The PIO sent a complaint to the Registrar of Cooperative Societies, against which allegations of corruption of about Rs39 crore were made. The CIC then asked the PIO to provide letters and file notings of the process followed to take the decision. This is the 32nd in a series of important judgements given by former Central Information Commissioner Shailesh Gandhi that can be used or quoted in an RTI application
Questioning the rational of sending a complaint to the body against which the allegations are made, the Central Information Commission (CIC) directed the Public Information Officer (PIO) to provide the letters and notings which evidence the process of deciding to send this case to the body. While giving this important judgement, Shailesh Gandhi, former Central Information Commissioner said it appears a little bizarre and difficult to understand what purpose would be served by this.
“The Commission directs Amitabh Joshi, the PIO of the Director of Vigilance, to provide the letters and notings which evidence the process of deciding to send this case to the Registrar of Cooperative Societies (RCS),” the CIC said in its order issued on 13 July 2009.
Delhi resident Rajinder Kumar Kaushik, on 9 May 2008, filed a complaint about corruption and embezzlement to the tune of Rs39 crore alleging that officers of the Registrar of Cooperative Societies were involved with the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). He sought the status and progress report of the following documents:
i) Letter No.DLI/ACB/Complaints/CA-2865/06/8123 dated 08/06/20007 sent to the Director (Vigilance) w.e.f 13/11/2006 to till date
ii) The names and designations of the officials who were entrusted/assigned to take action or investigate.
iii) The names with the addresses of the persons who were summoned to appear or record their statement and/or examined in the process of investigation.
iv) As these officials (who were supposed to attend but not done so) found erring/guilty, does your good office (i.e. Director Vigilance) plan to take action against them?
v) If yes, in how much time & shape i.e. penalty/punishment/department enquiry or any other?
Since Mr Kaushik said he did not receive any reply from the PIO, he filed first appeal with the First Appellate Authority (FAA). The FAA in his order stated that the PIO had given the reply within the stipulated time, which is given below:
i) A complaint dated 13 November 2006 was received from RK Kaushik, in through CBI vide No DLI/Anti Corruption Branch/Complain/CA 2865/06/8123 dated 8 June 2007 the complaint was forwarded to RCS vide letter dated 11 July 2007 for taking necessary action at their end.
ii) The requisite information pertains to office of the RCS, Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD), in the view of above a copy of the RTI application is being transferred u/s 6(3) of RTI Act to the PIO RCS for furnishing information.
iii) As above.
iv) As above.
v) As above.
The FAA, later said, “The appellant sought names and details of the officials who were assigned investigation of the complaint made by the appellant. Since the complaint was forwarded by the Directorate of Vigilance to the officer of the RCS for necessary action, such information could be provided by the office of RCS. Hence, the PIO’s decision to transfer the application of the appellant was correct. He was in no position to supply information sought vide point Nos. 2, 3, 4 and 5 of the application. During the hearing the appellant did not inform if he received any reply from the PIO of RCS in respect of the transferred application.”
Not satisfied with the reply received from the FAA, Mr Kaushik then filed the second appeal before the CIC. During the hearing on 10 November 2008, the Commission noted that the appellant had filed a complaint about corruption and embezzlement to the tune of Rs39 crore alleging that officers of the Registrar of Cooperative Societies were involved with the CBI. The CBI sent the complaint to the Director of Vigilance.
“The information provided by the PIO to the appellant was that the complaint was in turn forwarded to the RCS by the Director of Vigilance. This is appearing a little bizarre since it is difficult to understand what purpose will be served by sending a complaint to the body against whom the allegations are made," Mr Gandhi, the CIC, said.
While allowing the appeal, the Commission then directed the PIO of the Director of Vigilance to provide the letters and notings which evidence the process of deciding to send this case to the RCS before 30 July 2009.
CENTRAL INFORMATION COMMISSION
Decision No. CIC/SG/A/2009/001370/4110
Appeal No. CIC/SG/A/2009/001370
Appellant : Rajinder Kumar Kaushik
Respondent : Amitabh Joshi
Public Information Officer
O/o the Director (Vigilance)
Delhi Secretariat, I. P. Estate,
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