CIC: FAA to inquire into the matter of the ‘missing’ RTI application to ascertain whether the RTI application was actually not received or the PIO had taken a plea to deny information to the appellant; If required, appropriate action against the officials
O R D E R
1. The appellant filed an application under the Right to Information Act, 2005 (RTI Act) before the Central Public Information Officer (CPIO), Allahabad Bank, Main Branch, Hathras seeking information on four points pertaining to account nos. 501xxxxxx30 and 501xxxxxx50, including, inter-alia, (i) copies of ledger statements of the above said accounts, and (ii) certified copy of Fixed Deposit receipt for an amount of Rs. 1,05,000/- deposited by him in the Branch.
2. The appellant filed a second appeal before the Commission on the grounds that no information/reply has been provided to him in response to his RTI application, till date. Moreover, the FAA also did not adjudicate upon his first appeal. The appellant requested the Commission to direct the respondent to provide him the desired information and to impose penalty upon the erring official.
3. The appellant was not present despite notice. The respondent Shri R.L. Sharma, DGM & CPIO, Allahabad Bank, ZO: Agra, attended the hearing through video-conferencing.
4. The respondent submitted that as per the records and as confirmed by the Branch concerned, the appellant’s RTI application dated 17.04.2017 has not been received. Further, the first appeal addressed to Zonal Office Agra was sent at the old address of the Bank. Thus, it was also not received by the bank. Hence, no reply could be provided to the appellant in this regard. However, on receipt of the Commission’s Notice for Hearing, a copy of the RTI application was obtained from the appellant and point-wise information, as per the available records, has been furnished to the appellant vide reply dated 11.12.2018.
5. The Commission, after hearing the submissions of the respondent and perusing the records, notes that a point-wise reply dated 11.12.2018 has been furnished to the appellant by the respondent. The Commission, however, observes that the appellant has sent the RTI application through Speed Post vide tracking no. EU 833082826 IN. Hence, it can be presumed that the RTI application was delivered to the bank. In view of this, it is imperative to ascertain the facts leading to the misplacement of the RTI application dated 17.04.2017 filed by the appellant. The Commission, therefore, directs the First Appellate Authority, Allahabad Bank, Zonal Office Agra to inquire into the matter of the ‘missing’ RTI application and to ascertain as to whether the RTI application was actually not received or the CPIO had taken that plea to deny information to the appellant. The FAA shall also, if required, take appropriate departmental action against the officers/officials 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 this order.
6. With the above observations, the appeal is disposed of.
7. Copy of the decision be provided free of cost to the parties.
Citation: Navin Kumar Sharma v. CPIO, Allahabad Bank in Second Appeal No. CIC/ALDBK/A/2017/153651, Date 14.12.2018