RTI Judgement Series: Do clerks have more power than a municipal commissioner?
Moneylife Digital Team 30 January 2013

Specific orders from the MCD commissioner to transfer two officials were not followed and the two officials were re-instated in the same position. The CIC then ordered the additional commissioner to conduct an enquiry and submit a report in this matter. This is the 30th in a series of important judgements given by former Central Information Commissioner Shailesh Gandhi that can be used or quoted in an RTI application


Taking a serious note of tampering with records by officials, the Central Information Commission (CIC) asked the additional commissioner of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) to conduct an enquiry and submit a report to the Commission. While giving this important judgement, Shailesh Gandhi, former Central Information Commissioner expressed anguish over the manner in which the officials were re-instated ignoring an order from the municipal commissioner.

 

“The Additional Commissioner (CA-cum-FA), Mrs T Tonsing Prasad is directed to enquire into this and make a report of how Shri Jai Dayal and Suresh Yadav have been re-instated in the same position which a municipal commissioner had ordered them to be transferred from," the CIC said in its order issued on 24 March 2009.

 

Delhi resident Harish Kumar, on 28 July 2008 sought information about complaints filed by him against Suresh Kumar, upper division clerk (UDC) in the MCD, under the  Right to Information (RTI) Act. He sought the following information...

 

1. Furnish diary numbers and photocopies of the complaints written to the then assistant commissioner, SPZ by Mr Harish Kumar against Mr Suresh Kumar since 2003 to 2008.

2. Furnish diary numbers and certified copies with their dates of the complaints written to any of the officer, commissioner, organization, ministry in relation to Mr Suresh Kumar.

 

There was no mention of any reply provided by the Public Information Officer (PIO). Mr Kumar then filed first appeal before the First Appellate Authority (FAA). The FAA, while disposing off the appeal, directed the PIO to provide requisite information as per record within seven working days.

 

Not satisfied with the reply, Mr Kumar then filed second appeal before the CIC. He also produced an order signed by the Commissioner of MCD on 3 June 2003. The order states that, “A perusal of the interim report submitted by the Vigilance Department reveals that the complicity of Shri Jai Dayal and Suresh Yadav, Licensing Inspectors (LIs), against whom prima-facie delinquency is in existence, in respect of above work, cannot be ignored. Hence, as recommended at sl No2, additional commissioner (engg) may be requested to shift both the above officials to non-sensitive positions immediately, to prevent any tampering with records. They should also not to be posted in any of the departments in Sadar Paharganj Zone.”

 

“Since the allegations levied against the above officials by the complainant are specific and serious in nature, I would like the investigation proceedings in the instant matter to be completed in a time bound manner and all guilty be brought to book. The investigation report should be submitted to the undersigned,” the order said.

 

Mr Gandhi said in spite of this the PIO confirmed that both the guilty were working in the same position since they have been retransferred to the sensitive positions by some unknown forces. “It appears from this that even a municipal commissioner’s order recording tampering with records by officials is a meaningless exercise and a head clerk and UDC have the power the to nullify the order of the municipal commissioner,” he said.

 

The Commission then directed the additional commissioner of MCD to enquire into the matter and make a report on how both, Mr Dayal and Mr Yadav have been re-instated in the same position. The CIC said, “The report will also elucidate on whether any further inquiry or investigations have been carried out against these officers which either established their innocence or guilt. This report will be submitted to the Commission before 15 April 2009.”

 

CENTRAL INFORMATION COMMISSION

 

Decision No. CIC/SG/A/2008/00083/2392

https://ciconline.nic.in/cic_decisions/SG-24032009-14.pdf

Appeal No. CIC/SG/A/2008/00083

 

 

Appellant                                         : Harish Kumar

                                                              Delhi -110006

 

Respondent                                      : Assistant Commissioner &

                                                              Public Information Officer

                                                              Municipal Corporation of Delhi

                                                              Sadar Pahar Ganj Zone,

                                                              Idgah Road, Opp. Thana Sadar Bazar,

                                                              Delhi - 110006

Comments
MK Gupta
9 years ago
But, this is nothing strange-and, that too, in Delhi. In MCD, certainly the lower officials are more powerful than the Municipal Commissioner who, in any case, does not bother to reply to letters or emails and this is taken advantage of his office and the field staff who act for themselves at the behest of the local elected "maliks". In CR Park-Kalkaji-Govindpuri area, one family of politicians alone run the entire Zonal MCD and all officers and staff report to them. And for all legal dues/certificates/permissions, rates are fixed.
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