Status of an application of the Rohini EWS/Janta Scheme of DDA and related information was sought - CIC: PIO has not bothered to send a reply to the appellant prior to the date of hearing despite receiving the RTI application; A very strict warning issued
O R D E R
1. The appellant filed an application under the Right to Information Act, 2005 (RTI Act) before the Central Public Information Officer (CPIO), Delhi Development Authority, New Delhi seeking following information:-
“1. What is the present status of the application of Smt. Jaswant Kaur, wife of Shri Prem Singh of the Rohini EWS/Janta Scheme of Delhi Development Authority with application No. 37482?
2. Whether other persons who have been allotted the EWS/ Janta Scheme of Delhi Development Authority, as applied by the above Lt. Smt. Jaswant Kaur, have been allotted the flats/plots.
3. Details of the persons who have been allotted the EWS/ Janta Flats/Plots under the Rohini EWS/Janta Scheme of Delhi.
4. Details of the persons who all have been allotted the EWS/ Janta Flats/Plots under the Rohini EWS/Janta Scheme of Delhi Development Authority.”
2. As the CPIO did not reply within a period of 30 days, the appellant filed the first appeal dated 12-11-2018 which was not disposed of by the first appellate authority. Thereafter, he filed a second appeal u/Section 19(3) A second appeal against the decision under sub-section (1) shall lie within ninety days from the date on which the decision should have been made or was actually received, with the Central Information Commission or the State Information Commission: Provided that the Central Information Commission or the State Information Commission, as the case may be, may admit the appeal after the expiry of the period of ninety days if it is satisfied that the appellant was prevented by sufficient cause from filing the appeal in time. of the RTI Act before the Commission requesting to take appropriate legal action against the CPIO u/Section 20 of the RTI Act, 2005 and also to direct him to provide the sought for information.
3. The appellant, Mr. Manjit Singh was represented by Mr. Shiddhant Tyagi (Advocate) through audio conferencing. Mr. Khadak Singh, AD/Janta (EWS)/CPIO participated in the hearing representing the respondent through audio conferencing. The written submissions are taken on record.
4. The representative of the appellant stated that no information has been provided by the respondent till date and therefore, an appropriate legal action should be initiated against the CPIO u/Section 20 of the RTI Act, 2005.
5. The respondent contended that the query raised by the appellant is not specific, as it is difficult to ascertain whether the information is being sought in respect of plot or house merely on the basis of application number. He regretted for not sending a reply along this line to the appellant till date. He apprised the Commission that the hearing notice was received in their branch on 16-10-2020.
6. This Commission observes that the CPIO has not bothered to send a reply to the appellant prior to the date of hearing despite receiving the RTI application admittedly on 16-10-2020. As per the available records, no reply has been sent by the CPIO directly to the appellant till date. It is regretted that the CPIO(s) of the DDA are consistently claiming about non receipt of RTI application(s) in large number of cases which is highly deplorable. This reflects poor record keeping in the public authority. It is viewed seriously and therefore, the CPIOs are hereby issued a very strict warning for future to be careful and not to contravene the provisions of the RTI Act, 2005. The matter should be brought to the notice of the Vice Chairman, DDA who should consider taking an appropriate administration action against the erring officials as he deems fit.
7. As far as information is concerned, the CPIO has expressed difficulty in culling out the sought for information merely on the basis of application number which does not indicate whether the information relates to flat or plot. Hence, this Commission upholds the stand taken by the CPIO and accordingly directs him to send a revised reply to the appellant as per the RTI Act, 2005, within a period of 15 working days from the date of receipt of this order.
8. With the above observations, the appeal is disposed of.
9. Copy of the decision be provided free of cost to the parties.
Neeraj Kumar Gupta
Citation: Manjit Singh v. Delhi Development Authority in Second Appeal No. CIC/DDATY/A/2019/105971, Date of order:27-10-2020