The CIC asked the PIO to find a way of giving duplicate sales deed marked as original along with a certificate. This is the 191st in a series of important RTI judgements given by former Central Information Commissioner Shailesh Gandhi
The Central Information Commission (CIC), while allowing an appeal, directed the Public Information Officer (PIO) at Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD), to find a way of giving a duplicate registered documents marked as original to the appellant along with a certificate. The PIO had stated that they were not able to locate the original sale deed submitted by the appellant.
While giving the judgement on 8 July 2009, Shailesh Gandhi, the then Central Information Commissioner said, "As far as the Bench can see the papers may well have been stolen. The public authority appears to have failed in providing service to the appellant and it must find some way of giving the documents and relief to the appellant."
New Delhi residents, Neetu and Neeraj Kumar, on 25 February 2009, sought from the PIO information regarding sale deed that has been executed on 21 August 2007 by Mohan Swaroop in their favour. Here is the information they sought and the reply provided by the PIO...
1. Inform the date and dairy/dispatch no. by which the file was sent to higher authorities.
PIO's Reply- The file was send vide diary no3245 dated 23 August 2007 and again on 29 August 2007 vide no.3279
2. Inform the Name Designation and the complete address of the higher authorities to whom the file was sent.
PIO's Reply- Principal Secretary (Revenue)
3. Inform the efforts made by the department till 7 October 2008 to trace out the original sale deed.
PIO's Reply- All the record has been searched in the office. The matter has been again submitted before Worthy DC (South-West) to resolve the issue.
4. Inform the Name Designation and Posting Address of the erring officials who are responsible for non-delivering of Original Sale Deed to the Applicants till date.
PIO's Reply- As the matter is under process therefore the responsibility has not been fixed by the Department.
5. Inform the action taken/ initiated by the department against the erring official and also inform the outcome of the same.
PIO's Reply- -Do-
6. Inform the efforts made by the department to trace out the Original Sale Deed from 7 October 2008 to i.e. after giving the reply of RTI ID No.1259`
PIO's Reply- As mentioned in point no-'C'.
7. Inform that the department requires how much maximum time to deliver the Original Sale Deed to the Applicants?
PIO's Reply- The matter has been submitted before the Worthy DC (South-West) to resolve the issue and the order is awaited. The matter will be short out after having the directions from the higher authorities.
8. Inform the further course of action in case the Original Sale Deed is not found by the department.
PIO's Reply- -Do-
Not satisfied with the PIO's Reply, the Kumars then filed their first appeal, in which they stated, "It had been informed that the original sale deed was sent to higher authorities by SR-IX. The PIO had neither given the information sought nor gave any satisfactory reply for the same. After five months sale deed had not been delivered to the appellant."
In his order of First Appellate Authority (FAA) said, he was satisfied with the reply provided by the sub-registrar. "However," he said, "the case was more of grievance redressal. The grievance of the applicants was genuine and it was incumbent on the department to come clear on the issue and take necessary action to get their deed registered."
The FAA then directed the sub registrar to immediately put up a note to this effect within a week, so that final decision could be taken expeditiously.
The Kumars then approached the CIC with their second appeal. They said, "The reply of PIO is not at all satisfactory and very vague. The contents of the order of FAA were contrary to what was discussed/ ruled during the course of hearing of the appeal."
During the hearing, Mr Gandhi, the then CIC, observed that both Neetu and Neeraj Kumar had given documents for registration duly stamped with a stamp duty of Rs12,600 on 21 August 2007 and were seeking the registered documents.
"He (the appellants) has been made to run from pillar to post to get the registered documents and he therefore filed a RTI application on 25 February 2009 asking about the fate of this. The PIO has given a reply on 16 March 2009 effectively stating that they are not able to locate the papers. The PIO states that the papers are not available," the Bench noted.
Mr Gandhi said, "As far as the Bench can see the papers may well have been stolen. The public authority appears to have failed in providing service to the appellant and it must find some way of giving the documents and relief to the appellant."
While allowing the appeal, the Bench then directed the PIO to find a way of giving duplicate registered documents marked as original to the appellant along with a certificate stating that the original stamped document has been stolen/ lost.
CENTRAL INFORMATION COMMISSION
Decision No. CIC/SG/A/2009/001327/4031
Appeal No. CIC/SG/A/2009/001327
Appellant : Neetu & Neeraj Kumar,
Respondent : Pawan Kumar/ VVJ Rajasekhar,
Government of NCT of Delhi,
Office of the PIO/ADM (South-West),
Old Terminal Tax Building,
Kapashera, New Delhi 110029
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