Procedure adopted for the appointment of Professor - CIC: Providing a reply now after the hearing notice was received shows that the same could have been given on time; The deemed PIOs and FAA were not following the RTI Act; Strict warning issued
The appellant has sought the following information:
1. Details regarding the appointment procedure adopted for the appointment of Prof. Umakant Yadav in the Sanskrit Department and the year in which the appointment order was issued.
2. Designation of Prof. Umakant Yadav.
3. Designation on which Prof. Umakant Yadav was appointed before 2005 and the designation on which he was appointed after 2005.
Grounds for Second Appeal
Both CPIO and FAA have not provided any information.
Submissions made by Appellant and Respondent during Hearing:
The appellant could not be contacted on his mobile number, as there is no incoming facility in his mobile number. The CPIO was informed that the case shall be adjourned due to unavailability of the appellant.
Due to the ongoing pandemic of coronavirus in the country and the prevalent lockdown, the hearing needs to be adjourned.
Based on the above observation, the registry is directed to refix the matter in due course after the lockdown period is over.
The case is adjourned.
Date of Hearing: 03/09/2020
Date of Decision: 07/09/2020
The following were present:
Appellant: Present over VC
Respondent: Shri Shailendra Mishra, Assistant Professor and Nodal CPIO, Shri Sanjay Kumar, Joint Registrar (Faculty) and CPIO, Shri A.K Kanojia, the then CPIO
Submission made by the Appellant and Respondent during the hearing:
The appellant submitted that he has received the reply before the hearing. The Nodal CPIO vide his written submissions dated 27.08.2020 submitted that the RTI application was received in the office on 18.05.2018. The RTI application was forwarded to Shri A.K Kanojia, the then Joint Registrar (Faculty) for seeking requisite information vide letter dated 24.05.2018. He further stated that there is no record of any FAA’s order.
Shri A.K Kanojia, the then Joint Registrar (Faculty) was asked for the reason for not providing a timely reply, he explained that the Registrar was the custodian of the information and as well the FAA under the Act and therefore as no correspondence was received from the Registrar no information could be given at that point of time.
The present Joint Registrar (Faculty) submitted that a suitable point-wise reply has now been provided to the appellant.
Based on a perusal of the record, it was noted that the present Joint Registrar (Faculty) has sent a point-wise apt reply to the applicant vide letter dated 27.08.2020. Further, the appellant too expressed his satisfaction with the reply. However, the Commission cannot lose sight of the fact that the then Joint Registrar (Faculty) without any reasonable ground had caused obstruction of information by not providing a timely reply. Moreover, the Commission is astonished to see the practise in the concerned university, where rigid administrative hierarchy is being followed before providing a reply to RTI applications. It is pertinent to mention here that the Registrar being the FAA has no relevance in so far as providing a reply to the appellant is concerned. The CPIO has to give the reply even if at the most he had to, ask for assistance u/s 5(4) of the RTI Act from the Registrar as he was the custodian. However, as no such copy of the letter was submitted by the then CPIO Shri Kanojia, the delay in providing a timely reply is attributed entirely to him. As far as the disposal of the first appeal is concerned, again it is noted that the then FAA of the University is not taking any sincere action to dispose of the first appeal, nor any written explanation from the present FAA was received for non-disposal of the first appeal.
The Commission is of the view that the deemed PIOs and the FAA were not following the RTI Act strictly. Moreover, providing a reply now after the hearing notice was received shows that the same could have been given on time. The sheer negligence of the then Joint Registrar (Faculty) and the then Registrar is condemnable and accordingly a strict warning is issued to both of them. If such a lapse is repeated in future, the Commission will be constrained to impose penalty on the defaulting officers. The CPIO shall serve a copy of this order to both of the above mentioned officers.
The appeal is disposed of accordingly.
Vanaja N. Sarna
Citation: Manish Verma v. University of Allahabad in Decision no.: CIC/UOALD/A/2018/153281, Date of Decision : 15/04/2020, 07/09/2020