Information regarding ‘Vigyan Parishad Prayag’ located within the campus of the University of Allahabad was sought - CIC: The PIO, University of Allahabad, to collate the requisite information from the custodian of information and provide a final reply
The appellant has sought the following information:
1. Whether the University has any association, expressed or implied, with ‘Vigyan Parishad Prayag’ situated and located within the campus of the University of Allahabad at Maharishi Dayanand Marg.
2. Whether the University is the owner of the land where the building of the ‘Vigyan Parishad Prayag’ is constructed at Maharishi Dayanand Marg.
3. Who is actual owner of the building which has been occupied by ‘Vigyan Parishad Prayag’ within the campus of the university.
4. And other related information.
Grounds for Second Appeal
The CPIO did not provide the desired information. Submissions made by Appellant and Respondent during Hearing: The appellant submitted that till date he has not received any response from the respondent authority.
The CPIO submitted that since the matter pertained to Vigyan Parishad Prayag, the application was forwarded to Mr. Rajeev Mishra, Estate Manager for seeking the requisite information on 03.11. 2017 and then it was forwarded to the Secretary, Vigyan Parishad, Allahabad by the Estate Manager on 06.12.2017 under section 5(4) and 5(5) of the RTI Act, 2005. Again a reminder was sent to the Estate Manager for providing the requisite information on 25.09.2018. After receipt of the notice of hearing of the second appeal from the Commission, the Estate Manager informed that the requisite information has been provided to the appellant on 09.09.2019.
From a perusal of the relevant case records, it is noted that the queries raised by the appellant were not strictly covered u/s 2(f) “information” means any material in any form, including records, documents, memos, e-mails, opinions, advices, press releases, circulars, orders, logbooks, contracts, reports, papers, samples, models, data material held in any electronic form and information relating to any private body which can be accessed by a public authority under any other law for the time being in force; of the RTI Act, thus no reply was provided to the appellant. It was only after receipt of the CIC’s hearing notice that a reply of Vigyan Parishad Prayag dated 04.09.2019 was sent to the appellant. However, the appellant submitted that he has not received any reply from the CPIO and he specifically mentioned that since he had addressed the RTI application to the University of Allahabad, they should provide a specific reply. The Commission expresses its displeasure at the conduct of the Rajeev Mishra, Estate Manager for handling the RTI application is such a negligent manner. It is brought to his notice that even though he was not the custodian of the sought for information, he could have provided an interim reply to the appellant.
Based on the above observations, the CPIO, University of Allahabad, Shri Shailendra Mishra is directed to collate the requisite information from the custodian of information and provide a final reply to the appellant within a period of 10 days from the date of receipt of this order under intimation to the Commission. He is also directed to resend a copy of the letter dated 04.09.2019 of Vigyan Parishad Prayag to the appellant forthwith by way of speed post. The CPIO, Shri Shailendra Mishra & the deemed PIO, Shri Rajeev Mishra both are cautioned to remain careful while handling RTI applications and ensure that timely replies are provided to every RTI application.
The appeal is disposed of accordingly.
Vanaja N. Sarna
Citation: Satish Agarwal v. CPIO, University of Allahabad in Decision no.: CIC/UOALD/A/2018/614941/01618, Date of Decision: 13/09/2019