List of companies who has taken the assets of the Sambhar Salt Limited - CIC: There is a delay of two years in providing complete information; This amounts to grave violation of the provisions of the RTI Act - CIC imposed a penalty of Rs. 500/- on the PIO
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), Sambhar Salts Limited, Sambharlake, District Jaipur, Rajasthan. The appellant seeking information on eight points, including, inter-alia:-
(i) List of companies who has taken the assets of the Sambhar Salt Limited on lease or rent;
(ii) For how much time, the said lease has been executed and details of amount which has been agreed with the company;
(iii) Terms and conditions for taking the assets of Sambhar Salt Limited on lease, etc
2. As the CPIO had not provided the requested information, the appellant filed the first appeal dated 11.07.2018 requesting that the information should be provided to him. The response of FAA is not on record. He filed a second appeal u/Section 19(3) A second appeal against the decision under sub-section (1) shall lie within ninety days from the date on which the decision should have been made or was actually received, with the Central Information Commission or the State Information Commission: Provided that the Central Information Commission or the State Information Commission, as the case may be, may admit the appeal after the expiry of the period of ninety days if it is satisfied that the appellant was prevented by sufficient cause from filing the appeal in time. of the RTI Act before the Commission on the ground that information has not been provided to him and requested the Commission to direct the respondent to provide complete and correct information.
3. The appellant attended the hearing through audio-call. The respondent, Shri Vishnu B Pathy, CPIO attended the hearing through audio-call.
4. The respondent submitted their written submissions dated 03.07.2020 and the same has been taken on record.
5. The appellant submitted that on 03.07.2020, he has received requisite information from the respondent on his RTI application dated 06.07.2018. The appellant further stated that he is satisfied with the information provided but there is a substantial delay on the part of the respondent in providing the information.
6. The respondent agreed that there is a delay in providing information to the appellant on his RTI application dated 06.07.2018. On query from the Commission, the respondent apprised that the then CPIO Shri M S Rawat now working as Junior Manager (Marketing) could not handed-over the RTI matters to him properly and as and when it comes to his notice about the pendency of this RTI application, he has immediately gives the information to the appellant
7. The Commission, after hearing the submissions of both the parties and after perusal of records, observes that there is a delay of almost two years in providing complete information to the appellant on his RTI application dated 06.07.2018. However, the appellant is satisfied with the information provided. But, as informed by the present CPIO that the then CPIO could not handed over the RTI matters properly and due to this there was a delay in providing information to the appellant. The Commission is of the view that this amounts to grave violation of the provisions of the RTI Act, as the information sought by the appellant has not been provided to him within the stipulated time as per the provisions of the RTI Act. This shows the lackadaisical approach on the part of the respondent public authority in dealing with the RTI applications.
8. In view of this, the Commission imposed a penalty of Rs. 500/- (Rupees Five Hundred only) on Shri M S Rawat, the then CPIO and now working as Junior Manager (Marketing) who has failed to provide reply/information to the appellant on his RTI application dated 06.07.2018 within stipulated period of time as per the provisions of the RTI Act. The amount of Rs. 500/- (Rupees Five Hundred only) shall be deducted by the Public Authority from his salary by way of demand draft drawn in favour of “PAO, CAT”, New Delhi and the demand draft should be forwarded to the Deputy Registrar (CR-II), email: email@example.com Room No. 106, First Floor, Central Information Commission, Baba Gangnath Marg, Munirka, New Delhi-110067. This demand draft of Rs. 500/- (Rupees Five Hundred only) should reach the Commission by 07.08.2020. The FAA is directed to ensure the compliance of this order and send report to the Commission.
9. With the above observations, the appeal is disposed of.
10. Copy of the decision be provided free of cost to the parties.
Neeraj Kumar Gupta
Citation: Rajeev Shrivastava v. Sambhar Salts Limited in Second Appeal No. CIC/SSLTD/A/2018/154424, Date 06.07.2020