RTI Judgement Series: When 1,500 files out of 2,000 are stolen in Delhi

The PIO admitted that out of the 2,000 tehbazaris in the City Zone in Delhi, 1,500 files have been stolen. The CIC directed the PIO to publish a list of tehbazaris and file a police complaint. This is the 195th 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 Officers (PIOs) of City Zone and Civil Zone at Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) to give complete list of tehbazaris indicating the files which have been stolen and also publish the list on MCD website.

 

During the hearing before the CIC under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, the PIO admitted that out of the 2,000 tehbazaris in the City Zone, 1,500 files have been stolen.

 

While giving the judgement on 14 September 2009, Shailesh Gandhi, the then Central Information Commissioner said, "About 1,500 files have been stolen. This is indeed a scandalous state of affairs. The two PIOs of City Zone and Civil Line are directed to give the complete list of tehbazaris indicating the files which have been stolen to the Appellant before 30 September 2009. These lists will also be displayed on the website of MCD."

 

Delhi resident, JD Kataria, on 18 March 2009, sought from the PIO information regarding tehbazaris/hawking in Delhi.

 

He wanted to know...

1. How many tehbazaris were allotted between 1990 and 2009 and asked the list of the same

 

2. To whom it was allotted, whether any inspection was carried out before allotting tehbazaris, whether the original allottee still owns the tehbazaris, whether any order has been issued to tehbazaris owners to fix shutter in their shops and copy of the same order with the name of the authority who issued such order, details of the action taken by the tehbazaris owners on the order, whether any shop owners has been challaned, details of space allotted by Corporation, whether the allottee stills owns the same space, whether the Corporation has floated any draw and if any officer was present there, if so then name and designation of the officer, copy of the report of the draw, details of the raid which was conducted in February 2009 with details of seized goods, revenue generated by the Govt., whether any officers inform the shop owners about the raid to be conducted, name of the zone inspector and RC with the details of time since they had been appointment, whether they have not been transferred due to any political connections, details of their residence, whether they resides in private accommodation or given by the Corporation, details of action taken by the department on tehbazaris with the report and whether any shop owners can rent out to others

 

The PIO on 27 May 2009 transferred Kataria's RTI application to superintendent engineer at City Zone. Since, the applicant did not receive any information from the PIO, he filed his first appeal.

 

In his order, the First Appellate Authority (FAA) directed the PIO (SE/City Zone) and AC (City Zone) to provide the information to Kataria within 15 days.

 

However, no information was provided by the PIO. Citing non-compliance of FAA's order by the PIO, the appellant then approached the CIC with his second appeal.

 

During the hearing the Bench of Mr Gandhi, noted that the appellant had filed RTI application enquiring about the number of tehbazaris on Hamilton Road in Kashmere Gate. He had also asked for other queries regarding this.

 

However, since Kataria, the appellant, did not make the payment properly, he was asked to pay cash as application fee, which he did on 22 May 2009. After receiving the fee, The PIO of City Zone transferred the application on 27 May 2009 to the Civil Line zone since the roads fall in Civil Line Zone.

 

The PIO RP Aggarwal admitted that there were about 2,000 tehbazaris in the City Zone. About 1,500 files have been stolen.

 

Mr Gandhi said, "This was indeed a scandalous state of affairs."

 

While allowing the appeal, the Bench directed the PIOs of City Zone and Civil Zone to put up a list of all the tehbazaris on the website of the MCD indicating whether the files are available or stolen. Mr Gandhi also asked the PIOs to file a police complaint for the theft of the missing files.

 

CENTRAL INFORMATION COMMISSION

 

Decision No. CIC/SG/A/2009/001770 & 1780/4793

http://ciconline.nic.in/cic_decisions/SG-14092009-19.pdf

Appeal No. CIC/SG/A/2009/001770

 

Appellant                                            : JD Kataria

                                                            Delhi - 110006.

 

Respondent 1                                     : Public Information Officer &

                                                            Superintending Engineer

                                                            Municipal Corporation of Delhi

                                                            O/o the SE, City Zone,

                                                            MLUG Car Parking, Asaf Ali Road,

                                                            New Delhi - 110002

 

Respondent 2                                     : Public Information Officer &

                                                            Assistant Commissioner

                                                            Municipal Corporation of Delhi

                                                            O/o the AC, City Zone,

                                                            MLUG Car Parking, Asaf Ali Road,

                                                            New Delhi - 110002

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