Appellant: PIOs are acting as Robotic Postmen, which will not use keyboard and run sql count query on digitized data - CIC: Rejection of Aadhar is also a data available with UIDAI; policy for no fingerprint, eye scan below 5 years; Send revised reply
The appellant has sought the following information:
1. Provide number of UIDAI enrolment as on 31 Mar 2019.
2. Provide number of UIDAI not seeded with mobile number as on 31 Mar 2019.
3. Provide number of UIDAI not seeded with finger print as on 31 Mar 2019.
4. And other related information.
Grounds for Second appeal
The CPIO did not provide the desired information.
Submissions made by Appellant and Respondent during Hearing:
The appellant submitted that last week the CPIO, UIDAI sent additional replies to two points but they avoided lot of information again. He challenged stating that digital files are available in respondent’s office. Moreover, recent reply either proves that information was already available or the CPIO had created the information. The CPIO submitted that sincere efforts were made to provide suitable information to the appellant.
The appellant in his second appeal submitted that the CPIO and the FAA have declined to provide information with regard to Update Requests and their break up during various financial years. They have taken refuge that information cannot be created by them. It is unfortunate that Public Officers, especially RTI Officers are acting as Robotic Postmen, which will not use keyboard and run sql count query on digitized data at their disposal. It is very strange that UIDAI which collects Rs 50 for every update (Rs 100 for Biometric update) are not keeping a revenue record of the same. This would be same as organization keeping track of number of units sold multiplied by rate per unit. He requested the Commission to intervene and take strict action against the CPIO and the FAA and direct them to furnish the information at the earliest.
The Commission observed that in respect of points no. (a)(e) and (i) the CPIO had provided the information of UIDAI requests as 123.5 crore, 125.7 crore and 125.7 crore respectively. In respect of the rest of the points, it was replied that no such data is compiled in their office and hence, the information sought is not covered within the definition of Sec 2(f) “information” means any material in any form, including records, documents, memos, e-mails, opinions, advices, press releases, circulars, orders, logbooks, contracts, reports, papers, samples, models, data material held in any electronic form and information relating to any private body which can be accessed by a public authority under any other law for the time being in force; of the RTI Act. The FAA also vide order dated 15.12.2020 held that only such information can be given which is available and exists in material form.
The Commission is unable to concur with the CPIO’s reply as the rejection of Aadhar is also a data and must be available with the UIDAI, the grounds of rejection are basically finger prints not matched or valid, moreover, there is the policy for no fingerprint, eye scan for children below 5 years. If a child is below 5 years, one of the parents or guardians has to authenticate on behalf of the child and also give consent for enrolment of the minor by signing the enrolment form. Therefore, it appears that the framing of questions by the appellant could not fetch the reply as they are not available in that format. However, the sum and substance in respect of the rest of the points require a thorough examination of the information sought vis-a-vis the data available with the CPIO which can open the scope for further information. In view of the same, the appellant and the CPIO both were asked to explain during the hearing, the CPIO explained that whatever records were available were given. It is relevant to mention here that there was no revenue record asked by the appellant in his RTI application, therefore, his argument regarding the same in his second appeal is not maintainable.
The CPIO is directed to send a revised reply examining all the points of the RTI application within 7 days from the date of receipt of the order.
The appeal is disposed of accordingly.
Vanaja N. Sarna
Citation: Aakash Goel v. Unique Identification Authority of India in File no.: - CIC/UIDAI/A/2020/696310, Date of Decision: 24/01/2022