RTI Judgement Series
RTI Judgement Series: IISc’s Bombay Property Board was pulled up for delaying tactics

The CIC had pulled up the PIO of Board of Management of Bombay Properties of the IISc for denying and blocking information for over two years despite its orders. This is the 50th 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 announcing that the Board of Management of Bombay Properties of the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) is a public authority under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, also pulled up the Public Information Officer (PIO) of for not supplying and for blocking the information for over two years.

 

While giving this important judgement on 15 February 2010, Shailesh Gandhi, the then Central Information Commissioner said, “The Commission deplores the acts of public authorities in unnecessarily wasting public money by delaying supplying information to the public by using public money. The PIO of the Board of Management of the Bombay Properties of the Indian Institute of Science is hereby directed to provide the complete information to the appellant before 5 March 2010.”

 

Mumbai resident Kayumars F Mehta, on 24 September 2007 sought information from the Board of Management of Bombay Properties of the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) about flats owned by the institute in the city, also known as Bombay Property. Here is the information he sought...

 

a) The names of present tenants since there was a proposal to transfer the flats to the defence forces.

b) Whether Edwart Investment was authorized by IISc to negotiate on its behalf.

c) Whether IISc is a charitable trust and does it fall under charitable commissioner or UGC.

d) Whether permission had been taken to allot flats to the defence forces.

e) The total transaction since the market value of the flats were estimated to be around Rs5 crore.

f) The benefits to IISc in the transfer of the flats.

g) Whether Edwart Investment controls IISc, Bangalore.

h) Act or legislation under which Edwart Investment has control over IISc Bangalore.

i) The person responsible for the loss of revenue.

j) Whether any bids/offers were invited to determine market value of the flats.

k) All the correspondence regarding between IISc and Edwart Investment.

 

The PIO provided an answer to only query c). He said, “IISc Bangalore is a central autonomous body under the HRD ministry, Government of India. IISc is also a deemed university under UGC.”

 

For all other queries, the PIO replied that “...property named ‘Bombay Property’ was offered by Late JN Tata to the Government of India to help the government establish IISc, by order dated 27 May 1908 under Charitable Endowments Act. The government then appointed a treasurer. A Board of Management had been constituted to manage the property."

 

The PIO of IISc on 1 November 2007 forwarded the RTI application to the Board, which replied that it was not covered by the provisions of the RTI Act. The Board said, “Even if it is covered by the provisions of the RTI Act, the information cannot be provided as it is exempt under the provisions of the RTI Act.”

 

Mehta filed three other RTI applications with the PIO of IISc. However, the PIO told him that the information sought was not available with them. Mehta then filed his first appeal before the First Appellate Authority (FAA) of IISc citing denial of information.

 

In its order, the FAA, stated that “the Board of Management handled matters relating to the Bombay Property. The institute had no authority over such matters. Internal correspondence within the Board of Management was not available with the Institute.”

 

Mehta then approached the CIC with his second appeal. In its order on 18 November 2008, the Commission said, “The Board has replied that they would not give the information without assigning any reasons. From the information provided by the respondent and the appellant, it appears that the Board consists of four members, out of whom two are Government of India nominees and one more member is a nominee of the IISc. If this information is correct, the Board is a public authority and is covered by the provisions of the RTI Act.”

 

Mr Gandhi, the CIC, then asked the PIO of the Board to reply to the RTI application. “If they (the Board) wish to deny the information they will give the reasons for denial as per the provisions of the Act,” he said in the order.

 

On 16 January 2009, Mehta received a letter from the secretary of the Board. The letter explained the constitution of the Board to support the contention that it is not a public authority. It further stated that even if it was assumed that the Board is a public authority, information sought by the complainant was personal in nature and therefore its disclosure would cause unwarranted invasion of privacy.

 

Mehta then filed two appeals, on 21 February 2009 and 23 March 2009 with the Board against the refusal of information by the Secretary. He was informed that the Board was not a public authority under Section 2(h) of the RTI Act vide letters dated 19 March 2009 and 9 April 2009.

