Transfer of the pension disbursement to bank – CIC orders for inspection of file in which the proposal for handing over all the pension cases to the banks for disbursement might have been considered
1. In his RTI application, the Appellant had sought not so much as any information within the meaning of section 2(f) “information” means any material in any form, including records, documents, memos, e-mails, opinions, advices, press releases, circulars, orders, logbooks, contracts, reports, papers, samples, models, data material held in any electronic form and information relating to any private body which can be accessed by a public authority under any other law for the time being in force; of the Right to Information (RTI) Act. Instead, he had given his views about the pension disbursing mechanism in place and what changes could be made to the system for improving it further. He had also alluded to the prevalence of corruption within the pension establishment which, according to him, was also in the knowledge of the government and the CVC. His RTI application was addressed to the Ministry of Finance and, it appears, it had reached other public authorities like the CVC and the CGDA on transfer. The CPIO concerned of these public authorities had separately responded to the Appellant with some comment/clarification.
2. We have carefully gone through the contents of the RTI application and the submissions made before us. As we observed earlier, strictly speaking, the Appellant has sought no information as such. From his submissions, it appears that he strongly feels that the present dual mechanism for disbursement of pension both through the banks and some through the departmental machinery gives rise to corruption and inefficiency and, therefore, in his opinion, all the pension cases should be transferred to the banks. Primarily, he wants to know why the department is not transferring the remaining cases also to the banks. If, at all, any information is available on this, it would be in the
departmental file in which the proposal for handing over all the pension cases to the banks for disbursement might have been considered, ever. We would like the CPIO to revisit the existing records and find out if the subject has ever been considered at any level within the establishment and, if so, either to invite the Appellant to inspect those files or, if the records are not unmanageably large, to make photocopies of the relevant file noting and correspondence and send to the Appellant. This entire exercise be completed within 15 working days of receiving this order.
Chief Information Commissioner
Citation: Sh. Arjun Verma v. Central Vigilance Commission , CGDA in File No.CIC/SM/C/2012/001199