Is there a provision in the RTI Act to deal with the non-compliance of orders of Commission?
The appellant filed an application under the Right to Information (RTI) Act with the President’s Secretariat stating that he had not got any information in spite of the orders of the Rajasthan State Information Commission. He had also complained that the information officers were not depositing the penalty imposed on them or implementing the orders of the State Information Commission. The Public Information Officer (PIO) replied that no information had been sought by the applicant.
During the hearing before the Central Information Commission (CIC), the appellant submitted that the RTI Act was deficient in the sense that it did not have any remedy against the non-compliance of the orders of the Information Commission by the Information officers. He wanted the President of India to get the law suitably amended to remove these deficiencies.
View of CIC
The Commission observed that the grievance of the appellant appears to be genuine. The CIC further noted that on many occasions, the public information officers do not implement the directions given by the Information Commissions and continue to deprive the information seekers of the information they need. The CIC held that there is no specific provision in the RTI Act to deal with such situations. However, by continuous monitoring of the non-compliance cases and pursuing the information officers, the Information Commissions can ensure the implementation of their own orders. The Commission advised the appellant to go back to the Rajasthan State Information Commission and draw their attention to the non-compliance of their own orders. The CIC rejected the appeal stating that the President Secretariat does not have information to disclose in the case.
The penalty provisions provide enough powers to the Information Commission to ensure compliance of its orders. If the Information Commission itself feels powerless, who would enforce the RTI Act in the country?
Citation: Mr. Radhaysham Goyal v. President’s Seretariat in File No.CIC/SM/A/2012/000712
RTI Citation : RTIFI/2013/CIC/888
Click here to view original RTI order of Court / Information Commission