 

He then again approached the Commission stating that he had not received information from the Board. The Commission registered Mehta’s complaint and issued notice to the Board directing them to respond to Mehta's RTI application.

 

On 29 October 2009, the Commission received a letter, in which the Secretary reiterated that the Board was not a public authority and requested an opportunity for hearing. The Commission then scheduled a hearing on 5 January 2010.

 

During the hearing, Mehta’s counsel submitted that since the Board had not challenged the Commission’s order of 18 November 2008, it should comply with it (the order). He also contended that the Board of Management was controlled by the government as out of the four members on the Board of Management three were government nominees.

 

The advocate on behalf of the PIO claimed that the Commission had passed a quasi-judicial order which could be rectified subsequently.

 

He stated that “in accordance with Section 4 of the Charitable Endowments Act 1890 (CE Act), a vesting order had been issued by which the Bombay property was donated by JN Tata in early 1904 for the benefit of IISc and it vested with the Treasurer. The Treasurer in accordance with Section 4(4) of the CE Act was not under an obligation to administer the property. Under Section 5 of the CE Act a different body was constituted under a Scheme to administer the property. This Scheme has to be ‘settled’ by the appropriate government and a notification or order is not issued by the government to constitute the Board. Clause 12 of the Scheme is the part relevant to the present case as it constitutes the Board of Management. The Scheme is not a notification or an order. The Board of Management is not answerable to the Institute.”

 

The Board of Management has four members—the Collector of Mumbai, a resident of Mumbai nominated by the Government of India; one representative of the Sir Dorabji Tata Trust and the Director of the IISc.

 

The advocate on behalf of the PIO also contended that just because the Board of Management has three nominees of the Government out of four members, it does not mean that the government exercises any form of control. He further contended that control over the trust was different from control over the trustee and that in this case the government did not have any control over the trust.

 

The PIO submitted that the Commission should only decide on the issue of whether the Board of Management should be considered a public authority and not decide on whether exemptions under Section 8 of the RTI Act apply to the information sought by the complainant (Mehta) in his various RTI applications.

 

After the hearing, the Commission then reserved its decision.

 

On 12 January 2010, while announcing its decision, Mr Gandhi, the CIC, said before deciding the issues it was necessary to first look at how the properties that are referred to as “Bombay Properties” and regarding which information has been sought by the complainant came to be vested with the Board.

 

The Board in its letter dated 16 January 2009 has contended that it is not a “public authority” as defined under section 2(h) of the RTI Act.  It has stated in the letter that by a Power of Attorney dated 6 March, 1986 the Treasurer of Charitable Endowments for India had constituted the members of the Board as Constituted Attorneys and hence the members of the Board, which have changed from time to time, are constituted attorneys of the Treasurer of Charitable Endowments.

 

The vesting order had been substituted by a revised scheme called the “Scheme for the Administration and Management of the Properties and Funds of the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore” (the Scheme) by a notification of the Central Government No8-20164-T.6 dated 22 May 1967.

 

The said notification clearly states that it is meant to be a revised scheme with effect from 22 May 1967 which has been issued by the Central Government under Section 5 of the CE Act, 1890.  It is pertinent to reproduce Section 5 of the CE Act, 1890.

 

“5. Scheme for the administration of property vested in the Treasurer (1) on application made as hereinafter mentioned, and with the concurrence of the person or persons making the application the appropriate government, if it thinks fit, may settle a scheme for the administration of any property which has been or is to be vested in the Treasurer of Charitable Endowments, and may in such scheme appoint by name or office, a person or persons, not being or including such Treasurer, to administer the property” (emphasis supplied).

 

The Scheme for the Board of Management has been formulated according to the provisions of Section 5(2) of the CE Act, 1890. Section 5(2) states-

“5 (2) on application made as hereinafter mentioned, and with the concurrence of the person or persons making the application, the appropriate government may, if it thinks fit, modify any scheme settled under this section or substitute another scheme in its stead.” (emphasis supplied).

