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RTI >> Judgments >> CIC >> Disposal of Request
Supreme Court(Disposal of Request)/ High Courts(Disposal of Request)
S.No. CIC CASE DATE OF JUDGMENT JUDGMENT
16 CIC/DDATY/A/2017/173512-BJ
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02 May, 2019 Mr. Yashpal Kumar Vs. CPIO Dy. Director (NL) – I, Blk. A / 303, 3rd Floor, Vikas Sadan, INA, New Delhi – 110023

Information Sought
The Appellant / Complainant vide his RTI application sought information 02 points regarding the transfer of 3 Bigha 1 Biswa Land of the Khasra Number mentioned in the RTI application, Present Status of the land (Commercial/Residential, etc).

Decision
Both the parties remained absent during the hearing. On perusal of the records it was observed that no reply had been sent to the Appellant / Complainant. In the absence of both the parties, the Commission could not ascertain the factual position.

The Commission also observed that the RTI Act, 2005 stipulates time limits in its various provisions relating to responding to RTI Applications, transfer of applications, filing and disposing of first appeal to ensure that a culture of information dissemination is strengthened so that a robust functioning of the democracy gets established. This was recognised by the Hon’ble High Court of Delhi in Mujibur Rehman vs Central Information Commission (W.P. (C) 3845/2007)(Dated 28 April, 2009) wherein it was held as under:

“14.......The court cannot be unmindful of the circumstances under which the Act was framed, and brought into force. It seeks to foster an “openness culture” among state agencies, and a wider section of “public authorities” whose actions have a significant or lasting impact on the people and their lives. Information seekers are to be furnished what they ask for, unless the Act prohibits disclosure; they are not to be driven away through sheer inaction or filibustering tactics of the public authorities or their officers. It is to ensure these ends that time limits have been prescribed, in absolute terms, as well as penalty provisions. These are meant to ensure a culture of information disclosure so necessary for a robust and functioning democracy.”

The Hon’ble Delhi High Court in the case of J.P Agrawal v. Union of India-2013(287) ELT25(Del.) held as under:

7.“it is the PIO to whom the application is submitted and it is who is responsible for ensuring that the information as sought is provided to the applicant within the statutory requirements of the Act. Section 5(4) is simply to strengthen the authority of the PIO within the department; if the PIO finds a default by those from whom he has sought information. The PIO is expected to recommend a remedial action to be taken”. The RTI Act makes the PIO the pivot for enforcing the implementation of the Act.

8..............The PIO is expected to apply his / her mind, duly analyse the material before him / her and then either disclose the information sought or give grounds for non-disclosure. A
responsible officer cannot escape his responsibility by saying that he depends on the work of his subordinates. The PIO has to apply his own mind independently and take the appropriate decision and cannot blindly approve / forward what his subordinates have done.”

Furthermore, the Hon’ble High Court of Delhi in the matter of R.K. Jain vs Union of India, LPA No. 369/2018, dated 29.08.2018, held as under:

“9………………………….. That apart, the CPIO being custodian of the information or the documents sought for, is primarily responsible under the scheme of the RTI Act to supply the information and in case of default or dereliction on his part, the penal action is to be invoked against him only.”

The Commission observed that there is complete negligence and laxity in the public authority in dealing with the RTI applications. It is abundantly clear that such matters are being ignored and set aside without application of mind which reflects disrespect towards the RTI Act, 2005 itself. The Commission expressed its displeasure on the casual and callous approach adopted by the respondent in responding to the RTI application. It was felt that the conduct of Respondent was against the spirit of the RTI Act, 2005 which was enacted to ensure greater transparency and effective access to the information.

Keeping in view the facts of the case and no submissions available on record, the Commission directs Pr. Commissioner and Secretary, DDA to depute an officer of appropriate seniority to enquire into the matter and furnish information to the Appellant as per the provisions of the RTI
Act, 2005 within a period of 15 days from the date of receipt of this order besides fixing responsibility and accountability on the concerned CPIO. A copy of the report should be furnished to the Appellant / Complainant under intimation to the Commission.

