Appellant sought a certified copy of the resolution from the Minutes Book passed by the Governing Body of CSIR regarding his representation - CIC: As the FAA’s order was highly incorrect, an advisory is issued u/s 25(5) to exercise due care in future
The appellant wants to know the action taken, if any, in respect of his representation dated 25/09/2017 addressed to the Director General CSIR, JS (A) to include his representation in the Agenda for the meeting of the Governing Body of CSIR. He wants a certified copy of the resolution from the Minutes Book passed by the Governing Body regarding his representation considered at its meeting.
Grounds for Second Appeal
The CPIO did not provide the desired information.
Submissions made by Appellant and Respondent during Hearing:
The appellant was not present to plead his case despite duly served notice on 06.08.2020 vide speed post acknowledgment no. ED596636333IN. On a query by the Commission as to why a timely reply was not given, the CPIO was not able to provide a cogent explanation. He however submitted that there were numerous applications received and due to that the present RTI application might have got mixed up and not replied.
Based on a perusal of the record, it was noted that written submissions vide letter dated 18.08.2020 was sent via e-mail. The case record contains the order of the FAA dated 03.04.2018 which reads as follows:
“Your representation dated 25.09.2017 has not been placed before GB. The same is under consideration.”
The above reply shows that the FAA has issued a highly confusing and irregular reply.
However, taking into consideration the CPIO’s plea, the CIC order in case no. CIC/DOSIR/A/2017/136497 dated 18.08.2017 was perused and it was noted that the reply dated 21.08.2017 shows that the similar matter was raised again in the present RTI application subsequent to the previous order. Therefore, the present RTI application is repetitive in nature. Furthermore, the CPIO vide written submissions dated 18.08.2020 mentioned that they have been receiving RTI applications since 2017 and brief of information sought by him and furnished by CSIR Hqrs was provided. He further submitted that it is evident from the various RTI applications from Shri H.J Patil that he is not satisfied with schedule of Appointing / Disciplinary & Appellate Authorities of CSIR. In this regard, he approached the Vigilance section directly and later on started filing RTIs to seek the status of his representation dated 25th Sep 2017. The CPIO supplied information as available with CSIR.
He summed up stating that the subject matter of the appellant’s case is to put his representation dated 25.09.2017 before the Governing Body, CSIR as an agenda item. Shri Patil was apprised vide letters dated 02.07.2018 and 23.10.2018 that the aforesaid representation was considered by the competent authority CSIR and it was decided that there is no cogent need to amend the existing guidelines/instructions contained in the schedule of Appointing/Disciplinary & Appellate Authority under the CCS (CA) rules, 1965 for CSIR issued vide CSIR letter dated 19th Sep 2016. Hence there is no question of consideration of his prayer.
The FAA order dated 03.04.2018 should have been a clear and speaking order, but the order shows contradictory facts. Though, the recent written submissions clarifies the respondent’s stand properly, the CPIO was cautioned that the reply provided now could have been given within the stipulated time period to avoid this appeal. Moreover, as the FAA’s order was highly incorrect, an advisory is issued u/s 25(5) of the RTI Act to the FAA to take note of the Commission’s observations and exercise due care in future. The appellant was not present to plead his case or to oppose the CPIO’s submissions and therefore, the same is treated as proper. He is advised to exercise his right to information responsibly.
The CPIO is directed to serve a copy of this order to the FAA under intimation to the Commission. The appeal is disposed of accordingly.
Vanaja N. Sarna
Citation: H J Patil v. Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) in File no.: CIC/CHRDG/A/2018/130907, Date of Decision : 25/08/2020