Seeking information regarding prosecution for unfair labour practices
The appellant filed an application under the Right to Information (RTI) Act with the Regional Labour Commissioner seeking the acknowledgement of request letter and its previous references, with dates and evidentiary documents and the copies of minutes and the proceedings held on said date. He also wanted information regarding the persecution under section 25 T and under section 29 of ID Act 1947 etc. The Public Information Officer (PIO) provided some information to the appellant.
During the hearing the before Central Information Commission (CIC), the respondent submitted that the appellant is engaged in two industrial disputes relating to his termination of service and his application for prosecution of PNB officials for unfair labour practices and violation of agreement. The process in such proceedings is that the documents of each party are exchanged during every hearing and thus, all documents relating to both the matters are available with the appellant. He further submitted that the appellant had filed multiple RTI applications with the Ministry of Labour and also his office in response to which voluminous information has been provided to him. He has also been allowed to inspect the entire records on several occasions and there is nothing further to be provided. The respondent also stated that the appellant’s queries mostly relate to contesting the action of the public authority which is not information as per section 2(f) “information” means any material in any form, including records, documents, memos, e-mails, opinions, advices, press releases, circulars, orders, logbooks, contracts, reports, papers, samples, models, data material held in any electronic form and information relating to any private body which can be accessed by a public authority under any other law for the time being in force; of the RTI Act but in case he needs any further information, he is free to inspect the entire records and take photocopies therefrom in a onetime exercise so that the public authority is saved from further harassment. The appellant stated that the PIO had demanded additional fee for furnishing copies of documents without providing the computation as specified in section 7(3)(a) of the RTI Act. The PIO stated that he regrets the oversight and is willing to furnish any further information that the appellant needed.
View of CIC
The Central Information Commission (CIC) directed the PIO to permit the appellant to inspect the relevant records relating to his RTI application and also allow him to take photocopies/ extracts therefrom. The Commission also observed that indiscriminate and impractical demands under the RTI Act unnecessarily overload the system with unproductive work of collecting and furnishing information. The Act should be used in a responsible manner without imposing undue costs on the exchequer.
Citation: Mr. Ganga Singh Rawat v. Regional Labour Commissioner in File No. CIC/BS/A/2012/000781/2562
RTI Citation : RTIFI/2013/CIC/1362
Click here to view original RTI order of Court / Information Commission