 

Mr Gandhi said, “The Board has been constituted in pursuance of a Scheme framed by the appropriate government. Thus the contention of the respondent that the members of the Board are the constituted attorneys of the Treasurer of Charitable Endowments cannot be accepted as it is clear that the Board owes its existence to the Scheme notified by the Central Government in accordance with the provisions of Section 5 of the Charitable Endowments Act, 1890.”

 

Section 2(h) of the RTI Act lays down the definition of public authority. The relevant sub-section (d) of section 2(h) is reproduced below:

 

“’public authority’ means any authority or body or institution of self-government established or constituted-

(d) by notification issued or order made by the appropriate Government, and includes any-

(i) body owned, controlled or substantially financed;
(ii) non-Government organization substantially financed, directly or indirectly by funds provided by the appropriate Government”

 

“In this case the respondent Board has been constituted to look after and manage all immovable properties along with other functions defined in para 12.2 of the Scheme. Therefore the Board, by the fact that it has been constituted through a Scheme which came into effect through a Central Government Notification, is a public authority as defined in Section 2(h)(d) of the RTI Act,” the Commission said.

 

The Board consists of four members; the Collector of Mumbai and one nominee from the IISc, both government officers. The resident of Mumbai is nominated by the government. Therefore three of the four members of the Board owe their positions on the Board due to their nomination by the government.

 

“Thus it can certainly be stated that the government is in control of the Board of Management through its nominees. The contention of the respondent Board that the members of the Board are constituted attorneys and the government does not exercise any functional control hence cannot be accepted,” Mr Gandhi said.

 

He said, “The Commission comes to the conclusion that the Board is controlled by the government, and thus the Board of Management of Bombay Properties of the IISc is a public authority as defined by Section 2 (h)(i) of the RTI Act.”

 

The Commission, while allowing the complaint, directed the Board to appoint a PIO and FAA before 31 January 2010. The Commission said it would decide the issue of whether information should be provided by the PIO or not on 12 February 2010.

 

However, on 9 February 2010, the Commission received a letter through fax dated 8 February 2010 from the secretary of the Board. The secretary informed the Commission that the Board had decided to challenge its decision through a writ petition and also requested not to proceed with hearing.

 

On the same day, the Commission informed the secretary of the Board that as he had not moved a writ petition till that date and there was no stay order issued by a court, the order of the Commission remains in force and has to be complied with. “Non-compliance of the Commission’s order which is still in force, may lead to initiation of penalty proceedings in accordance with the RTI Act, 2005. The Commission will hold a hearing on 12 February 2010 and the Commission may pass appropriate orders on that date,” the CIC said.

 

During the hearing, advocate on behalf of the Board, stated that he was not aware that the Board was public authority. He stated that the Board received the Commission’s decision only on 18 January 2010. He said he believed that he should be given 100 days to appoint a PIO as per section 5(1) of the RTI Act.

 

Mr Gandhi said, “The Commission wishes to point out that the Board was a public authority when the RTI Act received the presidential assent. The Board has not acted as per the law and not appointed a PIO though it was a public authority. Hence the Commission cannot accept that every public authority can go around claiming that firstly, they will not act as per the law, and then only after the Commission decides that they are a public authority take a further 100 days to appoint a PIO and FAA."

 

The advocate stated that the Board did not have an opportunity of asking the Commission to stay its order. He also stated that since the information has not been provided since 2007, the Commission should give the Board enough time to approach courts and no harm could come if further time was allowed to them.

 

Mr Gandhi said, “The Commission deplores this attitude of delaying matters by using judicial and quasi-judicial processes to prolong decisions. It is revealing that whereas the RTI Act expects information to be provided to the citizens in 30 days, the respondent feels that a delay of nearly 900 days is of no great consequence. Everyone is certainly entitled to use all the remedies available in law, but to use these to delay matters and to claim the right to delay as superior to the fundamental rights of citizens, appears to be making a mockery of the law.”

 

“It was explained to the respondent that he certainly has the remedy of going in a writ to the court but it has to be exercised before the expiry of the time given in the statutory order. It is significant that the respondent does not even appear to have approached a Court so far,” the Commission noted.

