In response to show cause notice for not attending the hearing, the PIO cited traffic congestion as the reason - PIO: As the hearing was over, the Dy. Registrar, CIC was contacted and a letter was sent on the same day with apology - CIC: No malafide
O R D E R
1. The Commission, vide order dated 24.09.2018, had directed the respondent to show cause, within 15 days from the date of receipt of this order, as to why action should not be taken against him for not attending the hearing.
2. In response to the Show Cause Notice, the respondent, vide letter dated 28.09.2018, informed the Commission that due to traffic congestion on the route, he could not reach the hearing location at the specified time i.e. 11.15 am. As the hearing was over, he immediately contacted Dy. Registrar, CIC to know about any alternatives for the hearing. He had also sent a letter, the same day, to the Dy. Registrar, CIC apologizing for not been able to attend the hearing on time. He reiterated that the non-attendance of the hearing was not intentional but due to unavoidable circumstances beyond his control. He tendered his unconditional apology for this lapse and requested the Commission to condone the same. He, therefore, requested the Commission not to initiate any action against him in the matter.
3. The Commission after perusing the respondent’s explanation surmises that the respondent was not able to attend the hearing due to unavoidable circumstances beyond his control. Hence, the lapse was not intentional. The respondent vide letters dated 24.09.2018 and 28.09.2018 had also tendered his unconditional apology for this lapse and requested the Commission to condone the same. The Commission notes that there was no malafide or deliberate attempt on the part of the then CPIO for not attending the hearing. Hence, it would not be appropriate to impose any penalty on the CPIO. In view of this, the Show Cause Notice issued to the CPIO, M/o Electronic & I. T., Unique Identification Authority of India, Mumbai is hereby dropped. Accordingly, the matter is closed at the Commission’s level.
4. Copy of the decision be provided free of cost to the parties.
Chief Information Commissioner
Citation: Bharat Gordhanbhai Gopalka v. M/o Electronic & I. T., Unique Identification Authority of India in Appeal No. CIC/UIDAI/A/2018/102700, Date 17.06.2019