RTI Judgement Series: Grievances of students
Moneylife Digital Team 07 August 2013

While admitting that the Commission does not have any jurisdiction in the matter, the CIC expressed the hope that some of the authorities, which have jurisdiction, may take a decision to redress the grievance of students. This is 150th 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 disposing an appeal, expressed the hope that some of the authorities which have jurisdiction in this matter would take a decision to redress the grievance of students that would result in reducing unnecessary paperwork.


While giving this judgement on 12 May 2010, Shailesh Gandhi, the then Central Information Commissioner said, “The Commission does not have any jurisdiction in this matter, but hopes that some of the authorities which have jurisdiction in this matter, would either take a decision to redress a grievance or state that they believe the grievance cannot or will not be redressed. This would reduce unnecessary paper work everywhere.”


New Delhi resident Santosh Kumar Kappu, on 28 July 2010, sought information about who the students can approach to resolve their grievances from the PIO. Here is the information he sought under the Right to Information (RTI) Act:-


1. Where we (students) approach to restrict the channels, hierarchies, formalities, bureaucratic delays in order of redressal of grievances and also to avoid running from pillar to post?

2. Without the required basic facilities mentioned in our application dated 27 January 2010, how an ordinary student can concentrate in achieving excellence in his academic goals?


In his reply, the PIO said, "You have not requested for any information related to this from the Secretariat but have made complaint against Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) for not disposing your grievance. Hence, this is not covered under the definition of information as defined under section 2(1) of the RTI Act, 2005 and is hereby rejected. However, treating as a petition, the said application is being forwarded to CA-II Section of this Secretariat for further necessary action."


Kappu filed his first appeal asking to know the status of application forwarded to the CA-II section.


While disposing the appeal, the First Appellate Authority (FAA) in his order said, "...in his appeal, the appellant desired to know the status of the application which was treated as petition and forwarded to the CA-II Section. I have ascertained the position and found that the same was forwarded by the additional comptroller, President's Secretariat, vide UO No28(4)/20l0-CA-ll dated 10 August 2010, to the joint secretary in the Department of Higher Education. The appeal stands disposed."


Kappu then approached the CIC with his second appeal in which he stated (his) 'right to information (was) not respected'.


During the hearing before Mr Gandhi, the then CIC, the appellant admitted that he received the information from the PIO but wanted to use this forum to put across his view that there were certain grievances which had been raised since the last two years.

Kappu stated that these grievances have been put before the Registrar, Vice Chancellor, Minister of HRD, Chief Minister and the President of India. He says that a large amount of papers have been consumed by all these departments but no action has been taken. He stated that he has not received any assurance from anybody about solving his grievance, nor has he received any communication, which states that no redressal of his grievance is possible. Kappu, the appellant said he hoped that some decision would be conveyed in this matter.


While disposing the appeal, Mr Gandhi said, "The Bench does not have any jurisdiction in this matter but hopes that some of the authorities which have jurisdiction in this matter would take a decision to redress a grievance."




Decision No. CIC/SM/A/2011/000288/SG/12366


Appeal No. CIC/SM/A/2011/000288/SG


Appellant                                          : Santosh Kumar Kappu

                                                                New Delhi -110059


Respondent                                    : Subramanian

                                                            CPIO & Under Secretary,

                                                            President Secretariat

                                                            Rashtrapati Bhawan,

                                                            New Delhi

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