Appellant sought a copy of his own documents submitted by him at the time of his appointment in the Hindi Teaching Scheme (HTS), CIC: He is not entitled to seek the documents as a matter of right under the RTI Act; Denial upheld18 Sep, 2019
O R D E R
1. The appellant filed an application under the Right to Information Act, 2005 (RTI Act) before the Central Public Information Officer (CPIO), Department of Official Language (DOL), Chennai seeking
(i) a copy of his service book
(ii) all documents relating to his appointment including the appointment letter and
(iii) certified copy of all documents submitted by him at the time of his appointment in the Hindi Teaching Scheme (HTS), Chennai Office.
2. The appellant filed a second appeal before the Commission on the ground that unsatisfactory response has been provided by the CPIO since information pertaining to all the officers/ employees of the Hindi Teaching Scheme are held and available with the HTS, Chennai and that there is no mechanism to transfer the Personal File and Service Book of an employee at the time of his/ her transfer. The appellant therefore prayed before the Commission to allow the appeal and direct the respondent to disclose the information on the RTI application.
3. Shri Jeevan Jyoti Anand representing the Appellant was present in person. Smt. Chitra Krishnan, CPIO and Dy. Director representing the Department of OL, Chennai was heard through video conferencing.
4. The appellant’s representative submitted that copies of his service book and appointment related documents have not been provided by the respondent. He, therefore, requested the Commission to direct the respondent to provide the documents sought for by the appellant.
5. The respondent submitted that the appointment letter and documents related thereto are not available with them. Moreover, the appellant himself should be having the copy of the appointment letter. The respondent, however, agreed to provide a copy of his service book to the appellant.
6. The Commission, after hearing the submissions of both the parties and perusing the records, observes that letter of appointment of a person is issued by the appointing authority concerned. In view of this, all documents relating to the appellant’s appointment ought to be available with the respondent. However, the respondent submitted during the hearing that the same are not available with them. The Commission, therefore, directs the respondent to file an affidavit with the Commission deposing that no records relating to the information sought for vide point no. 2 of the RTI application is available with the respondent. Hence, no information can be provided to the appellant. A copy of the affidavit shall also be provided to the appellant. The Commission also directs the respondent to provide the appellant a copy of his service book as sought vide point no. 1 of the RTI application. The above directions of the Commission shall be complied with, within a period of four weeks from the date of receipt of a copy of this order.
7. The Commission further observes that the appellant vide point no. 3 of the RTI application is seeking a copy of his own documents submitted by him at the time of his appointment in the Hindi Teaching Scheme (HTS), Chennai Office, which he is not entitled to seek as a matter of right under the RTI Act. In this regard, the Hon’ble Madras High Court in the case of High Court, Madras vs. Central Information Commission, Writ Petition No. 26781/2013 dated 17.09.2014 has held as follows:-
“…….we fail to understand as to how the second respondent is entitled to justify his claim for seeking the copies of his complaints and appeals. It is needless to say that they are not the information available within the knowledge of the petitioner; on the other hand, admittedly, they are the documents of the second respondent himself, and therefore, if he does not have copies of the same, he has to blame himself and he cannot seek those details as a matter of right …………. Further, those documents cannot be brought under the definition "information" as defined under 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 RTI Act.”
In view of the above ratio, information sought cannot be provided to the appellant.
8. With the above observations, the appeal is disposed of.
9. Copy of the decision be provided free of cost to the parties.
Chief Information Commissioner
Citation: K N Rajasekar v. CPIO, Department of Official Language in Second Appeal No. CIC/DPOOL/A/2018/114542, Date of order 28.08.2019