PIO: Information about copy of the total budget, inventories of items etc. is voluminous in nature the collation and compilation of which may cause disproportionate diversion of the resources of the public authority - CIC: Offer inspection of the records
Information sought and background of the case:
The Appellant filed RTI application dated 22.04.2019 seeking information on following eight points for the period of 2014-2019:
“1. Provide the certified copy of the total budget in Official Expenses and Expenditure in Official Expenses.
2. Provide the certified copy of the Inventories of all items including electronics, electrical and furniture etc. With price and date and officers name for whom these items were purchased.
3. Provide the certified copy of Inventories of all items disposed with disposed valuation of articles.
4. Provide the certified copy of Inventories of all present available items with name and designation of officers.
5. Provide the certified copy of the orders for setting up of the Purchase and Auction Committee alongwith the list of all members of Purchase and Auction Committee.
6. Provide the certified copy of the orders for appointment of the Care-Taker alongwith the name and designation of the Caretaker.
7. Provide the certified copy of the list of the officers posted in Administration Branch with their work and duration.
8. Provide the certified copy of the list of the officers posted in General Administration Branch with their work and duration.”
Having not received any response from the CPIO, the appellant filed a First Appeal dated 30.05.2019. FAA’s order, if any, is not available on record. Feeling aggrieved and dissatisfied with the non-receipt of information, Appellant approached the Commission with the instant Second Appeal.
Relevant Facts emerging during Hearing:
The following were present:-
Appellant: Present through audio conference.
Respondent: Pradeep Rai, Assistant Director & CPIO present through intra-video conference.
The CPIO submitted that a point-wise reply to the instant RTI Application was provided to the Appellant on 22.05.2019 wherein the available information was provided for points no.6-8 of the RTI Application. He further stated that for the information sought for at points no. 1 to 5 of RTI application, the Appellant was informed that the same is exhaustive and also not readily available with them and that the RTI Act does not mandate creation of information.
The Appellant alleged that the CPIO is in a habit of drafting replies to RTI applications but not sending the same to the information seeker. He further contended that the reply dated 22.05.2019 was never received by him.
The Commission based upon a perusal of the facts on records is in agreement with the submission of the CPIO that the information sought for at points no. 1 to 5 of RTI application is exhaustive and voluminous in nature; the collation and compilation of which may cause disproportionate diversion of the resources of the public authority as per Section 7(9) An information shall ordinarily be provided in the form in which it is sought unless it would disproportionately divert the resources of the public authority or would be detrimental to the safety or preservation of the record in question. of the RTI Act.
However, in the interest of justice, the CPIO is directed to offer an opportunity of inspection of the relevant and available records as sought for at points no.1-5 of the RTI Application for a time period limited to 2 years i.e for 2017-18 & 2018-19 on a mutually decided date & time. The intimation of the date & time of inspection will be provided to the Appellant telephonically and in writing by the CPIO and copy of the documents, as desired by the Appellant during the inspection will be provided to him free of cost upto 50 pages and beyond this limit, fees may be charged as per Rule 4 of RTI Rules, 2012. The said directions should be complied with by the CPIO within 15 days from the date of receipt of this order and a compliance report to this effect be duly sent to the Commission by the CPIO stipulating the details of the records inspected by the Appellant and copy of documents provided thereof.
As regards the reply provided to points no. 6 to 8 of RTI application by the CPIO, the Commission finds no scope of intervention and upholds the same. Nonetheless, considering the contentions of the Appellant during the hearing, the CPIO is also directed to resend a copy of their letter dated 22.05.2019 along with the relevant enclosures to the Appellant, free of cost, through speed/registered post. The said direction should be complied within 2 days from the date of receipt of this order under due intimation to the Commission.
The appeal is disposed of accordingly.
Citation: Ashok Kumar v. National Commission for Scheduled Castes in File No: CIC/NCFSC/A/2019/138123, Date of Decision: 18/03/2021