PIO: As the ICMR Hqrs stopped all recruitment process for scientific posts due to administrative reasons, marks list of candidates has not been published - CIC: Disclose the marks obtained by the Appellant in case he is one of the candidates
Information sought and background of the case:
The Appellant filed an RTI application dated 09.04.2019 seeking information on the following points regarding recruitment for the post of Scientist C programming in National Institute of Research in Tuberculosis:-
1. List of marks obtained by candidates in written test held on 12 March 2019.
2. Candidate names roll no wise list of marks awarded by interview panel held on 12 March 2019.
3. Name of the candidate selected for the above said post.
The CPIO and Scientist ‘D’, vide letter dated 28.05.2019 informed the Appellant that marks list of candidates has not been published and the proceedings were sent to ICMR Hqrs, New Delhi for approval. Meanwhile, ICMR has cancelled all recruitment due to administrative reasons vide Order No. ICMR/HSRC/1/2019-R Cell dated 14.05.2019. This can be seen from the website www.icmr.nic.in.
Dissatisfied with the reply from the CPIO, the Appellant filed a First Appeal dated 10.05.2019. The FAA, vide order dated 11.06.2019 stated that the reply furnished by PIO on 28.05.2019 is final, as the ICMR Hqrs had stopped all recruitment process for scientific posts due to administrative reasons vide order No. ICMR/HSRC/1/2019 cell dated 14.05.2019.
Feeling aggrieved and dissatisfied, the Appellant approached the Commission with the instant Second Appeal.
Facts emerging in Course of Hearing:
A written submission has been received from the CPIO, ICMR- National Institute for Research in Tuberculosis vide letter dated 26.10.2021 wherein it was stated that the Council had directed them to cancel the recruitment for the post of Scientist ‘B’ and above in ICMR Institutes/ Centres. As per the order, point no 1 states that “In view of creation of Recruitment Cell in ICMR (Hqrs) for recruitment of Scientists in ICMR, all the advertisements for the posts of Scientist ‘C’ and above issued by ICMR Institutes/ Centres for which the final result is yet to be announced may be cancelled.” Since the recruitment has been cancelled by the Council, the information sought by the Appellant was not provided.
In order to ensure social distancing and prevent the spread of the pandemic, COVID-19, hearing through audio conference was scheduled after giving prior notice to both the parties.
The Appellant participated in the hearing through audio conference. He stated that the information has to be disclosed if the same is part of the record of the public authority. He further stated that he required the information in order to examine the manner in which the recruitment exercise was carried out by the Respondent Public Authority.
The Respondent represented by Dr A S Jeyakumar, Scientist E participated in the hearing through audio conference. He stated that since the recruitment exercise was cancelled as per the order dated 14.05.2019 issued by the ICMR, HQ, hence the information sought became redundant at this stage.
Keeping in view the facts of the case and the submissions made by both the parties, the Commission is of the view that the information sought in point no 3 becomes redundant in view of the fact that the recruitment process has been cancelled. With regard to points 1 and 2 where the Appellant has desired the name and roll number list of marks secured by all candidates in the written test and interview held on 12.03.2019, the Commission is of the view that the same is third party information exempted from disclosure as per Section 8 (1) (j) of the RTI Act. However, the CPIO, National Institute for Research in Tuberculosis is directed to disclose the marks obtained by the Appellant in case he is one of the candidates who had appeared for the examination by 15.12.2021 under intimation to the Commission.
With the above direction, the instant Second Appeal stands disposed off accordingly.
Citation: Shri Murugesan R v. National Institute for Research in Tuberculosis in Second Appeal No. CIC/ICOMR/A/2019/645127, Date of Decision: 02.11.2021