RTI Judgement Series: Five officers of MCD issued show-cause for giving false information
Moneylife Digital Team 15 July 2013

Five officers of MCD stated there was nothing unauthorized or illegal about the temple. This was contradictory to replies given by two PIOs, which said the temple was unauthorized construction on public land. This is the 133rd 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, issued a show-cause notice to five deemed Public Information Officers (PIOs) of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), including an assistant commissioner, after finding them guilty of knowingly supplying false information.


While giving this judgement on 10 June 2009, Shailesh Gandhi, the then Central Information Commissioner said, “Two PIOs earlier stated that the temple was an encroachment. However, five officers after an inspection appear to have colluded in stating that there was nothing unauthorized or illegal. This appears to be the corrupt collusion which must be very strictly dealt with.”


New Delhi resident Dilip Kumar (Chavanni), on 1 April 2008, sought information about illegal encroachment by Manushi Sangthan from the Public Information Officer (PIO) of Office of the Superintending Engineer-I at MCD. He has also asked for certified copy of the record and name and designation of the officer who has acted upon the complaint of illegal encroachment by Manushi Sangathan by making toilets and a temple. Here is the information he sought under the Right to Information (RTI) Act and the reply given by the PIO...


1. Give the details of encroachments from Sewa Nagar Railway station to Hanuman Mandir, which has been recorded but has not been removed.  

PIO's Reply: An encroachment has been done by a temple in a row of road from Sewa Nagar Railway Crossing to Hanuman Mandir.


2. Is there any details in the record of year 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007?

PIO's Reply: As above.


3. Is the model of Narayani Devi Temple in your record? 

PIO's Reply: As above.


4. Give the certified copy of all the orders and action taken by MCD to remove this illegal encroachment.   

PIO's Reply: In this regard a letter has been sent to Manushi Sangthan to take necessary action for removing this illegal construction.


5. Is the office of Manushi Sangthan, which has been built along with Mahbub Stall, in your record?       

PIO's Reply: No such information is available in this office.


6. Give the certified copy of order to remove this office by MCD.        

PIO's Reply: As above.


7. Is the toilet, made by Manushi Sangthan in your record of illegal encroachment? Give the copy of the record for removing this by MCD.    

PIO's Reply: This is related to Licensing Department, Central Zone.


8. Give the name of the department and officer who are responsible for searching and removing of encroachment. 

PIO's Reply: Regional Sub./Assistant Engineer (Building) and Licensing Inspector are responsible for removing encroachment.


9. Give the name and the designation of those officers of MCD who were responsible for removing illegal encroachment from the site of Sewa Nagar Pilot Project from 2005 to till date.    

PIO's Reply: Regional Sub./Assistant Engineer (Building) and Licensing Inspector are responsible for removing encroachment.


Since the PIO did not furnish information regarding action taken by MCD against the encroachment by Manushi Sangthan, the appellant Dilip Kumar filed his first appeal.


In his order, the First Appellate Authority (FAA) said, “The related PIO is directed to give information to the appellant about necessary action after inspection of the related site within 30 days from issuing of this order.”


After not receiving proper information, Dilip Kumar approached the CIC with his second appeal.


During the hearing, Mr Gandhi, the then CIC, noted that initially the PIO had stated in his reply  under query no1 that the temple was an encroachment. Following directions from the FAA, an inspection was done and the information was sent to Dilip Kumar, the appellant on 19 January 2009. This was signed by five officials, licensing inspector Shishupal, junior engineer Ravi Kumar, assistant engineer NS Meena, executive engineer AK Singh and assistant commissioner RK Parashar. This information stated that the temple (Manushi Shagthan's office) and toilet were part of the Manushi Project and were approved.


The appellant, Dilip Kumar, produced a copy of the letter given to him under RTI dated 5 July 2007 signed by the zonal engineer (W-III) which stated that the temple was an unauthorized construction on public land directing that it should be removed.


Mr Gandhi said, “It is evident that contradictory statements have been made regarding certain structures. On 5 July 2007, the temple was stated to be unauthorized, on 1 May 2008 the PIO also stated that the temple was unauthorized and on 19 January 2009 five officers, after an inspection, appear to have colluded in stating that there was nothing unauthorized or illegal.”


“Unless there are any developments, which have not been shown before the Commission, this appears to be the corrupt collusion which must be very strictly dealt with. The Commission charges these five officers the collusion in giving false information to the appellant,” the CIC said.


Mr Gandhi, in his order, said, “There are other implications and the additional commissioner (engineering) is directed to enquire into this and send a report to the appellant and the Commission before 30 June 2009. This report will also state the action taken against responsible officers, if wrong doing is discovered.”


While allowing the appeal, the CIC directed the PIO to give a copy of the lay out plan of the road with the details of the project structures to the appellant before 20 June 2009.


From the facts, the Commission felt it was apparent that the five deemed PIOs guilty of knowingly furnishing false information, which attracts penal provisions of Section 20 (1) of the RTI Act. Mr Gandhi then issued a show-cause notice to all the five officers and directed them to give their reasons to the Commission to show cause why penalty should not be levied on them. 




Decision No. CIC/SG/A/2009/000906/3636


Appeal No. CIC/SG/A/2009/000906


Appellant                                            : Dilip Kumar (Chavanni)

                                                                 New Delhi-3


Respondent                                    : Naveen Verma

                                                            Public Information Officer

                                                            Municipal Corporation Of Delhi,

                                                            Office of the Suptd. Engineer-I,

                                                            Central Zone, Lajpat Nagar,

                                                            New Delhi-110024

Free Helpline
Legal Credit