Appellant: Wrong transfer of application by the Nodal PIO amounts to willful obstruction of information; Strict warning issued to the nodal CPIO for not being meticulous; Directed to be vigilant in future; Bring to the notice of the controlling authority
Appellant: The RTI application was wrongly transferred by the Nodal PIO without sending it to PIO, Budget; The conduct of the nodal PIO amounts to the willful obstruction of the information. CIC: A strict warning issued to the nodal CPIO for not being meticulous with directions to be more cautious and vigilant in future; The same should be brought in the notice of their controlling authority
O R D E R
1. The instant matter was earlier listed before this Commission on 22.03.2021 wherein This Commission observes that the then CPIO, Budget Press/DEA has neither sent a timely reply to the appellant nor has transferred the RTI application to the concerned CPIO within the prescribed timeline. The matter was thus adjourned with the below-mentioned observations:
“The then CPIO/Budget is directed to show-cause in writing the reasons for contravening the provisions of the RTI Act by not transferring the RTI application within the timeline prescribed u/Section 6(3) of the RTI Act, 2005 and explain as to why penalty should not be imposed on him/her under Section 20 the RTI Act, 2005, within a period of 30 working days from the date of receipt of the order.The instant matter is listed today for show-cause notice hearing.”
2. The instant matter is listed today for show-cause notice hearing.
3. The appellant attended the hearing through audio-call. The respondent, Shri. Anupam Saxena, Manager (Press)/ CPIO along with Ms. Jessie Jacob, Under Secretary/ CPIO, attended the hearing through audio-call.
4. The respondents submitted their written submissions dated 06.04.2021, 05.08.2021 & 09.08.2021 and the same have been taken on record.
5. The appellant submitted that the information sought has now been furnished to him by the CPIO, Budget Press. However, he further submitted that the nodal CPIO as well as the CPIO, Coins & Currency, division failed to transfer his RTI application to the concerned PIO, Budget to take appropriate action in time under the provisions of RTI Act and pleaded that appropriate action be taken against them.
6. The respondent submitted that the RTI application dated 26.04.2019 has never been received by them and was only dealt with by the Coin & Currency, Division. However, he further submitted that a due and timely reply vide letter dated 24.11.2019 has already been furnished to the appellant in another similar RTI application dated 06.06.2019, which was also confirmed by the appellant.
7. The Commission, after hearing the submissions of both the parties and after perusal of records, observes that the appellant has got a point wise-reply along with annexures by the respondent vide letter dated 24.11.2019. The appellant also showed his satisfaction with the reply furnished by the CPIO, Budget Press and hence no further intervention of the Commission is required in the matter.
8. However, the Commission takes into consideration the contention made by the appellant that the RTI application was wrongly transferred by the Nodal CPIO to the CPIO, C & C division and backward, without sending it to CPIO, Budget. Hence, the conduct of the nodal CPIO is found to be unsatisfactory which amounts to the willful obstruction of the information. Thus, the conduct of the nodal CPIO is definitely a matter which should be viewed seriously. Therefore, a strict warning has been issued to Mr. Ashish Sharma, nodal CPIO for not being meticulous in giving timely reply/information to the appellant and dealing with the RTI application and hence is directed to be more cautious and vigilant in future. The same should be brought in the notice of their controlling authority.
9. With the above observations, the replies of the show cause are found to be satisfactory, hence the show cause is being dropped and the appeal is disposed of.
10. Copy of the decision be provided free of cost to the parties.
Neeraj Kumar Gupta
Citation: Mr. Varun Krishna v. M/o. Finance, Department of Economic Affairs in Second Appeal No. CIC/DOEAF/A/2019/645778, Date of order: 13-08-2021