Under RTI Act, deemed PIO shares the responsibility equally with the PIO
The appellant filed three applications under the Right to Information (RTI) Act with the High Court of Bombay seeking information relating to the status of two complaints sent to the Bombay High Court against some magistrate. The Public Information Officer (PIO) responded to one of these RTI applications within the stipulated period while for the other two applications he responded with a delay. In all the replies he informed that the complaints were under process.
During the hearing before the Central Information Commission (CIC), the respondent submitted that the delay in two of these cases was caused because the respective sections holding the information had not provided it to the PIO in time though he had demanded for it as soon as he received the RTI applications. The appellant submitted that the High Court had not decided his complaints till now and the PIO had not provided him all the information that he had wanted in this regard.
View of CIC
The Commission directed the PIO to apprise to the appellant about the current status of both his complaints, the date on which the complaints had been received and when the same were sent for investigation. The Commission also issued a show-cause notice to the officers concerned who were responsible for the delay.
The PIO can seek assistance from his colleagues in order to fulfill the duties under the RTI Act. Whenever he seeks assistance, the colleague is called as the deemed PIO and shares the responsibility equally with the PIO. If the deemed PIO is found guilty of delay, penalty can be imposed under the RTI Act.
Citation: Mr. Lalchandra Badriprasad Tiwari v. High Court of Bombay in File No. CIC/SM/A/2012/001286, 1831 & 1832
RTI Citation : RTIFI/2013/CIC/1053
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