17 CIC/AIRIN/A/2017/160323/SD
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01 May, 2019 Rakesh Kumar Jha Vs. CPIO, Ministry of Civil Aviation, New Delhi-110003

Information Sought
The Appellant sought information through 13 points regarding ‘Operation Rahat’ conducted during the Yemen crisis.

Decision
Commission based on the perusal of facts on record finds no scope of intervention in the reply provided by Ms. Vasudha Chandna, GM-FD & CPIO, Air India Ltd. Further, the delay in providing the same is also condoned as the information sought is indeed exhaustive and at many places required deduction and interpretation of the CPIO given the interrogative nature of the queries. As regards the issue faced by CPIOs of Air India Ltd. in dealing with RTI Applications, a copy of this order is marked to the Chairman & Managing Director, Air India Ltd. to take appropriate action for redressing the internal system of processing RTI Applications. In doing so, a Nodal RTI Cell may be set up for better and quicker disposal of RTI Applications such as the present one which requires collation of data from several departments. This will ensure that the Nodal Cell will have a CPIO each for every department, who will be responsible to liaise with the department assigned to him and provide information directly to the applicants.

18 CIC/CCFLT/A/2017/130438
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13 Feb, 2019 Pushpa Devi Vs. CPIO, Central Coalfield Limited, Ramgarh, Jharkhand

Information sought
The appellant filed an application under the Right to Information Act, 2005 (RTI Act) before the Central Public Information Officer (CPIO), Central Coalfield Limited (CCL), Ramgarh, Jharkhand seeking a certified copy of service records of her late husband Shri Budhnath Badhwar (PIS No. 12129086).

Decision
The Commission, after hearing the submissions of both the parties and perusing the records, observes that the appellant is seeking information pertaining to the deceased Shri Budhnath Badhwar. The Commission observes that the legal heir of a deceased is entitled to receive information pertaining to the deceased person. However, the appellant should produce a valid document(s) to show that she is a legal heir of the deceased to get the information. The Commission, therefore, directs the CPIO to provide information to the appellant within a period of four weeks from the date of receipt of a copy a death certificate of late Shri Budhnath Badhwar and a document to establish that the appellant is his legal heir.

The Commission also observes that no reply in response to the RTI application was furnished to the appellant. The Commission, therefore, directs the Registry of this Bench to issue a Show Cause Notice to the CPIO, Central Coalfield Limited, Ramgarh, Jharkhand for explaining as to why action under Section 20(1) of the RTI Act should not be initiated against him.
19 CIC/NFRLG/C/2017/115809/SD
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08 Jan, 2019 Rajesh Kumar Vs. CPIO, DGM (G), Northeast Frontier Railway, Maligaon, Guwahati

Information requested
The Complainant sought to know personal details including name, father’s name and permanent addresses of all Assistant Loco Pilots, Senior Loco Pilots posted at New Jalpaiguri and senior Loco Pilots of Passenger Mail Express.

Decision
Based on the relief sought in the Complaint, the instant matter is being treated as a Second Appeal.

Commission observes that the reply provided by Respondent No. (2) is completely inappropriate as it was incumbent upon him to seek assistance of the concerned holder of information under Section 5(4) of the RTI Act.

Now, Commission directs Respondent No.2 to provide to the Complainant the names of all Assistant Loco Pilots and Senior Loco Pilots posted at New Jalpaiguri as well as Senior Loco Pilot of Passenger Mail Express after procuring the same from the concerned branch. The said information will be provided free of cost within 30 days from the date of receipt of this order and a compliance report to this effect shall be duly sent to the Commission.

The remaining details such as father’s name and permanent address of the third parties sought in the RTI Application will be exempt from disclosure under Section 8(1)(j) of RTI Act. Hence no relief is ordered in this regard.
20 CIC/NINCL/A/2017/166963-BJ
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08 Jan, 2019 Mr. S. Thiyagarajan Vs. CPIO, National Insurance Company Limited, Vellore

Information requested
The Appellant vide his RTI application sought information on 86 points inter alia the list of agents of the DO and all branches along with their phone numbers from 2006 to 31/12/2016, whether Transfer Mobilisation Policy -150 Km was implemented from 2006 to 20/1/2017, if yes, the transfer details of all the staffs, whether the Micro offices fell under the DOs, if yes, the list of the addresses and staff details thereof and other issues related thereto.

