Vigilance Committee at the Department of Food Supplies and Consumer Affairs in Delhi, carried out no duties of vigilance and was only there in name. This is the 142nd 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) and assistant commissioner in the Department of Food Supplies and Consumer Affairs (DFSCA) at New Delhi to provide complete information available about the Vigilance Committee to the appellant.
While giving this judgement on 7 April 2011, Shailesh Gandhi, the then Central Information Commissioner said, “There are no rules available with the Respondent and from his submissions it appears that the Vigilance Committee carries out no duties of vigilance and is only there in name. Perhaps, another Vigilance Commission will have to be instituted to look after the working of the Vigilance Committee.”
New Delhi resident Dinesh Kaushik, on 1 October 2010, sought information about the vigilance committee in the Circle-32 from the PIO of DFSCA. Here is the information he sought under the Right to Information (RTI) Act and the reply provided by the PIO...
1. Provide the copy of rule/order/notification under which vigilance committee of Circle 32 has been constituted.
PIO's reply- Orders for the constitution of the vigilance committee are not available with the circle office, however may be available with HQ
2. State the Name and address of all the members of vigilance committee of circle 32.
PIO's reply- Name has been provided
1. Deshraj Singh
2. Rajesh Kr. Tyagi
4. Dinesh Kaushik
6. Shama Praveen
7. Rajeev Sharma
8. Deepak Ratni
3. Provide the Date on which vigilance committee of circle 32 was constituted.
PIO's reply- The Committee was formed in January 1997.
4. Provide the Copy of all the proposal/recommendation letters received from various departments for the formation of vigilance committee at circle 32.
PIO's reply- Information not available.
5. Provide the time period from which a vigilance committee of circle 32 is constituted.
PIO's reply- Period is not specified.
6. Provide the Name and address of all the members of last vigilance committee of circle 32.
PIO's reply- As given in point no. 2 above
Kaushik, not satisfied with the information provided by the PIO, filed his first appeal. In his order, the First Appellate Authority (FAA), while dismissing the appeal said, "According to the submissions presented by the PIO that the reply has been given to the main RTI application."
Citing incomplete and misleading information furnished by the PIO, the appellant, Kaushik then approached the CIC with his second appeal.
During the hearing, Mr Gandhi, the then CIC, noted that the information provided to the appellant showed that there was supposed to be a vigilance committee, that has been unchanged since 1997.
The PIO admitted that the Vigilance Committee does not meet every month as required, but only appears to be active when below poverty line (BPL) cards have to be recommended.
Mr Gandhi said, "There are no rules available with the Respondent and from his submissions it appears that the Vigilance Committee carries out no duties of Vigilance and is only there in name. Perhaps another Vigilance Commission will have to be instituted to look after the working of the Vigilance Committee. The addresses of the Vigilance Committee members have also not been furnished since they are not available."
While allowing the appeal, the Bench directed the PIO to check with Head Quarters if there is any information on the Vigilance Committee and rules for the vigilance committee and send it to the Appellant before 30 April 2011. If nothing is available this will be stated, the CIC order said.
CENTRAL INFORMATION COMMISSION
Decision No. CIC/SG/A/2011/900295/11898
Appeal No. CIC/SG/A/2011/900295
Appellant : Dinesh Kaushik
New Delhi - 110059
Respondent : RS Chauhan
Public Information Officer & Assistant Commissioner,
Department of Food Supplies and Consumer Affairs,
C 22/23,Udyog Sadan,
Qutub Institutional Area,
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