Status of new proposals under IPOP Scheme - PIO provided part information & advised the appellant to visit ministry website - Appellant: all citizens do not have access to website & it is difficult to locate particular information - CIC: appeal rejected
Status of new proposals under the IPOP Scheme was sought - PIO provided part information & advised the appellant to visit the website of ministry for rest of the information - Appellant: all citizens do not have access to website and most of the time websites are not working or it is difficult to locate particular information - CIC: information on website implies that the information is in the public domain; appeal rejected
1. The appellant through his RTI application dated 14.4.2010 sought information on the following five queries:
(i) Number of applications received under New Scheme from 1.4.08 to 31.3.2010 for each of the 16 programmes State/UT-wise and Implementing Agency-wise; number of applications with same details accepted, returned for giving compliance to queries and rejected separately;
(ii) Budget Provision made during 2008-09 and 2009-10 for this Scheme and utilized during these two years State/UZT-wise;
(iii) How is this scheme notified for information and action by State Holders (Implementing Agencies) and beneficiaries (Senior Citizens) i.e. Circulars, pamphlets, advertisements in Newspapers, TV Channels etc for instructions to States/UTs/Local Bides etc. If not done, when all these concerned parties will be informed and how;
(iv) the response from Implementing agencies is understood to be very poor, steps proposed to be taken by Ministry for early provision of these 16 programmes may please be advised. A suggestion to Minister is enclosed for examining and advising the action proposed to be taken on this; and
(v) E-mail address of Minister of S.J.E & and Ministry of S.J. & E and other particulars including pin code, as laid down in Section 26(3) of the RTI etc.
The CPIO vide letter No. 15-37/(03)/2010-11-AG dated 20.5.2010 provided requisite information to the appellant.
2. Aggrieved with the reply of the CPIO, the appellant filed first appeal before the FAA on the grounds of providing incomplete information. The FAA vide his order No. 15-37(03)/2010-11-AG dated 14.9.2010 held that requisite information has been provided by the CPIO. However, the FAA directed the CPIO to provide the information as pointed out by the appellant in his appeal.
3. In compliance with the directions of the FAA, the CPIO vide letter dated 28.9.2010 replied to the appellant as follows:
(i) Detailed information regarding number of applications/proposals received from implementing agencies under the revised scheme of IPOP from 1.4.2008 to 31.3.21010 and number of proposals recommended for release of grants under the scheme are recorded in the minutes of the meetings of the Screening Committee held on 17.11.2008 and 27.10.2009 which is available on the Ministry’s website. On payment of Rs. 108/- (i.e. photocopy charges of 54 pages) in the form of DD/Pay order in the name of the PAO, Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, the same would be provided;
(ii) A statement of details of release under the scheme of IPOP for the year 2008-09 and 2009-10, State/UT wise enclosed;
(iii) A copy of letter dated 7.5.2008 addressed to Secretaries of Social Welfare Department of State Governments enclosed. In this connection, it is further to inform that various schemes of this Ministry including IPOP has also been advertised through newspapers, radio programme, printing on railway tickets etc. from time to time;
(iv) As already informed earlier, adequate number of proposals under the revised Scheme has been received. However, the suggestions made by you for further improvement of the Scheme would be taken into consideration as and when the Scheme is revised; and
(v) Detailed information regarding the Minister and Ministry of Social Welfare and Empowerment is enclosed.”
4. In his second appeal filed before the Commission the appellant states that the information asked is not given and he has been asked to go to website. All citizens do not have access to website and most of the time websites are not working or it is difficult to locate particular information.
5. In his written submissions filed by the CPIO and copy endorsed to the appellant, the CPIO states as follows: “That there are two categories of projects (i) Fresh proposals and (ii) on-going proposals. The appellant is asking about the status of new proposals received on 16 programmes under the Scheme of Integrated Programme for Old Persons (IPOP). As mentioned in his reply dated 20.5.2010 and 28.9.2010, all the fresh proposals received in the Ministry are placed before the Screening Committee of the Ministry who after scrutiny of the application recommend those proposals which are found to be complete in all respect, as per the guidelines of the Ministry. The recorded minutes of the Screening Committee meeting held on 17.11.2008 and 27.10.2009 were available on the Ministry’s Website. However a copy each of the minutes of the meeting of the Screening Committee held on 17.11.2008 and 27.10.2009 being provided to the appellant. The minutes contain the information related to the number of new applications received from 1.4.2008 to 31.3.2010 under the IPOP Scheme from different States/UTs, applications recommended by the Screening Committee, the implementing agency, the name of the project etc.”
6. The appellant, through his RTI application has requested for status of new proposals received on 16 programmes under the IPOP Scheme. The status has been provided to the appellant, and where the information is available on the website, the Ministry’s website has been referred to. The Commission is of the view that the respondent have adequately addressed all the queries of appellant’s RTI application. Information on Ministry’s website implies that the information is in the public domain. No action is called for on the part of the Commission.
Citation: Shri M.V. Ruparelia v. Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment in Case No. CIC/SS/A/2013/000574