Dissatisfied due to the non-receipt of any response from the CPIO, the Appellant approached the FAA. The reply of the CPIO/ order of the FAA, if any, are not on record of the Commission.

Decision
The Commission felt that correct and timely response was the essence of the RTI mechanism enacted to ensure transparency and accountability in the working of Public Authorities. In this context, the Commission referred to the decision of the Hon’ble Delhi High Court in Mujibur Rehman vs Central Information Commission (W.P. (C) 3845/2007) (Dated 28 April, 2009) wherein it had been held as under:

The court cannot be unmindful of the circumstances under which the Act was framed, and brought into force. It seeks to foster an "openness culture" among state agencies, and a wider section of "public authorities" whose actions have a significant or lasting impact on the people and their lives. Information seekers are to be furnished what they ask for, unless the Act prohibits disclosure; they are not to be driven away through sheer inaction or filibustering tactics of the public authorities or their officers. It is to ensure these ends that time limits have been prescribed, in absolute terms, as well as penalty provisions. These are meant to ensure a culture of information disclosure so necessary for a robust and functioning democracy.”

Furthermore, the Hon’ble Delhi High Court decision in J P Aggarwal v. Union of India (WP (C) no. 7232/2009 it has held that:

“The PIO is expected to apply his / her mind, duly analyse the material before him / her and then either disclose the information sought or give grounds for non-disclosure.”

A reference was drawn to the decision of the Hon’ble Delhi High Court in the case of J.P Agrawal v. Union of India-2013(287) ELT25(Del.) wherein it was held as under:

“It is the PIO to whom the application is submitted and it is who is responsible for ensuring that the information as sought is provided to the applicant within the statutory requirements of the Act. Section 5(4) is simply to strengthen the authority of the PIO within the department; if the PIO finds a default by those from whom he has sought information. The PIO is expected to recommend a remedial action to be taken”. The RTI Act makes the PIO the pivot for enforcing the implementation of the Act.”

Furthermore, in OM No. 20/10/23/2007-IR dated 09.07.2009, while elaborating on the duties and responsibilities of the FAA, it was stated that:

Deciding appeals under the RTI Act is a quasi-judicial function. It is, therefore, necessary that the appellate authority should see that the justice is not only done but it should also appear to have been done. In order to do so, the order passed by the appellate authority should be a speaking order giving justification for the decision arrived at.

The Commission observed that there is complete negligence and laxity in the public authority in dealing with the RTI applications. It is abundantly clear that such matters are being ignored and set aside without application of mind which reflects disrespect towards the RTI Act, 2005 itself. The Commission expressed its displeasure on the casual and callous approach adopted by the respondent in responding to the RTI application. It was felt that the conduct of Respondent was against the spirit of the RTI Act, 2005 which was enacted to ensure greater transparency and effective access to the information.

Keeping in view the facts of the case and on perusal of records, the Commission remands the case to the FAA to examine the matter on merits and issue a speaking order within a period of 30 days from the date of receipt of this order. The Commission also cautions the CPIO to attend to the RTI applications diligently in accordance with the provisions of the RTI Act, 2005.

The Commission also instructs the Respondent Public Authority (CMD) to convene periodic conferences/seminars to sensitize, familiarize and educate the concerned officials about the relevant provisions of the RTI Act, 2005 for effective discharge of its duties and responsibilities.

The Appeal stands disposed with the above direction.

21 CIC/SBIND/C/2018/108387
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04 Jan, 2019 Mohd. Shahabuddin Vs. CPIO, State Bank of India, Muzaffarpur

Information requested
The complainant filed an application under the Right to Information Act, 2005 (RTI Act) before the Central Public Information Officer (CPIO), State Bank of India, Chandwara Branch, Muzaffarpur, seeking information on four points pertaining to unauthorized withdrawal from his Savings Account 100xxxxxx16, including, inter-alia, (i) the competent authority vide whose order unauthorized withdrawal of Rs. 1200/- was made from his account by the Bank, and (ii) the justification for withdrawal of the above said amount.

