RTI Judgement Series: No record of important note sent by MCD commissioner
Moneylife Digital Team 13 June 2013

The CIC expressed shock after learning that there was no record of an important note sent by the municipal commissioner of MCD to the chief secretary. This is the 112th 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 additional deputy commissioner (HQ) at the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) to provide copy of the particular note, asked by the appellant or obtain a certificate from the municipal commissioner stating no copies of notes and letters are kept.


While giving this judgement on 27 August 2009, Shailesh Gandhi, the then Central Information Commissioner, said, “It is a shocking matter if no record is being kept of the note and other letters sent by the municipal commissioner of Delhi on important matters. If this was true, then the MCD should state this on its website.”


Delhi resident HB Sharma, on 31 December 2008, sought information about appointment of Chief Vigilance Officer and other Vigilance staff in MCD from the Public Information Officer (PIO). Here is the information he sought under the RTI Act...


Request a copy of Commissioner/ MCD' Note bearing No.PSC/289/2007 dated 25 May 2007, on the subject of appointment of Chief Vigilance Officer and other Vigilance staff in the Municipal Corporation of Delhi.


In his reply, the PIO stated, ""As per the Dak register the copy of the note, as aforesaid (in RTI application), is not available on record."


PIO also stated that the information had also been sought vide appellant's RTI application dated 29 September 2008 and reply was given to him vide letter date 27 October 2008 by that office.


Not satisfied with this reply, Sharma filed his first appeal. In the appeal, he stated that reply of PIO was refusal of the Information. He also mentioned that CED had already supplied to appellant the copy of chief secretary's DO letter under reference.


In his order, the First Appellate Authority (FAA) directed the PIO to make afresh attempt to trace the record and make available required information to the appellant within fifteen days.


Since Sharma did not receive any information from the PIO, he approached the CIC. In his second appeal he stated the record which was only about one year old at the time of initial application for information and by now which had not completed two years' period had not been given to him.


During the hearing before Mr Gandhi, the then CIC, the PIO stated that a fairly important letter sent by the municipal commissioner to the Chief Secretary (no. PSC/289/2007 dated 25 May 2007) on the subject of appointment of chief vigilance officer and other vigilance staff in MCD was not anywhere on record.


Mr Gandhi noted that the chief secretary also replied to this and it appeared to be the basis of certain important actions in the MCD.


The PIO also showed the order passed by SC Kohli, the FAA and secretary to the commissioner. The FAA, in his order had stated, "The PIO, i.e. additional deputy commissioner (HQ) informed that the commissioner vide aforesaid diary no. had sent a note to the chief secretary and as per normal practice the copy of the note is not kept in record. However, the ADC (HQ)/ PIO is hereby asked to make fresh attempt to trace the record and make available required information to the appellant within fifteen days."


The CIC noted that a letter had been sent to the appellant by an unnamed ADC(HQ) on 24 April 2009 which stated "as per dak register the copy of the note is not available in the Commissioner's office record."


While allowing the appeal, the Commission directed Rajesh Prakash, the PIO, to give a copy of this note to Sharma or obtain a certificate from the MCD commissioner stating that no copies of letters and notes sent by the commissioner are kept.




Decision No. CIC/SG/A/2009/001650/4586


Appeal No. CIC/SG/A/2009/001650


Appellant                                            : HB Sharma,



Respondent                                       : UV Tripathi

                                                            Public Information Officer,                                                                                                         Municipal Corporation of India,

                                                            Office of the Addl. Deputy                                                                                                          Commissioner(HQ), Town Hall,                                                                                                             Delhi

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