CIC: The PIO has failed to understand that the appellant had filed the RTI application seeking certain information and even though she may be an employee of the organisation, she has filed the RTI as an individual citizen and the PIO had to give a reply
The appellant has sought the following information with reference to the letter dated 22/03/2018 in regard to the decision of the independent committee:
1. A copy of the file noting of the independent committee.
2. Evidence/proof on the basis of which the committee stated that the grievance/complaint of the appellant lacked merit.
3. Demerits of her grievance.
4. A copy of the speaking order and reasoned order for coming to the conclusion by the committee.
Grounds for Second Appeal
The CPIO did not provide the desired information.
Submissions made by Appellant and Respondent during Hearing:
The appellant submitted that the desired information was not provided to her by the CPIO while stating that she can get the information through proper channel. She further submitted that even though she has sought the same information through the proper channel also, however no reply was provided to her. Hence, compensation should be given to her.
The CPIO submitted that the appellant being an employee of the same organisation, the RTI application was put up before the higher authorities and based on the decisions taken by the higher authorities, a reply was provided to her on 23.04.2018.
At the outset, the Commission finds that the reply of the CPIO is not as per the provisions of the RTI Act. The CPIO was supposed to address the points raised by the Appellant in her RTI application rather than stating that the applicant being herself an employee of the respondent is a part of information provider and can get the information through proper channel. In the instant case, the CPIO has failed to understand that the appellant had filed the RTI application seeking certain information and even though she may be an employee of the organisation, she has filed the RTI as an individual citizen and the CPIO had to give a reply. Being a citizen she has every right to file a RTI application as per Section 3 of the RTI Act. The Commission, therefore, cautions the CPIO to strictly follow the RTI regime while handling the RTI applications in future. Under such circumstances, the CPIO is directed to consider the RTI application afresh and provide a point-wise reply to the appellant as per the queries raised by her in the RTI application, while following the provisions of the RTI Act.
Further, the Commission has not been shown what loss or detriment was suffered by the appellant on account of the delay caused and no substantial ground was given by the appellant while seeking compensation.
Based on the above observations, the CPIO is directed to re-visit the RTI application and provide a revised reply to the appellant in a point-wise manner as per the provisions laid down in the RTI Act within a period of 15 days from the date of receipt of this order under intimation to the Commission.
The appeal is disposed of accordingly.
Vanaja N. Sarna
Citation: Ani Dath v. ICAR-Central Island Agricultural Research Institute in Decision no.: CIC/CARIT/A/2018/166218/02856, Date of Decision: 12/02/2020