RTI Judgement Series: When illegal construction activities become invisible
Moneylife Digital Team 27 June 2013

The appellant alleged that MCD officers act as if the construction activities are invisible and when the building in complete it is claimed that the building has been in existence before 2007. The CIC ordered a joint inspection. This is the 122nd 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 Assistant Public Information Officer (APIO) and executive engineer for B-II in the Office of the Superintending Engineer-II, at Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) to conduct a joint inspection report with photographs.


While giving this judgement on 18 September 2009, Shailesh Gandhi, the then Central Information Commissioner, said, “The joint inspection report with photographs will be prepared and a copy given to the appellant and the Commission before 25 September 2009.”


Delhi resident Kali Ram Tomar, on 15 April 2009, sought information regarding unauthorised constructions from the Public Information Officer (PIO) in the office of the Superintending Engineer-II at the MCD, under the Right to Information (RTI) Act. Here is the information he sought...


1. That construction of commercial building/flat which is being done in unauthorized manner going on at F-44, Samas Pur Road, Pandav Nagar, Delhi-110092, has its map been passed as per the rules by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA)?

2. If the map has been passed then for how many varg gaj it has been passed?

3. Whether the map passed is a commercial or residential map?

4. If its being constructed in an unauthorized manner without a map then what action has been taken as per DDA Act?

5. Has any report been filed in the police station against this unauthorized construction?

6. Has the area police registered any complaint against this unauthorized construction?

7. Was any complaint lodged to the Deputy Commissioner, Superintendent Engineer, Executive Engineer, DDA, Shahdara South against this unauthorized construction?

8. What action was taken against this unauthorized construction on 30 March 2009?

9. Which officer is investigating on the complaint of 30 March 2009? Give the name and the designation of the officer.


The PIO provided information, which Tomar alleged to be wrong. He then filed his first appeal. The First Appellate Authority (FAA) ordered the PIO to provide information to the appellant within ten days.


However, despite the order from the FAA, the PIO did not furnished the information. Tomar then approached the CIC with his second appeal.


During the hearing before Mr Gandhi, the then CIC, the PIO stated that he had given the information saying as per records no building construction had been sanctioned on the said plot of land.


Tomar said he had filed a complaint about an illegal construction of a four-storeyed building being in progress but the then PIO Ranvir Singh had given the information that there was no complaint on record. Tomar alleged that is systematic modus operandi in which without any authorisation or permissions buildings are constructed in collusive collaboration with MCD engineers.


The appellant further stated that in spite of complaints, MCD officers act as if the construction activities are invisible and when the building in complete it is claimed that the building has been in existence before and the Delhi Government’s blanket immunity to illegal works before 2007 is used to allow these buildings to continue without any hindrance.


Tomar also submitted a photograph of the building being constructed at that site to support his allegations.


While allowing the appeal, Mr Gandhi then directed the PIO to conduct a joint inspection of the site on 23 September 2009. “SP Tanwar (executive engineer for B-II and also assistant PIO) and the appellant will conduct the joint inspection, take photographs of the site and make minutes of the meeting to record the existing position,” the Commission said in its order.



Decision No. CIC/SG/A/2009/001831/4852


Appeal No. CIC/SG/A/2009/001831


Appellant                                            : Kali Ram Tomar



Respondent                                       : Public Information Officer

                                                               Municipal Corporation of Delhi,

                                                               Office of the Superintending Engineer-II,

                                                               Shahdara South Zone, Karkardooma


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