Is a time barred appeal liable to be rejected, if no reasons for delay are given?
The appellant filed an application under the Right to Information (RTI) Act with the State Bank of India (SBI) seeking copies of register of RTI applications for a particular period and list of RTI applications seeking information. The Public Information Officer (PIO) denied the information under section 8(1)(j)
Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, there shall be no obligation to give any citizen, information which relates to personal information the disclosure of which has no relationship to any public activity or interest, or which would cause unwarranted invasion of the privacy of the individual unless the Central Public Information Officer or the State Public Information Officer or the appellate authority, as the case may be, is satisfied that the larger public interest justifies the disclosure of such information:
Provided that the information which cannot be denied to the Parliament or a State Legislature shall not be denied to any person.
of the RTI Act. The First Appellate Authority (FAA) dismissed the appeal on the ground that the appeal was time barred and that no reasonable ground was given by the appellant for delay in filing the first appeal.
During the hearing before the Central Information Commission (CIC), the respondent stated that the information sought by the appellant contained the names and addresses of other persons, therefore the information was denied under section 8(1)(d)
Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, there shall be no obligation to give any citizen, information including commercial confidence, trade secrets or intellectual property, the disclosure of which would harm the competitive position of a third party, unless the competent authority is satisfied that larger public interest warrants the disclosure of such information;
of the Act. They further submitted that the FAA dismissed the first appeal because the appellant had filed it after 6 months from the date of order of the PIO and therefore it was time barred and not maintainable. The respondent also added that no ground was given by the appellant for the delay in filing the first appeal.
View of CIC
The Commission observed that the second appeal was filed against the order of the FAA dismissing the first appeal being time barred. The CIC rejected the appeal observing that in the absence of any supportive documents to show any sufficient cause preventing the appellant from filing the appeal in time, it will be appropriate to consider that the first appeal was time barred.
An appellant should be careful about the time limit for filing an appeal to the FAA which is 30 days. Unless there is justifiable reason, the FAA can reject the appeal under the RTI Act
Citation: Mr. D. Prakasa Rao v. State Bank of India H.R. Section in Decision No. CIC/VS/A/2012/000238/03083
RTI Citation : RTIFI/2013/CIC/1308
Click here to view original RTI order of Court / Information Commission