Should second appeal be allowed if the order of the FAA in the favour of the appellant?
Invitation for a webinar on an important aspect of the RTI Act
Topic: Some ICs are depriving appellants of access to information when FAA’s order in his/her favour
Time: Nov 29, 2020 10:30 AM India
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Meeting ID: 843 6624 4275
Recently it is observed that some Information Commissioners do not entertain second appeals if first appellate authority's order is in favour of the appellant. In support of this action, they cite some SC/HC judgements. This happens where ICs fail to understand the preamble of the RTI act and their duties.
Yes, it is true that in some cases courts have said that in the complaint under section 18 of RTI ACT ICs have no jurisdiction to order the supply of information. But all these judgments are on complaints of applicant’s u/s 18 who doesn’t get information or response as per section 7 (1) of the act. However, there is no citation on the situation where PIO fails to obey the FAA’s order to provide the information.
No doubt, a right of appeal is always a creature of statute. A right of appeal is a right of entering a superior forum for invoking its aid and interposition to correct errors of the inferior forum. However, when the FAA’s order in the appellant’s favour and even then, he/she doesn’t get the information. is it fair to deprive appellant of access to information only because the FAA’s order is in his favour? My submission is when an appeal mechanism fails to provide access to information ICs should invoke their power and convert 2nd appeals into complaints. And in such scenario, ICs have ample powers to provide information to appellants. Earlier SC/HC judgments are on complaint u/s 18 without exercising appeal route. If one doesn’t get access to information even after exercising appeal rout, he/she has full right to go to an IC for seeking the information by invoking section 18 itself.