 

While announcing its decision on 15 February 2010, Mr Gandhi said, “The Commission has noticed that the RTI application has been filed in 2007 and in spite of a lapse of over two years information has not been provided. Sequentially the information has been blocked first by the IISc saying that the Board was a separate entity and the information was held by it and subsequently by the Board of Management claiming that it was not a public authority.”

 

“From the deposition of the advocate of the respondent it appears that the Board continues its defiance of an order issued by a statutory authority. His plea that the Supreme Court judgement quoted by the Information Commission is an obiter dicta, implies that he does not believe that the time limits given in a legally binding order must be obeyed,” it said.

 

Mr Gandhi said, “This is a very dangerous doctrine since it would imply that all orders given by law may not be obeyed within the time specified if a party wishes to challenge them at any time later. An interpretation of this kind challenges the very fundamental premise on which the rule of law prevails. It seeks to establish a doctrine that the time within which a legally delivered order is implemented is elastic, so long as there is an intention to challenge the order.”

 

Section 7(1) of the Right to Information Act, 2005, states that if information is not provided to the citizen within the time specified under the Act a personal penalty will be imposed on the defaulting public information officer.

 

“The respondent has given no valid reason for refusing to give his objections, if any, to disclosing the information. The onus to prove that denial of information was justified has been placed on the PIO as per section 19(4) of the RTI Act. However, since the respondent has refused to give any reasons, the Commission has applied its mind to the information sought by the appellant and finds that prima facie none of the exemptions of section 8(1) apply to the information sought by the appellant,” the Commission said in its order.

 

While allowing the appeal, it then directed the PIO of the Board to provide complete information to Mehta before 5 March 2010.

 

CENTRAL INFORMATION COMMISSION

 

Decision No. CIC/SG/C/2009/001346/6359final

http://www.rti.india.gov.in/cic_decisions/SG-15022010-02.pdf

Complaint No. CIC/SG/C/2009/001346

 

Complainant                                       : Kayumars F Mehta

                                                                   Mumbai - 400005.

 

Respondent                                        : HD Malesra

                                                                   Consultant

                                                                    Board of Management of Bombay Properties of the

Indian Institute of Science,

                                                                   Candy House, Flat No 3, 1st Floor,

                                                                   Mandlik Road, Colaba, Mumbai- 400001

User

COMMENTS

SUJIT KATYAL

5 years ago

wonder why shailesh mehta was not given an extended term as cic !! was he a thorn in the side of ???

RTI Judgement Series: Despite Supreme Court order, Delhi government was busy in passing the responsibility

Despite orders from the apex court, various departments in the Delhi government were found passing the issue of unauthorised industries to one another in order to avoid the responsibility. This is the 49th 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 pulling up various officials from the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD), asked the Public Information Officers (PIOs) of the industries department (policy), chief secretary and sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) to provide proper information to the applicant.

 

While giving this important judgement on 12 March 2010, Shailesh Gandhi, the then Central Information Commissioner said, “The Commission must mention that the facts emerging during this hearing appear to imply that the Supreme Court’s order has not been implemented. It is evident that various government departments are passing the issue of illegal operation of all kinds from one to another in an eternal game of passing the responsibility.”

 

Delhi resident MK Kashyap sought information from the Commissioner of Industries, Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD) about unauthorized industries in non-confirming residential area of Gandhi Nagar. Here is the information he sought and the answers provided by the PIO of Industries department...

 

Sl

Information Sought

PIO's Reply

1.

Whether a monitoring committee had been constituted chaired by Chief Secretary, Govt. of Delhi in compliance of order dated 07/05/2004 passed by the Supreme Court.

Yes.

2.

Whether a survey of unplanned residential/Rehayasi was done by SPIO, Chief Secretary according to advertisement published by Commissioner of Industries on 10/06/2004.

Yes.

3.

Provide total number & Name, Property No. with full details which was found illegal & in which 75% were unauthorized illegal Production units in Unplanned Residence according to survey done by SPIO, Govt. of Delhi on 10/06/2004.

