Information was not provided by the DPS regarding a Mathematics test of a student - CIC observed that the then CPIO has abdicated his statutory responsibility under the RTI Act in not providing any reply to the appellant within the stipulated time frame
The appellant has sought the following information with regard to her child Radhe Rana, Admission no. 04PN/078 who was studying in the school from the academic year 2004-05 to 2015-16 till class IX:-
(i)Why no marks were given to her child in numerical in external paper of the first semester, second semester and retest paper in Mathematics subject for class IX and how the final grades have been evaluated without any numerical marks.
(ii) On the basis of which rule of CBSE Examination bye-laws the student was not given a chance to appear for retest of first semester external paper of Mathematics and also why a rechecking of the first semester external paper of Mathematics was not allowed.
(iii) and other related information.
Grounds for Second Appeal
The CPIO did not provide the desired information.
Submissions made by Appellant and Respondents during Hearing:
CPIO submitted that they had sent a reply to the CBSE in response to the CBSE letter No. : CBSEIRO(AJM)/ Acad/2O16/ Dated 30th December, 2016. She admitted that there was no reply provided to the appellant in respect to his RTI application.
The Commission observes that correct and timely reply is the essence of the sunshine Act to ensure transparency and accountability in the working of Public Authorities. In this context, the Commission referred to the decision of the Hon’ble Delhi High Court in Mujibur Rehman vs Central Information Commission (W.P. (C) 3845/2007)(Dated 28 April, 2009) wherein it had been held as under:
“14.......The court cannot be unmindful of the circumstances under which the Act was framed, and brought into force. It seeks to foster an "openness culture" among state agencies, and a wider section of "public authorities" whose actions have a significant or lasting impact on the people and their lives. Information seekers are to be furnished what they ask for, unless the Act prohibits disclosure; they are not to be driven away through sheer inaction or filibustering tactics of the public authorities or their officers. It is to ensure these ends that time limits have been prescribed, in absolute terms, as well as penalty provisions. These are meant to ensure a culture of information disclosure so necessary for a robust and functioning democracy.”
Commission observes that the then CPIO has abdicated his statutory responsibility under the RTI Act in not providing any reply to the appellant within the stipulated time frame. Commission issues strict warning against the CPIO DPS to remain careful in future.
The CPIO is directed to provide pointwise reply as available on record on point no. 2 of the RTI application. In respect of points 1 and 3 of the RTI application, no relief can be given as reasons are not covered u/s 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. The appeal is disposed of accordingly.
Vanaja N. Sarna
Citation: Apurva R. Rana v. Central Public Information Officer, Delhi Public School in Decision no.: CIC/CBSED/A/2017/149820/00025, Date of Decision: 06/02/2019