The Appellant sought information pertaining to the actions taken in the last one year on his representation from the National Commission for Scheduled Castes – CIC: PIO to reply why penal action should not be initiated against him u/s 20 of the RTI Act
The Appellant through 4 points sought information pertaining to the actions taken in the last one year on his representation sent vide Sl.No-14/09/SSW-1 letter of 3269/CR/2016 dated 28.11.2016 etc.
Grounds for the Second Appeal:
The CPIO has not provided the desired information.
Relevant Facts emerging during Hearing:
The following were present:-
Appellant: Present through VC
Respondent: Rakesh Kumar Sharma, Research Officer & CPIO, National Commission for Scheduled Castes, Kendriya Sadan, Sector-9A, Chandigarh present through VC.
Appellant stated that he is aggrieved with the fact that no reply has been received on the RTI Application till date neither from the Director nor from the CPIO, though the RTI Application was transferred to the Director & Appellate Authority, NCSC, Chandigarh on 22.08.2016
Upon the instance of the Commission, CPIO submitted that Raj Kumar Chhanena was the Director on the date of filing of RTI Application. He further submitted that the averred letter dated 28.11.2016 is not traceable at their office. He furthermore submitted that he came to know about the instant RTI Application only after receiving the Commission’s notice of hearing.
In light of the averments of the Appellant, CPIO is directed to thoroughly search the letter dated 28.11.2016 in their office records mentioned in the RTI Application and provide available and relevant information with respect to the action taken on the said letter to the Appellant free of cost. In the event, if the CPIO still maintains that the letter is not traceable, he is directed to file an appropriate affidavit to this effect stating that the letter dated 28.11.2016 under reference could not be traced by him in the office despite best efforts. The affidavit should be sent by the CPIO to the Commission with its copy duly endorsed to the Appellant within 15 days from the date of receipt of this order.
Commission considers Raj Kumar Chhanena, the then Director, National Commission for Scheduled Castes, Kendriya Sadan, Sector-9A, Chandigarh as the Deemed CPIO because the RTI Application was transferred to him and no reply was provided to the Appellant. The conduct of Raj Kumar Chhanena, the then Director & Deemed CPIO for not providing any reply on the RTI Application amounts to a gross violation of the provisions of RTI Act. It also raises a reasonable doubt that the deemed refusal of information was with malafide intent. Raj Kumar Chhanena, the then Director & Deemed CPIO is hereby directed through the present CPIO to send his written submission to show cause as to why action should not be initiated against him/her under Section 20 of the RTI Act for failing to comply with the provisions of RTI Act. The written submissions of Raj Kumar Chhanena, the then Director & Deemed CPIO should reach the Commission within 30 days from the date of receipt of this order failing which ex-parte action may be initiated in the matter.
The present CPIO is further directed to ensure service of this order on Raj Kumar Chhanena, the then Director and Deemed CPIO at his present address and to forward his written submissions within the stipulated time frame.
The Appeal is disposed of accordingly.
Divya Prakash Sinha
Citation: Amit Mohan v. CPIO, National Commission for Scheduled Castes in File No: CIC/NCFSC/A/2018/623313, Date of Decision: 01/01/2020