List of 45 Industrial area marked as unauthorized is enclosed.

4.

The percentage of unauthorized Production Units found in unplanned Residential Colony according to SPIO, Gandhi Nagar constituency.

Survey was done under leadership concerns SDM. Contact SDM, Gandhi Nagar, for further information. A copy of the RTI application is being sent.

5.

Whether the Chief Secretary had taken any action so far, in compliance of the order of Supreme Court. If not taken, then reason thereof. If taken, then what had been taken? Give full details.

A complaint was used to send to concerned O/o Dy. Commissioner till November 2000 for taking action against unauthorized industries running in unplanned areas.

6.

Provide total number of production units category-wise (Class-A, A1, B, C, D, E, F) in Gandhi Nagar Constituency.

There is no information according to the official record.

7.

Whether the Gandhi Nagar Constituency has to be declared Industrial Area. And by which date.

As said above.

8.

Whether the Gandhi Nagar Constituency has to be declared Commercial Area. And by which date this constituency would declared as commercial area.

As said above.

9.

By which date unauthorized production units placed in unplanned residential areas would be shifted or closed.

As said above.

10.

Whether permission had been given for setting up Computer Crafting Machine (weighing 3 to 4 ton) & allowing for 24 hours in the said constituency.

As said above.

11.

Total number of unauthorized industrial units that had been removed or closed so far.

Receive this information from SDM (Gandhi Nagar).

12.

Whether unauthorized production units would be removed before Commonwealth Games. By which date this work would be started?

There is no information according to office record.

13.

Action taken on the appellant’s application dated 03/06/2008, 30/06/208, 28/08/2008, 09/09/2008 & 27/12/2008 by the Chief Secretary, Govt. of Delhi, so far.

The application of the appellant had been inspected by the staff of this department. after then the letter with inspection report had been sent to Dy. Commissioner (East), for further action on 02/06/2009 according to order dated 07/05/2004 of SC.

14.

Whether the said constituency had been made pollution free removing unauthorized units before holding Commonwealth Games. If yes, then by which date.

There is no information according to office record.

15.

Who has responsibility & who is responsible to stopping/closing unauthorized industries in Gandhi Nagar region according to public notice dated 10/06/2004 issued by the Commissioner (Industries)?

 

16.

 Who will take action against unauthorized industrial units?

As said above.

 

Kashyap then approached the First Appellate Authority (FAA) citing wrong, unsatisfactory replies and misleading information by the PIO. In his order the FAA stated that, “The PIO/CS Office correctly transferred his application dated 11 July 2009 to the Additional Commissioner of Industries, Industries Department and copy for information was endorsed to him vide letter dated 14 July 2009. Under RTI there is no provision to transfer the appeal, hence it cannot be transferred. Appeal can be filed before the FAA of Industries Department only. Hence the appeal is rejected.”

 

Kashyap then filed his second appeal before the CIC. During a hearing before Mr Gandhi, the CIC, Kashyap stated that there is a Supreme Court order of 7 May 2004 to conduct a survey within six months and ensure closure of all industries in non-confirming residential zones. He alleged that this is not been done, though a period of over five years is over form the Supreme Court order, and therefore he sought information from the office of chief secretary, one of the four authorities, who have been charged by the apex court order to monitor the implementation.

 

Kashyap told the CIC that the Chief Secretary’s office has transferred part of his RTI application to the Directorate of Industries and the concerned SDM from whom he was not getting any response.

 

He also stated that he has approached Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), the concerned SDM at Gandhi Nagar and the Director of Industries and everyone kept saying that they did not have information about the implementation of Supreme Court’s order.

 

Mr Gandhi noted that the chief secretary has been given the responsibly of monitoring by the Supreme Court and the SDM certainly reports to the Chief Secretary and thus it is not unreasonable for the citizen to expect that the information would be provided by the Chief Secretary’s office.

 

The PIO, in his submission stated that the Department of Industries is not monitoring the whole activity but is coordinating and does not have enough resources it would require to monitor the activity.

