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The FAA of ESIC wrongly denied information using Section 7(9) of the RTI Act. However, during the hearing before the CIC, the PIO agreed to allow the appellant to inspect transfer records and take photocopies of 10 selected documents. This is the 55th 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, asked the Public Information Officer (PIO) of the Employees State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) to facilitate an inspection of relevant records and provide attested copies for the records that the appellant wanted to see.
While giving this important judgement on 7 July 2010, Shailesh Gandhi, the then Central Information Commissioner said, “If proving the information in the format sought by the appellant would disproportionately divert the resources of the public authority, then the information has to be provided in an alternate format.”
Delhi resident Rajveer Singh, on 27 August 2009, sought information from the Employees State Insurance Corporation regarding transfers in the organisation. He sought the following information...
Furnish documents with regarding to transfer on permanent basis, diversion basis, temporary basis, on promotion, etc. issued by ESIC Headquarters Office in the cadre of assistant director, deputy director, joint director, director, and additional commissioner during the period 1 January 2006 till date:
1. Furnish copies of orders.
2. Furnish copies of noting sheets wherein above transfer orders were examined and decided.
3. Furnish copies of orders and concerned noting sheets wherein transfer orders were kept in abeyance or extension has been granted or place of pasting has been changed.
4. Furnish details of representation submitted by SC/ST officers or representative bodies of SC/ST against the transfer of SC/ST officer. And copies of noting sheets where these representations complaints were examined and decided.
5. Furnish name of the regions for which post of additional commissioner is sanctioned.
6. Furnish name of the regions/sub-regions/hospital for which post of director is sanctioned.
7. Furnish name of the regions/sub-regions/divisional office/hospital for which post of joint director is sanctioned.
8. Furnish details of the regions/sub regions/divisional office/hospital wherein an officer of lower cadre has been posted then the sanctioned posts along with the copy of noting sheets wherein these posting examined and decided.
9. Furnish details of the regions/sub-regional divisional office/hospital wherein an officer of higher cadre has been posted then the sanctioned posts along with the copy of noting sheets wherein these posting examined and decided.
There was no mention of any reply received from the PIO. Singh then filed his first appeal before the First Appellate Authority (FAA). In his order, the FAA said “The disclosure of information will not serve any public interest. The information sought by the appellant cannot, therefore, be provided to him under section 7(a) of Right to Information (RTI) Act, 2005.”
Not satisfied with the FAA's decision, Singh then approached the Commission with his second appeal.
During a hearing, the PIO stated that providing the information (sought by Singh) would disproportionately divert the resources of the public authority.
Mr Gandhi, the then CIC, noted that the FAA has erred in refusing information using Section 7(9). However, after discussing the issue with both the parties, it was agreed that the PIO would allow Singh to inspect the transfer posting order guard file.
The PIO stated that all transfer orders may not be on this file. “After inspecting the said file the appellant will identify the orders for which he wants photocopies and these would be provided to him,” the CIC said.
However, the PIO pointed out that providing notings for all of these would be a very laborious task to which Singh agreed that he would seek notings for 10 transfer orders selected by him.
The Commission then directed the PIO to facilitate an inspection of the relevant records by the appellant on 30 July 2010 and provide attested photocopies for the records which he wants. “The appellant will give the names of the 10 transfer order for which he wants the file notings for which the PIO will provide the photocopies to the appellant before 20 August 2010,” the CIC said in its order.
CENTRAL INFORMATION COMMISSION
Decision No. CIC/SG/A/2010/001407/8431
Appeal No. CIC/SG/A/2010/001407
Appellant : Rajveer Singh,
Respondent : BD Sharma
CPIO & Director
Employees State Insurance Corporation,
Headquarters Office, Panchdeep Bhavan, CIG Marg,
New Delhi. -110002