CIC directs Secretary Ministry of Culture to impart RTI training to its officials
The appellant filed an application under the Right to Information (RTI) Act with the Ministry of Culture seeking information such as where are Diamond Kohinoor, Tukhtee-Touse and Mayur Singhasion at this time. The appellant also sought certified copy of gift deeds if those things were gifted and asked whether those things have been robbed or not. The appellant further wanted to know the actions taken by Government of India to retain these things. The Public Information Officer (PIO) gave point wise reply and stated that national museum did not have Kohinoor diamond in its collection.
During the hearing before the Central Information Commission (CIC), the appellant stated that the PIO National Museum provided incorrect information. Subsequently he received a letter from the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) stating that Kohinoor diamond is fixed as the crown jewel of the British Royal Family & takhtee-touse and Mayur Sinhasan were not traceable and that Kohinoor was gifted to queen Victoria however copy of gift deed was not available. He has also been intimated by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) that they have been informed by the Commonwealth Office of United Kingdom (UK) that Government of India had requested for return of Kohinoor diamond in 1947, 1953 and 1983, it was not known what form these requests took or whether they were made on a formal basis.
View of CIC
The Commission observed that the relevant information as per records has been provided to appellant. The Commission also stated that the PIO of Ministry of Culture routinely transfers RTI applications to the PIOs of some other departments under the Ministry without bothering to ascertain whether the subject matter pertains to the said departments or not leading to delay and furnishing of incorrect information. The CIC further added that the Secretary, Ministry of Culture should look into the matter and take appropriate steps to put in place a credible system for disposal of RTI applications and also impart suitable training to its officials in handling of RTI matters. The Commission warned the Ministry of Culture officials and the person who wrongly transferred the same to National Museum instead of holders of information with Archaeological Survey of India & Ministry of External Affair,s to exercise due care to ensure that provisions of the RTI Act are scrupulously observed failing which penal proceedings under section 20 may be initiated in future.
Citation: Mr. Anshu Kumar v. Central Public Information Officer Ministry of Culture in File No. CIC/SM/A/2011/002054/BS/0843
RTI Citation : RTIFI/2012/CIC/720
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