 

The Commission, while adjourning the hearing decided to call the PIO of chief secretary.

 

During a hearing on 25 February 2010, both the PIOs and the concerned SDM were present before the Commission.

 

DP Singh, SDM of Gandhi Nagar stated that there was no record of any survey having been carried out by his office but he was aware that there was large number of garment units in the area. In the absence of any survey or record it is not possible to know whether these can be permitted in the residential area or not, he said.

 

OP Wadhwa, PIO and officer on special duty (OSD) to Chief Secretary stated that he believed a survey had been carried out but nobody seems to know where this report was and what it stated.

 

SK Singh, PIO & Deputy Commissioner Industries (Policy) told the CIC that if a survey had been carried out, the report can only be with the SDM of Gandhi Nagar.

 

Mr Gandhi, the CIC, then directed the PIO of the chief secretary and the PIO of the Industries (Policy) to give categorical information to Kashyap if the possible survey report can only be with SDM of Gandhi Nagar.

 

The CIC also directed the SDM of Gandhi Nagar to once again check if the survey report is in existence. If it is in existence, this will be provided to Kashyap, the CIC said.

 

In its order, the Commission also noted that the facts emerging during this hearing appeared to imply that the Supreme Court’s order had not been implemented.

 

“Appellant (Kashyap) also showed that there was evidence of complaints having been given to the Deputy Commissioner of Industries (Policy) about industries operating in residential areas. He also showed information provided to him by PIO of Factory Licensing MCD (Delhi) asking for 45 industrial connections of water and electricity to be cancelled. He also claimed that 825 notices have been issued vide diary no.2154, 2156 on 26 August 2009 by MCD Factory License Department to SDM of Gandhi Nagar to disconnect water and electricity connections,” the Commission said.

 

While allowing the appeal, Mr Gandhi then directed the PIOs of Industries Department (policy), chief secretary and sub divisional magistrate (SDM) to provide proper information to Kashyap.

 

CENTRAL INFORMATION COMMISSION

 

Decision No.CIC/SG/A/2009/003132/6961

http://www.rti.india.gov.in/cic_decisions/SG-25022010-04.pdf

Appeal No. CIC/SG/A/2009/003132

 

Appellant                                            : MK Kashyap                 

                                                            Delhi - 110031.                              

 

Respondent                                       : SK Singh

                                                            Public Information Officer &

                                                            Dy. Commissioner Industries (Policy)

                                                            O/o Commissioner of Industries

                                                            Govt. of NCT of Delhi

                                                            Udyog Sadan, 419, FIE.

                                                            Patparganj, Delhi-110092

 

Respondent                                        : OP Wadhwa

                                                            PIO & OSD to Chief Secretary

                                                            Delhi Secretariat, Govt. of NCT of Delhi

                                                            Sachivalaya, I.P, Estate,

                                                            Delhi

User

COMMENTS

SUJIT KATYAL

5 years ago

Kudos to Mr. Kashyap and the CIC for giving him relief. Apart from financial penalties RTI Act should be amended to include prison terms to officers for not providing information.

RTI Judgement Series: Use Speed Post instead of UPC for sending RTI replies

By using the powers given under Section 25(5) of the RTI Act, the Commission recommended the PIOs to use Speed Post facility rather than UPC for sending RTI replies. This is the 48th 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), using the powers given under Section 25(5) of the Right to Information (RTI) Act recommended public authorities to send RTI replies by Speed Post, instead of sending it under postal certificate (UPC).

 

While giving this important judgement on 12 March 2010, Shailesh Gandhi, the then Central Information Commissioner, said, “The instances where the Public Information Officer (PIO)’s claim that they have sent letters by UPC and the appellants claims that they have not received it are fairly large. The Commission therefore recommends to the public authority to send RTI replies by Speed Post. This recommendation has been given under the powers given to the Commission under Section 25(5) of the RTI Act.”

 

Delhi resident Rishipal Singh Tomer sought information from the Directorate of Education,

Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD). Here is the information, he sought and the reply he received from the PIO...

