RTI Judgement Series
RTI Judgement Series: PIO asked to file affidavit after inspecting site

The CIC directed the deemed PIO to file an affidavit stating that there was no imminent danger to the appellant's building after inspecting the site. This is the 190th 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 allowing an appeal, directed the Public Information Officer (PIO) at the office of superintending engineer in Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), to submit an affidavit stating that there was no imminent danger to the appellant's building.

 

While giving the judgement on 7 August 2009, Shailesh Gandhi, the then Central Information Commissioner said, "MK Singhla, the deemed PIO will file an affidavit stating that there was no imminent danger to the appellant's building after inspecting the site and send it to the appellant and a copy to the Commission before 20 August 2009."

 

New Delhi resident, Pushpa Rani, on 3 September 2008, sought from the PIO information regarding the status of her complaints which she had written to the several authorities on different dates, under the Right to Information (RTI) Act. She had complained about a building in her neighbour, which was in dangerous state and also affecting her building.

 

In his reply the PIO stated that letters which she wrote to the deputy commissioner on 3 March 2004, 25 October 2004, 23 November 2004 and 14 February 2007 had been forwarded to the EE (MS-I) vide no. 95/RTI/EE-MS-II dated 4 September 2008 and the information related to the letters written to the ACP, SHO and DCP could be obtained from the concerned department of Delhi Police. He further wrote that the house in question was examined in the presence of the Appellant and the concerned JE, AE & EE (MS-II) and it was found that there was no imminent danger to the Appellant's house. However another letter was received from the Appellant which was again sent to the EE (Bldg.)-I, South Zone on 9 September 2008 for further action as per DMC act.

 

Citing non-receipt of information from the PIO within the stipulated time, Rani filed her first appeal. However, there was no mention of any order passed by the First Appellate Authority (FAA). Rani, the appellant, then approached the CIC with her second appeal.

 

During the hearing, Mr Gandhi, the then CIC noted that the appellant has a building on which the building next to it is actually leaning as per the photographs shown by Rani. The photographs appear to shows cracks in the upper part of her building and to any rational person this would appear a very dangerous and unsafe situation which could lead to loss of lives, he observed.

 

In the information provided, the PIO stated, "After examining the house no.694, it is observed that there is no imminent danger to house no.680 (of the appellant)".

 

The Bench asked the PIO if the MCD had done any evaluation or calculation based on which the statement was made.

 

Rani, the appellant also produced before the Bench a file notings of 19 September 2008 from the building department of the MCD in which it was stated, "In view of above works department be directed to take action against this building before any mishappening occurred".

 

Mr Gandhi noted that nine months after the above said note was made, the PIO and executive engineer MK Singhla, a civil engineer, stated that there was no imminent danger to the appellant's building. He stated that he was willing to provide an affidavit of the same effect.

 

While allowing the appeal, the Bench directed Singhla, the deemed PIO to file an affidavit stating that there was no imminent danger to the appellant's building after inspecting the site and send it to the appellant and a copy to the CIC before 20 August 2009.

 

CENTRAL INFORMATION COMMISSION

 

Decision No. CIC/SG/A/2009/001664/4381

http://www.rti.india.gov.in/cic_decisions/SG-07082009-01.pdf

Appeal No. CIC/SG/A/2009/001664

 

Appellant                                          : Pushpa Rani

                                                            New Delhi-110017

 

Respondent                                      : Maneesh Rastogi

                                                            Suptdg. Engineer-I/SZ

                                                            Municipal Corporation of Delhi

                                                            O/o the Suptdg Engineer-I,

                                                            South Zone, Green Park,

                                                            New Delhi

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