Should FAA give hearing to the appellant – CIC: FAA has to respond within the limited time frame however an opportunity can be given without forgetting that the essence of RTI Act is to provide complete, correct and timely information to the appellant
As per letter Ref No. Admn-1/Sr. TOA/Exam/93/1 dated 26/09/1995 Circle office TOAs are covered under Sr. TOA Gr-I with the letter no. PPE-5/110/Sr. TOA/Co/F/1A dated 22/12/1993 and PPE-5/110/Sr. TOA/CO/F/1A dated 18/05/1995 and as per Department of Telecommunication, New Delhi letter no. 27-2/94-TE-II & CO no. PPE-5/110/ORDER/1/72 dated 30/08/1995 & PPE- 5/110/Sr. TOA (Genl)/11/8 dated 18/04/1995. Now in BSNL letter no. A/A-I/NEPP/2010-2011/128 dated 11/04/2011 was issued by the circle office, some officials when they are covered under Sr. TOA Gr-I as per above cited reference but their post are now treated as SS/SSS/SSO. If SS/SSS/SSO are correct in BSNL then supply the necessary order for their designations in NEPP.
Grounds for the Second Appeal: The PIO has not given the complete and correct information as desired.
Relevant Facts emerging during Hearing: The appellant stated that the BSNL has created posts of Section Supervisor & Senior Section Supervisor and he wants copy of the order and the relevant file notings. The CPIO’s representative stated that they have provided the information. The appellant contested stating that the respondent has given information relating to TOA where he is requesting for the guidelines for Sr. TOA. The CPIO’s representative stated that the clarification in the matter has already been supplied to the appellant vide letter dated 03/01/2012 and there is no further information available. The appellant argued that the circular dated 11/04/2011 issued by the circle office should be supported by a relevant notification and he wants a copy of the same. The CPIO’s representative clarified that the circular has been issued on the basis of the ‘non-executive promotion policy’ framed by the BSNL Corporate office and no separate notification is available on record. The appellant pointed out that inspite of making a request the FAA did not give him any opportunity of hearing.
After hearing submissions of both the parties the Commission directs the CPIO to confirm in writing to the appellant that the circle office circular dated 11/04/2011 has been issued on the basis of the ‘non-executive promotion policy’ framed by the BSNL corporate office and no separate notification is available on record within 15 days from the date of receipt of this order. As regards the appellant’s submissions that he was not given an opportunity of personal hearing by the FAA, it is needless to say that rendering an opportunity of hearing to the parties is a fundamental principle of jurisprudence. It is conducive to fairness and transparency and accords with the principles of natural justice. An opportunity of hearing to the parties also brings greater clarity to the adjudicating authorities. This Commission always gives an opportunity of hearing to the parties but this does not appear to be usually done by the FAAs, as probably there are practical difficulties therein, partly arising out of the number of appeals involved and partly due to the personal hearing in which the matters are required to be decided. In view of this, we would only like to suggest that the FAA should, as far as possible give the appellant including the third party, if any, an opportunity of hearing specially if he so requests, without forgetting that the essence of RTI Act is to provide complete, correct and timely information to the appellant. The appeal is disposed of accordingly.
Citation: Mr. Narendra Rambhauji Kapgate v. BSNL in File No. CIC/BS/A/2012/001107/3415