Third party alleged that appellant has a vendetta and had filed large number of RTI applications - CIC advised the appellant not to file numerous RTI Applications on the same subject matter for the redressal of his grievance against the Public Authority
1. Appellant submitted RTI application dated 07 April 2012 before the CPIO cum District Education Officer, U.T., Chandigarh Administration, Sector9D, Chandigarh seeking information relating to Mr. Vinod Kumar, officiating head (In Charge) of Govt. Model High School, Sector 34, Chandigarh through multiple points.
2. Vide CPIO Order dated 11 May 2012, CPIO furnished the requisite information and also furnished the information which he had received from the CPIO/Headmaster, Govt. Model High School, Sector 34, Chandigarh.
3. Not satisfied by the CPIO’s reply, the Appellant preferred First Appeal to the First Appellate Authority dated 27 August 2012.
4. Vide FAA Order dated 19 October 2012, the FAA upheld the decision of the CPIO.
5. Being aggrieved and not satisfied by the above response of the Public Authority, the Appellant preferred Second Appeal before the Commission.
6. Matter was heard today. Both the parties as mentioned above were present at the hearing and made submissions.
7. Respondents submitted that the information sought has already been provided to the Appellant.
8. Commission has received detailed submission of Dr. Vinod Sharma, CPIO/Head Master, Govt. Medical School, Sector 34C, Chandigarh dated 24 September 2013. Dr. Sharma has highlighted in his submission that the Appellant has been provided with all the information as sought by him in his RTI Application dated 7 April 2012, However Appellant continues to target him for vendetta by filing large number of RTI Applications asking information about Dr. Sharma in particular.
9. Commission has heard both the parties and is of the view that the information sought has already been provided to the Appellant.
10. Further, Appellant is advised not to file numerous RTI Applications on the same subject matter for the redressal of his grievance against the Public Authority. Appellant is further advised to approach the suitable grievance redressal mechanism to rectify his grievances, if any.
11. Commission would like to inform Appellant regarding the Honourable Supreme Court’s Observations in the Case Central Board of Secondary Education and Anr.Vs. Aditya Bandopadhyay and Ors. (Civil Appeal No. 6454 of 2011 Decided on 9 August 2011.)
“...37. The right to information is a cherished right. Information and right to information are intended to be formidable tools in the hands of responsible citizens to fight corruption and to bring in transparency and accountability. The provisions of RTI Act should be enforced strictly and all efforts should be made to bring to light the necessary information under Clause (b) of Section 4(1) of the Act which relates to securing transparency and accountability in the working of public authorities and in discouraging corruption. But in regard to other information,(that is information other than those enumerated in Section 4(1)(b) Every public authority shall publish within one hundred and twenty days from the enactment of this Act,- (i) the particulars of its organisation, functions and duties; (ii) the powers and duties of its officers and employees; (iii) the procedure followed in the decision making process, including channels of supervision and accountability; (iv) the norms set by it for the discharge of its functions; (v) the rules, regulations, instructions, manuals and records, held by it or under its control or used by its employees for discharging its functions; (vi) a statement of the categories of documents that are held by it or under its control; (vii) the particulars of any arrangement that exists for consultation with, or representation by, the members of the public in relation to the formulation of its policy or implementation thereof; (viii) a statement of the boards, councils, committees and other bodies consisting of two or more persons constituted as its part or for the purpose of its advice, and as to whether meetings of those boards, councils, committees and other bodies are open to the public, or the minutes of such meetings are accessible for public; (ix) a directory of its officers and employees; (x) the monthly remuneration received by each of its officers and employees, including the system of compensation as provided in its regulations; (xi) the budget allocated to each of its agency, indicating the particulars of all plans, proposed expenditures and reports on disbursements made; (xii) the manner of execution of subsidy programmes, including the amounts allocated and the details of beneficiaries of such programmes; (xiii) particulars of recipients of concessions, permits or authorisations granted by it; (xiv) details in respect of the information, available to or held by it, reduced in an electronic form; (xv) the particulars of facilities available to citizens for obtaining information, including the working hours of a library or reading room, if maintained for public use; (xvi) the names, designations and other particulars of the Public Information Officers; (xvii) such other information as may be prescribed and thereafter update these publications every year; and (c) of the Act), equal importance and emphasis are given to other public interests (like confidentiality of sensitive information, fidelity and fiduciary relationships, efficient operation of governments, etc.). Indiscriminate and impractical demands or directions under RTI Act for disclosure of all and sundry information (unrelated to transparency and accountability in the functioning of public authorities and eradication of corruption) would be counterproductive as it will adversely affect the efficiency of the administration and result in the executive getting bogged down with the nonproductive work of collecting and furnishing information. The Act should not be allowed to be misused or abused, to become a tool to obstruct the national development and integration, or to destroy the peace, tranquility and harmony among its citizens. Nor should it be converted into a tool of oppression or intimidation of honest officials striving to do their duty. The nation does not want a scenario where 75% of the staff of public authorities spends 75% of their time in collecting and furnishing information to applicants instead of discharging their regular duties. The threat of penalties under the RTI Act and the pressure of the authorities under the RTI Act should not lead to employees of a public authorities prioritizing 'information furnishing', at the cost of their normal and regular duties…”
12. In light if the above observation, Appeal is dismissed with a warning to the appellant in future to exercise the right given under the RTI Act with responsibility. Case is closed at the Commissions end.
(Smt. Deepak Sandhu)
Chief Information Commissioner
Citation: Shri V.B. Khanna v. Chandigarh Administration in Appeal: No. CIC/DS/A/2013/000501