Decision
The Commission, after hearing the submission of the complainant and perusing the records observes that, a reply dated 21.11.2017 has been furnished by the respondent to the complainant in response to his RTI application dated 26.09.2017. Hence, there has been a delay of about a month in responding to the RTI application. Further, the complainant stated during the hearing that incomplete information has been furnished to him. Moreover, since the respondent was not present in the hearing, the reason for the same could not be ascertained. The Commission, therefore, directs the Registry of this Bench to issue a Show Cause Notice to the CPIO, State Bank of India, Regional Office, Muzaffarpur, for explaining as to why action under Section 20(1) of the RTI Act should not be initiated against him.
22 CIC/OBKOC/A/2017/602267
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31 Dec, 2018 Rajesh Kumar Sharma Vs. CPIO, Oriental Bank of Commerce, Head Office, Gurgaon.

Information requested
The appellant filed an application under the Right to Information Act, 2005 (RTI Act) before the Central Public Information Officer (CPIO), Oriental Bank of Commerce, Corporate Office, Gurgaon, seeking information on five points pertaining to the letters written by M/o Finance to CVO of the Bank, including, inter-alia, (i) the current status of the letter dated 10.02.2016 received from the Ministry along with the action taken thereon by the Bank, and (ii) the current status of the letter dated 12.01.2017 written by him to the CVO of the Bank along with the action taken thereon.

Decision
The Commission observes that the appellant has a right to know as to what action has been taken by the respondent authority on his complaints. The Commission observes that the Hon’ble High Court of Delhi in the matter of Kamal Bhasin vs. Radha Krishna Mathur and Ors., [W.P.(C) 7218/2016 dated 01.11.2017] had held as under:

In the present case, the petitioner stands as a relator party as he is also one of the complainants. The petitioner is not seeking any personal information regarding respondent No. 3, but merely seeks to know the outcome of the complaint made by him and other such complaints. The PFC Officers Association had pointed out certain conduct which according to them was irregular and warranted disciplinary action; thus, they would be certainly entitled to know as to how their complaints have been treated and the results thereof.

In the circumstances, this Court directs the respondent to disclose to the petitioner as to what action had been taken pursuant to his complaint and other similar complaints made against the then CMD. The petitioner would not be entitled to any noting and deliberations of the Group of Officers or Disciplinary Authority but only information as to what action was taken in relation to the complaints in question.”
23 CIC/MOENF/C/2017/178184
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30 Jul, 2018 Subhash Chandra Agrawal vs CPIO, MOEF and Climate Change

ISSUE :The appellant sought information relating to “conflicting rules of environment – Ministry aand MIDC puts entrepreneurs in problem” on fourteen points. The appellant was not satisfied by the reply of the CPIO and the FAA on grounds of the same being improper/incomplete. The appellant also sought for compensation for the detriment caused to him for the delay in supply of information to him.
DECISION : The CPIO is directed to affirm on affidavit and submit to the Commission, duly endorsed to the appellant that in respect of para 7 of the stated RTI application complete reply was provided vide replies dated 27/6/18 and 17/4/18. Otherwise he should furnish a revised consolidated reply within 10 days from the receipt of this order to the appellant on this point.
The Commission is of the opinion that a token amount of Rs 1000/- should be paid as compensation to the appellant u/s 19(8)(b) of the RTI Act for the detriment caused to him. This amount is to be paid by the Public Authority, MOEF and Climate Change.
24 CIC/POSTS/A/2018/102584
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25 Jun, 2018 BK Porwal Vs PIO, Deptt of Posts

ISSUE :The applicant, facing an inquiry for sexual harassment, requested for documents relating to the inquiry. The CPIO rejected the request under sections 8(1)(d) and (g).
DECISION : By denying the information the appellant was not only harassed by the public authority but also by the CPIO. While the public authority denied him the documents which he was entitled under SHW Act of 2013, the CPIO denied them under RTI Act.
…..the Commission concludes that denial of information to the appellant was without any reasonable cause and hence liable for maximum penalty of Rs 25,000/-
The Commission also finds it a fit case to recommend the public authority to initiate disciplinary action against the CPIO.
25 CIC/PAROI/A/2017/607198
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18 Jun, 2018 Neeraj Sharma Vs CPIO, Rajya Sabha Sectt

