Photocopy of certain Army HQ letters were sought - PIO submitted that as per their policy, the letters were destroyed under the provisions of Record Retention Schedule 2012 - Appellant: Reply by IHQ is contradictory - CIC: There was no malafide intent
The Appellant has sought the following information:
1. Provide the photocopy of Army HQ letter No. B/15198/-MCM/Two grade structure/EME/ EME CIV-2, dated 09/10/2003.
2.Provide the photocopy of Army HQ letter No. B/20590/A&P/EMECIV-2/Vol-II, dated 16/07/1999.
Grounds for Second Appeal
The CPIO has not provided the desired information.
Submissions made by Appellant and Respondent during Hearing:
The appellant drew attention of the Commission to case no. CIC/IARMY/A/2019/114795 decided on 28.01.2021 where a different reply was given by the CPIO Meerut HQ. He submitted that the present reply by IHQ is contradictory. The appellant contended that destruction of policy is not possible. Lt. Col Jagdish, CPIO submitted that as per their policy, the letters were destroyed. The appellant cannot question the weeding out policy.
Based on a perusal of the record, it was noted that the CPIO vide letter dated 01.11.2018 replied to the appellant and provided an extract of para 2(a) and (b) of DG EME/EME (Civ) Note No B/37215/RTI/EME/Civ/(C-2) dated 4th Oct 2018, vide which information pertaining to his query has been provided. The FAA vide order dated 17.01.2019 upheld the reply of the CPIO. The letter dated 04.10.2018 was perused where it was mentioned that both the letters are not available due to destruction under the provisions of Record Retention Schedule 2012 being more than 10 years old. The appellant rightly pointed out that both the replies are contradictory, therefore, it is relevant to mention here that the appellant had sought the same information from both the CPIOs and both had given their reply as per their record. The same could have been avoided in case both the CPIOs were aware of the RTI application filed with one another. Nevertheless, there was no malafide intent in the reply of the CPIO Meerut.
In view of the above fact that the information sought was weeded out, the Commission is not getting into the fact that the other CPIO claimed exemption on the similar subject, as there was no malafide intention which can be attributed to the CPIO Meerut . The information sought was weeded out and hence no action lies.
The appeal is disposed of accordingly.
Vanaja N. Sarna
Citation: Ravindra Kumar v. Integrated HQ, Indian Army in File no.: - CIC/IARMY/A/2019/117382, Date of Decision: 28/01/2021