Should MHA transfer RTI application concerning policy matters to Central Armed Police Forces?
The appellant filed an application under the Right to Information (RTI) Act with the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) seeking policy regarding wearing decorations/medals/ribbons which were awarded by the Army authority, on ceremonial dress as well as routine uniform by Ex-serviceman who are presently serving in Para Military/ Police Organizations. The appellant also wanted to know whether an ex-serviceman was entitled to any seniority while allotment of quarter/ married accommodation in the Para Military/ Police Organizations. He also wanted the policy on time scale promotion (except ACP scheme) required to be followed by the Para Military/ Policy Organizations in the case of lower subordinates/ below officer rank Ex-Serviceman employee along with the duty hours of lower rank in a day in the department of Para military/Policy organization service. The Public Information Officer (PIO) transferred the RTI application under section 6(3) of the RTI Act to all the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) (BSF/CRPF/CISF/ITBP/SSB/AR). The Public Information Officers (PIOs) of all the CAPFs denied the information stating that they are beyond the purview of RTI act, being included in the second schedule of the Act. The appellant filed first appeal before the First Appellate Authority (FAA) stating that the information sought by him was from MHA on policy matters and not from the CAPFs. The FAA upheld the reply of the PIO and observed that the information sought was concerning CAPFs because each CAPF have their own policy/guidelines about wearing of decoration/ medal, allotment of quarter and time scale promotion etc. to ex-servicemen.
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The Commission observed that the CAPFs’ being excluded organizations have expressed their inability to furnish the information as no case of corruption or human rights violation is involved in the instant case. The Commission held that the information requested by the appellant is in the nature of seeking information on policy matters which the respondent have to provide to the appellant, since the CAPFs were under the administrative control of MHA. The MHA is expected to have information on policy matters concerning the CAPFs under their control. The policy on entitlement of seniority to ex-servicemen for allotting quarters, Policy on time scale promotion to ex-servicemen employees etc. were directly related to the Ministry. The Commission directed the PIO to provide the sought information to appellant.
Citation: Mr. Ram Niwas v. Ministry of Home Affairs in Case No. CIC/SS/A/2012/002136
RTI Citation : RTIFI/2013/CIC/1383
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