Can a marginal delay of two- three days be condoned by the CIC?
The appellant filed an application under the Right to Information (RTI) Act with the Directorate of Information & Publicity Government of NCT of Delhi seeking information about the approved newspapers and their advertisements. The Public Information Officer (PIO) provided point wise information and asked the applicant to pay Rs. 4950/- for the copies of documents sought by him.
During the hearing before the Central Information Commission (CIC), the appellant requested the Commission to direct the PIO to give the sought information free of cost as the reply of the PIO did not reach him within the stipulated time period of 30 days.
View of CIC
The Commission noted that information sought by the appellant runs into thousands of pages which cannot be allowed to be given free of cost, especially when there is a marginal delay of one or two days in responding to the appellant. The Commission directed that first 100 pages of information be given free of cost to the appellant while for the remaining pages the appellant is required to pay the prescribed fee. The CIC also held that if the appellant desires, he may inspect the records and identify the information which he wants to obtain. In that case too, the appellant shall be given first 100 pages of information free of cost and for the rest he would need to pay the prescribed fee. In case the appellant does not want to come for an inspection, the PIO should provide the breakup of amount to be paid by him for supply of information.
Following the time schedule strictly would avoid the marginal delays in responding to the applicant in cases of information running into thousands of pages. In cases of voluminous information, an applicant should be offered inspection of the documents within the prescribed time limit otherwise the PIO might end up supplying the information free of cost.
Citation: Mr. Madan Lal v. Directorate of Information & Publicity Government of NCT of Delhi in File No. CIC/SG/A/2011/002353AD
RTI Citation : RTIFI/2012/CIC/836
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