PIO: Information included those regarding interaction with the legal Advisors which is exempt u/s 8(1)(e) read with Sec.11 - CIC: PIO to show cause as to why penalty u/s 20 (1) may not be imposed for not giving proper reply & for not attending the hearing
O R D E R
1. The issues under consideration i.e. the reliefs sought by the complainant in his complaint dated 31.10.2018 due to alleged non-supply of information vide her RTI application dated 01.10.2018 are as under:- Ø Necessary action may be taken against the concerned CPIO as per the provisions of the RTI Act.
2. Succinctly facts of the case are that the complainant filed an application dated 01.10.2018 under the Right to Information Act, 2005 (RTI Act) before the Central Public Information Officer (CPIO), National Institute of Public Finance Policy, New Delhi, seeking following information:
(i) Letter sent to Department of Expenditure, Ministry of Finance, (Shri S. Bhowmik, Under Secretary, Room No.32, North Block, MOF) dtd. 16.08.2018 concerning payment of ACP arrears to the appellant.
(ii) Copy of the reply received from Ministry of Finance concerning the subject mentioned in Sl. No. 1. Attested copies of the above documents 1 & 2 may be furnished at the earliest.
The CPIO vide letter dated 29.10.2018 replied to the complainant. Aggrieved by this, the complainant filed a complaint dated 31.10.2018 before this Commission which is under consideration.
3. The complainant has filed the instant complaint dated 31.10.2018 inter alia on the grounds that reply given by the CPIO was not satisfactory. The complainant requested the Commission to direct the CPIO to provide the complete information and take necessary action as per Section 20 (1) of the RTI Act.
4. The CPIO replied vide letter dated 29.10.2018 that the information sought included those regarding interaction between the Institute and its Advocate(s) / legal Advisor(s). The same is exempt from disclosure under 8(1) (e) read with Sec.11 of RTI Act, 2005, being available under fiduciary relationship.
5. The complainant as well as respondent remained absent despite notice.
6. The Commission after adverting to the facts and circumstances of the case, and perusal of records, observes that both parties have remained absent. Further, the respondent vide letter dated 29.10.2018 denied the information sought by the appellant without citing proper reasons. However, in their absence the reasons for denial of information could not be ascertained. In view of this Ms. Alka Mehta, CPIO, is directed to show cause as to why penalty under section 20 (1) of the RTI Act may not be imposed upon her for not giving proper reply and for not attending the hearing. Meanwhile, revised response/information in respect of the RTI application may be given to the appellant by the respondent. All written submissions must be uploaded on the Commission’s web portal within 21 days.
Copy of the decision be provided free of cost to the parties.
Citation: Sudha Saxena v. National Institute of Public Finance Policy in Complaint No. CIC/MOFIN/C/2018/165400, Date of order: 29.01.2021