Show cause notice was served to PIO for a delay of more than 100 days - PIO: appellant was a habitual applicant who sought more than 10 items of information in one application; time spend on copying large documents - CIC: penalty of Rs. 25,000/- imposed
Show cause notice was served to the PIO for a delay of more than 100 days - PIO: Appellant was a habitual applicant, he had asked for more than 10 items of information instead of one item in one RTI application; on account of copying a large number of documents and time spent for multiple number of information, the reply was delayed - CIC: PIO had malafidely denied the information; penalty of Rs. 25,000/- imposed
1. The matter was earlier heard on 20.05.2013 and the Commission passed an Order No. CIC/SS/C/2012/000920 dated 20.05.2013 and observed as follows: “The respondent have failed to reply to the appellant’s RTI application even after direction of the Commission to do vide Order No. CIC/SS/C/2012/000347 dated 20.7.2012. Prima facie there has been a delay of more than 100 days on the part of the CPIO in replying to the appellant. The CPIO is therefore directed to show cause why a penalty of Rs. 250/per day subject to a maximum of Rs. 25000/should not be imposed upon him for not replying to the complainant. A separate show cause notice will issue.” No. CIC/SS/C/2012/000920 : Colonel J S Dhaliwal (Retd.) vs. Pawan Hans Helicopters
2. Accordingly, a show cause notice dated 24.05.2013 was issued to Shri Munish Rokade, CPIO, Pawan Hans Ltd., Noida.
3. The Noticee submitted his written submission vide letter dated 06.06.2013. Subsequently, vide Notice dated 03.10.2013, the matter was scheduled for hearing on 22.10.2013. The present CPIO Shri A K Yadav attended the hearing.
4. In his written submissions, the Noticee Shri Munish Rokade, the then CPIO stated as under: i) In his RTI application dated 21.11.2011, the appellant had asked for more than 10 items of information instead of one item in one RTI application. In view of the cost of copying a large number of documents and time spent for multiple number of information, the reply was delayed. ii) The appellant had also filed a number of other RTI his RTI applications dated 22.12.2011 and 03.02.2012 calling for large number of documents. The intention of the applicant was simply to harass the officials of the public authority form where he had resigned and wanted to strengthen his own case by putting multiple RTI applications calling for large number of documents. iii) During the course of hearing before the Commission, the CPIO and the First Appellate Authority had No. CIC/SS/C/2012/000920 : Colonel J S Dhaliwal (Retd.) vs. Pawan Hans Helicopters submitted reply to the RTIapplication dated 21.11.2011 along with the copies of six documents. iv) After the receipt of the order dated 24.05.2013 of the Commission, he sent copies of documents, notings and records to the applicant vide letter dated 06.06.2013. v) He had a large number of duties and responsibilities of Executive Assistant and Commercial Department, therefore, the job of CPIO was not an exclusive responsibility of CPIO and delay, if any, be condoned.
5. The CPIO could not explain the delay in replying to the RTI application dated 21.11.2011 and noncompliance of the Commission’s Order No. CIC/SS/C/2012/000347 dated 20.7.2012. In his written submission, he admitted that for the first time, the information relating to RTI application dated 21.11.2011 was given to the appellant on 20.05.2013 i.e., during the course of hearing before the Commission.
6. During the hearing, Shri A K Yadav, present CPIO stated that the then CPIO complied with the order dated 20.05.2013 on 20.06.2013. But he could not give the reasons / justifications for not responding to the RTI application dated 21.11.2011 and not complying with the Commissions’ earlier order No. CIC/SS/C/2012/000347 dated 20.7.2012. No. CIC/SS/C/2012/000920 : Colonel J S Dhaliwal (Retd.) vs. Pawan Hans Helicopters
7. Heard the oral submissions of the respondents and perused the written submissions. The Commission observes that the appellant’s RTI application dated 21.11.2011 was not replied to by the then CPIO. Further, he failed to comply with the Commission’s order No. CIC/SS/C/2012/000347 dated 20.7.2012. The information was finally given by the CPIO on 20.05.2013 i.e., after a lapse of 18 months of filing RTIapplication and only when the appellant had to approach the Commission again. There has been no justification whatsoever for delay in replying to the RTI application and noncompliance of the Commission’s order dated 20.07.2012.
8. The Commission is convinced that Shri Munish Rokade, the then CPIO had malafidely denied the information and obstructed the disclosure of information to the appellant. A penalty of Rs. 25,000/( Rupees Twentyfive thousands) only is therefore, imposed upon Shri Munish Rokade, the then CPIO [presently posted as Sr. Manager (Commercial & Recovery), Pawan Hans Ltd., Mumbai ] and the amount shall be recovered in 5 (Five) equal monthly installments of Rs. 5,000/( Rupees Five thousand only) each from his pay and allowances commencing from the month of December, 2013 to April, 2014. 9. The head of Public Authority shall direct the salary paying authority to effect the payments and forward the bank draft of the above said amount, payable to “PAO, CAT, New Delhi”, payable at New Delhi, to this Commission each month. No. CIC/SS/C/2012/000920 : Colonel J S Dhaliwal (Retd.) vs. Pawan Hans Helicopters.
Citation: Colonel Jagjit Singh Dhaliwal v. Pawan Hans Ltd., in F. No. CIC/SS/C/2012/000920