 

Sl.

Information Sought

PIO's reply

i.

What was the reason that without any objection in writing the file has returned to school after 4 months on date 30/05/2009.

Due to shortage of staff, the file could not be dealt within time. (O.S Admin) was to deal with the file.

ii.

Was there any objection on his ACP II case file than ... has not returned immediately to H.O.S of the school … objection could be removed.

iii.

What action will be initiated against the official who is responsible for the negligence? Will the DDE Dist West B G. Block, Vikaspuri, Delhi be responsible?

There was no official to deal with hence no action can be taken.

iv.

Due to the negligence of office of the DDE Dist-west-B, the appellant has suffered financial loss and other benefits. Will the official of the Dist-West-B share this loss?

There is no financial loss to the applicant as the ACP will be granted with retrospective effect.

v.

What is the status of his ACP Case (I) today?

The case of the applicant has already been sent to ACP… consideration vide No. DDE/WB/Admin 2009/706 dated 20/08/2009

vi.

Name & designation of the officer of the Directorate of Education to who the appellant could proceed with this matter for the responsibility and suitable action in this case?

No reply.

 

Tomer then filed his first appeal before the First Appellate Authority (FAA). However, there was no mention of any reply from the FAA in the appeal. Tomar then approached the Commission citing incomplete information provided by the PIO.

 

During a hearing before Mr Gandhi, the CIC, the appellant stated that he received information only on 4 September 2009 on his RTI application filed on 27 July 2009. The PIO said the RTI application was transferred and he received it only on 5 August 2009. The PIO showed evidence of sending the information on 4 September 2009. However, Tomar claimed that he received it by hand only on 13 November 2009.

 

Mr Gandhi noted that the PIO sent his reply by using UPC and hence the applicant may have received it late. He said such instances where the PIO’s claim that they have sent letters by UPC and appellant’s claims that they have not received it are fairly large. By using the powers given under Section 25(5) of the RTI Act, the Commission then recommended the PIOs to use Speed Post facility rather than CPC for sending RTI replies.

 

While allowing the appeal, the CIC noted that the information was provided to Tomar by the PIO.

 

CENTRAL INFORMATION COMMISSION

 

Decision No.CIC/SG/A/2010/000222/7129

http://www.rti.india.gov.in/cic_decisions/SG-12032010-09.pdf

Appeal No. CIC/SG/A/2010/000222

 

Appellant                                            : Rishipal Singh Tomer,

                                                            New Delhi-110043

                                     

Respondent                                       : Mrs Shukla Malhotra

                                                               Public Information Officer & DDE(W-B)

                                                              O/o the Dy. Director of Education,

                                                              District West B,

                                                              Directorate of Education

                                                              Govt. of NCT of Delhi,

                                                              G-Block, Vikaspuri, New Delhi

User

COMMENTS

P M Ravindran

5 years ago

The postal services are a bundle of follies. Of course the UPC proved that you had posted something but that did not help you in any way because there is no proof for the addressee having received it! In fact even the post office would not admit the UPC as proof if the consumer claimed that the postal article had not been delivered!

Then there is the Acknowledgement Due card attached and paid for with registered postal articles. But again if you did not receive the AD card back no use complaining because the postal authorities maintain that the AD card is sent back as an ordinary postal article!

Coming to speedpost, every post office affixes a print out on the envelope and gives the duplicate as a receipt to the sender. But not the post office serving the CIC, New Delhi, that is RK Puram. They claim it is a bulk contract and hence no receipts are issued to the sender and hence no printouts with details affixed to the envelope. These details include,amoung other things, the date and time of posting and the weight of the contents. These details are important for the sender and recipient because often public authorities post their replies back dated by as much as 20-30 days! And yes, sometimes they also just send the covering letter without any copies of documents sought. That makes the weight factor also important. So whether the service is provided under a contract for later payment in bulk or otherwise, can the postal authorities deny an important service that is due to every customer? But the customers seem to have no choice!

nagesh kini

5 years ago

India Post has discontinued UPC service since a long time.

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