ISSUE : The appellant sought information relating to cyber frauds with reference to house panel news report viz name of house panel/committee; chairperson of house panel/committee, date of constitution and other related issues.
DECISION : The Commission observed from the reply of the respondent “that the subject matter of the of entire application concerns the Lok Sabha Sectt. Accordingly a copy of the application has been transferred to the Lok Sabha Sectt on 28/8/17. So far as this Sectt is concerned the information desired may be treated as nil “
The Commission observed that reply was given to the appellant vide which he was intimated about transfer of his application. Therefore the contention of the applicant that he was not informed about the transfer of his application is not sustainable. The delay in transfer has been duly explained by the respondent. Hence the Commission do not find any reasons to impose penalty upon the CPIO.
26 CIC/PMOIN/A/2017/124760
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19 Feb, 2018 Soni Eramath Vs CPIO, PMO

ISSUE : The applicant sought information as to whether Hon’ble President of India has administered the oath of office to the Prime Minister of India in the name of ‘Mr Narendra Modi”.
The respondent stated that they had given a reply to the appellant vide their letter dated 6/1/17 indicating that the oath was administered to the Hon’ble Prime minister of India as per the provisions of the Constitution of India. The respondent further stated that Aadhar card/voter card of the Hon’ble PM cannot be revealed as per exemption under section 8(1)(j) of RTI Act, 2005
DECISION : The action/steps taken by the respondents in giving response to the RTI application is satisfactory.
27 CIC/SH/C/2016/000310
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19 Jan, 2018 A Gopi Krishna Vs CPIO, Syndicate Bank, Visakhapatnam

ISSUE :The complainant filed a complaint before the Commission on the grounds that the CPIO did not respond to his RTI application.
The respondent submitted that the CPIO did not receive the complainant’s RTI application and therefore information could not be provided to him within the stipulated time.
DECISION : As per the submission of the complainant the RTI application was handed over to the bank ‘by hand’ by the brother of the appellant. The bank did not accept it, thereafter the appellant sent it by post to the respondent.
The Commission directed the FAA, Syndicate Bank, Visakhapatnam, to inquire into the matter as to whether the RTI application was received in the branch and if so, what action was taken on the RTI application. The FAA shall also, if required, take appropriate departmental action against the officers responsible for the misplacement of the RTI application. A copy of the inquiry report along with the action taken report may be provided to the Commission as well as to the appellant within a period of six weeks from the date of receipt of a copy of the order.
28 CIC/SA/A/2016/001710/MP, CIC/SA/A/2016/001715/MP
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05 Dec, 2017 Ajay Kumar Vs N I T Patna

ISSUE : The appellant had sought for details of medical bills and LTC availed by Dr Ashok , Director NIT as per proforma provided by the appellant. Not satisfied with the information provided by the CPIO, the appellant filed an appeal before the FAA. The FAA did not seem to have adjudicated on the appeal.
DECISION : The Commission directed the CPIO to provide to the applicant only the total amount of LTC claimed by Dr Ashok, Director NIT as per available record, excluding the names of family members and complying with the provisions of the RTI Act within 7 days.
29 CIC/DSESJ/A/2016/305423
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16 Oct, 2017 Y N Prasad Vs PIO, Ahlmad Evening Court

ISSUE : The applicant sought information relating to the judicial proceedings regarding the complaint filed against the ‘management of Redeemed Christian Church of God’, Janakpuri before the MM Karkarduma Court. The appellant is not a party to the judicial proceedings under reference.
DECISION : Judicial proceedings and records thereof are public records and the appellant has a right to secure the desired information..……the respondent PIO to offer inspection of the judicial file to the appellant on a mutual convenient day and time. The appellant shall be entitled to avail copies from the record upon payment of usual charges.
30 CIC/BS/A/2015/901664/11873
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08 Dec, 2016 Sumit Kumar Das vs Department of Posts, Kolkata

Section 7(1) — Supply of Information

The Commission held that the applicant is the nominee of the accounts of the deceased customers, hence, no information relating to the accounts can be withheld from him. The CPIO is directed to provide the information as requested by the applicant in his RTI application, free of cost. The Commission further awarded compensation to the appellant for a sum of Rs. 2500/- for the inconvenience and detriment caused under section 19(8)(b) of the RTI Act.
Total Case uploaded: 130