ICMR manual on hospital infection control guidelines for reducing infection rates morbidity & mortality due to hospital acquired infections - CIC: Contention that the replies did not mention designation of PIO/FAA are noted but there appears no malafide
Information sought and background of the case:
The Appellant filed an RTI application dated 24.08.2018 seeking certified true copies of manual on hospital infection control guidelines containing 96 pages prepared by Indian council of Medical Research, New Delhi for reducing infection rates morbidity & mortality due to hospital acquired infections.
The PIO, Scientist-F, Division of ECD, ICMR vide letter dated 07.09.2018 furnished a link of the ICMR site stating that the authentic copy of guideline is available as open source file on the said site. By a subsequent communication dated 10.10.2018, the PIO, Scientist-F, Division of ECD, ICMR furnished a copy of Manual for Hospital Infection Control to the Appellant. Dissatisfied with the reply received from the PIO, the Appellant filed a First Appeal dated 27.11.2018, which was not adjudicated by the First Appellate Authority. Therefore, the Appellant approached the Commission with the instant Second Appeal.
Facts emerging in Course of Hearing:
A written submission dated 10.10.2020 has been received from the Appellant reiterating the above facts and adding that after 110 days of the RTI Application & 70 days of the first appeal, finally soft copy of hospital infection control manual was provided by Dr Kamini Walia, Appellate Authority cum Scientist-F, Division of ECD ICMR New Delhi vide letter dated12/12/2018. The Appellant has requested that penal action be initiated against the respondent, for the delayed information.
In order to ensure social distancing and prevent the spread of the pandemic, COVID-19, hearing is held through audio conference, scheduled after giving prior notice to both the parties. Both parties are duly represented at the hearing and Appellant points out that the letter dated 10.10.2018 did not contain the enclosures mentioned therein and hence he was dissatisfied with the reply. Respondent states that the RTI application was duly responded vide three communications dated 07.09.2018, 10.10.2018 and again on 12.12.2018, indicating that there was no intention of denying the information. The Appellant pointed out that the replies sent by the Respondent fail to disclose the designation of the signing authority as PIO or FAA, to which Respondent explains that it was purely oversight that the designation was not mentioned.
Perusal of records of the case reveal that queries of the Appellant had been answered by the Respondent from time to time and complete information as sought by the Appellant had also been provided vide letter dated 12.12.2018. Appellant’s contentions that the replies did not mention designation of PIO/FAA are noted but there appears no malafide on the part of the Respondent, which requires adjudication. Thus the appeal is hereby disposed off with no further direction.
Y. K. Sinha
Citation: Shri Pankaj Arora v. ICMR in Second Appeal No. CIC/ICOMR/A/2018/170317, Date of Decision: 28.10.2020