Information regarding the elections held at Satara Branch of WIRC of ICAI - CIC: Copies of the explanations demanded by Secretary from the returning officer along with copies of the clarifications given by the RO have not been provided, PIO cautioned20 May, 2019
The appellant desires the following information regarding the elections held at Satara Branch of WIRC of ICAI during December 2015:
1. Copies of the explanation/s demanded by Secretary, ICAI from the returning officer CA Sarang Kolhapure, while enquiring about his misbehaviour in conduction of election of Satara Branch of WIRC of ICAI along with copies of the clarification/s given by the returning officer CA Sarang Kolhapure.
2. Copies of all the evidence/s with the help of which Secretary, ICAI decided that Polling Officer has not done any misconduct during 1st phase of elections of Satara Branch of WIRC of ICAI. 3. 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 CPIO submitted that a totally inappropriate and irrelevant reply has been provided to him by the CPIO specifically on point no 1 and hence severe penalty should be levied on him. He also submitted that the order of the FAA is not as per the RTI Act. The CPIO submitted that an appropriate reply has been provided to the appellant on 21.07.2017. He further submitted that all the documents pertaining to the subject matter of the RTI application are under the custody of the Disciplinary Directorate and hence no record can be provided to the appellant.
From a perusal of the relevant case records and considering the submissions of the parties, it is noted that an improper reply has been provided to the appellant , particularly on point no 1 of the RTI application as the appellant on this point has sought copies of the explanation/s demanded by Secretary, ICAI from the returning officer CA Sarang Kolhapure, while enquiring about his misbehaviour in conduct of election of Satara Branch of WIRC of ICAI along with copies of the clarification/s given by the returning officer. In the reply of the CPIO dated 21.07.2017, it has been stated that “since the re-poll was held at Satara Branch of WIRC of ICAI, no action in the matter was required”.
The reply appears to have failed to address the specific issue raised by the appellant.
In view of the above observations, the CPIO is directed to provide a revised reply on point no. 1 as per the provisions of the RTI Act within 07 days from the date of receipt of this order under intimation to the Commission and in case the CPIO is claiming any exemption under the RTI Act, the same should be clearly justified in the revised reply. The CPIO is also cautioned to remain careful while providing replies under the RTI Act.
The appeal is disposed of accordingly.
Vanaja N. Sarna
Citation: Makarand Narayan Joshi v. The Institute of Chartered Accountant of India in Decision no.: CIC/ICAOI/A/2017/183447/00585, Date of Decision: 06/05/2019