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RTI Judgement Series: PIO at magistrate’s office asked to provide complete information

The CIC issued a show cause notice to the PIO for not providing complete information within 30 days. This is the 67th in a series of important judgements given by former Central Information Commissioner Shailesh Gandhi that can be used or quoted in an RTI application

The Central Information Commission (CIC), while asking the Public Information Officers (PIOs) of the sub-divisional magistrate (Model Town) at Delhi to provide information, also issued a show-cause notice for not providing complete information within stipulated time limit of 30 days as per the Right to Information (RTI) Act.

 

While giving this important judgement on 5 April 2010, Shailesh Gandhi, the then Central Information Commissioner said, “...the complete information was not provided (by the PIO) to the appellant. The PIO is now directed to provide specific information like present status of application along with file notings and correspondence available on the records and names and definitions of officer who have dealt with the file.”

 

New Delhi resident Neera Nashier, on 9 September 2009, sought information about a complaint filed with ACB on embezzlement of funds in 1996 from the sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) Ram Pura, Delhi. Here is the information she sought and the reply provided by the PIO...

 

1. Whether the Jat caste belonging to UP are covered in the OBC list for obtaining certificates from Delhi.         

PIO's Reply: The information sought is attached with the sheet.

 

2. What relevant documents/proof is required to be submitted for getting OBC certificates?

PIO's Reply: As above.

 

3. After applying for OBC in your office, what is the time frame to issue the certificate/reject the application?

PIO's Reply: Normally 21 days.

 

4. If no rejection is issued after conducting all enquiries within the fixed time frame, then why not “deemed to be accepted” system can be considered? 

PIO's Reply: The official is allowed for the seeking information under RTI Act, 2005, and there is no provision to make queries as to why, where, etc.

 

5. Let me know the status of my application which was received vide acknowledgement No.82745. 

PIO's Reply: Enquiry pending from parental address.

 

6. Also let me know the reason of delay in the issuing the OBC certificate.

PIO's Reply: Do. (As above)

 

7. Provide appellant the name of the official responsible for this delay.     

PIO's Reply: Do. (As above.)

 

8. Let the appellant know the provisions/penalties of action against the official(s) for causing wilful delay in not giving the certificate in time.

PIO's Reply: Do. (As above.)

 

Nashier then filed her first appeal claiming that the PIO did not supply the desired information. In his order, the First Appellate Authority (FAA) dismissed the appeal stating that the information was supplied by the PIO.

 

Nashier then approached the CIC with a second appeal claiming that the FAA dismissed her first appeal without hearing her side.

 

During the hearing, Mr Gandhi, the then CIC, noted that both the parties were not present. From a perusal of the papers, it appeared that the complete information was not provided to the appellant.

 

He then directed the PIO to provide specific information about the present status of application along with file notings and correspondence available on records and name and designations of officers who have dealt with the file. The CIC also directed the PIO to supply photocopies of file notings and communications.

 

Mr Gandhi said, “from the facts before the Commission, the PIO is guilty of not furnishing information within the time specified under sub-section (1) of Section7 by not replying in 30 days”. The Commission then issued a show-cause notice to the PIO and asked him to give his written submissions as to why penalty should not be imposed on him as per Section 20(1) of the RTI Act.

 

CENTRAL INFORMATION COMMISSION

 

Decision No. CIC/SG/A/2010/900396/7357

http://www.rti.india.gov.in/cic_decisions/SG-05042010-13.pdf

Appeal No. CIC/SG/A/2010/900396

 

Appellant                                                     : Neera Nashier

                                                                     New Delhi-110034

                                     

Respondent                                                : PIO

                                                                     Sub-Divisional Magistrate (Model Town),

                                                                     Old Middle school Building,

                                                                     Ram Pura, Delhi -

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