. The appellant stated that to avoid giving information, the respondent has sent copies of the RTI application to various departments as mandated by section 5(4) of the RTI Act without any coordination. This has resulted in waste of public resources with the appellant getting no information. The respondent stated that CPWD is related to the bungalow maintenance, and the issues of allotment, rent recovery and other matters in the RTI application is not part of their work. The appellant argued that his RTI application was actually meant for the Directorate of Estates and that the various points need to be handled comprehensively, which can best be done by the Directorate of Estates functioning under the Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD). The appellant also submitted that coordination among the different wings of MoUD is important to avoid confusion, for instance, he had been informed by the CPWD that the house in question was under occupation whereas the Directorate of Estates on the same issue had informed him that the house was un-allotted.
View of CIC
The Commission observed that the possibility for conflicting pieces of information from different wings of the government could not be ruled out. The Commission ruled that issues in the present RTI application have been addressed earlier by the Commission and directions given to the concerned public authorities. The points are not new; hence agitating the matter again through the present RTI application would not be appropriate. This is not a case for de novo adjudication. The CIC rejected the appeal stating that no further intervention is required at the level of the Commission.
What is required to be done by the Information Commission if an appeal is filed to it pointing out that there is conflicting information from different public authorities?
Citation: Mr. Subhash Chandra Agrawal v. C.P.W.D. in Decision No. CIC/VS/A/2012/000278/02978
RTI Citation : RTIFI/2013/CIC/1346
Click here to view original RTI order of Court / Information Commission