CIC: Some queries of the appellant are in the nature of seeking explanation/opinion/advice from the PIO viz. “Whether the updated accounts of HAL PF Trust are submitted to the EPFO, etc”; PIO cannot first analyze the documents and then provide information
CIC: Some queries of the appellant are in the nature of seeking explanation/opinion/advice from the PIO viz. “Whether the updated accounts of HAL PF Trust are submitted to the EPFO, etc.”; Appellant has expected that the PIO firstly should analyze the documents and then provide information; CPIO is not supposed to create information or to interpret information or to furnish clarification to the appellant under the ambit of the RTI Act
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) Hindustan Antibiotic Limited, Pune, Maharashtra. The appellant seeking information on eight points, including, inter-alia:-
(i) Copy of the exemption order given to Hindustan Antibiotics Ltd. , Pimpri, Pune to have its own exempted trust and conditions and terms imposed while granting exemption under the EPF Act and copy of the same order with all relevant conditions imposed there on;
(ii) Whether the updated accounts of HAL PF Trust are submitted to the EPFO, etc.
2. As the CPIO had not provided the requested information, the appellant filed the first appeal dated 05.03.2019 requesting that the information should be provided to him. The response of FAA is not on record. 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 on the ground that information has not been provided to him and requested the Commission to direct the respondent to provide complete and correct information.
3. The appellant attended the hearing through audio-call. The respondent, Ms. Sunita N Shivtare, CPIO attended the hearing through audio-call.
4. The respondent submitted their written submissions dated 23.12.2020 and the same has been taken on record.
5. The appellant submitted that complete information has not been provided to him by the respondent on his RTI application dated 14.01.2019. He further submitted that the respondent has also not shared a copy of their written submissions with him.
6. The respondent submitted that vide their letter dated 17.02.2019, pointwise reply/information, as per the documents available on record, has been provided to the appellant. The reply was seen during the hearing, which was found to be satisfactory.
7. The Commission, after hearing the submissions of both the parties and after perusal of records, observes that some queries of the appellant are in the nature of seeking explanation/opinion/advice from the CPIO viz. “Whether the updated accounts of HAL PF Trust are submitted to the EPFO, etc.” and he has expected that the CPIO firstly should analyze the documents/query and then provide information to the appellant. But the CPIO is not supposed to create information; or to interpret information; or to furnish clarification to the appellant under the ambit of the RTI Act. As per Section 2(f) “information” means any material in any form, including records, documents, memos, e-mails, opinions, advices, press releases, circulars, orders, logbooks, contracts, reports, papers, samples, models, data material held in any electronic form and information relating to any private body which can be accessed by a public authority under any other law for the time being in force; of the RTI Act, the reasons/opinions/advices can only be provided to the applicants if it is available on record of the public authority. The CPIO cannot create information in the manner as sought by the appellant. The CPIO is only a communicator of information based on the records held in the office and hence, he cannot expected to do research work to deduce anything from the material therein and then supply it to him. Nonetheless, the information as per the documents available on record has been provided to the appellant on his RTI application.
8. The respondent is directed to send a copy of their written submissions dated 23.12.2020 to the appellant, through registered post, within a period of 7 days from the date of receipt of this order.
9. With the above observations, the appeal is disposed of.
10. Copy of the decision be provided free of cost to the parties.
Neeraj Kumar Gupta
Citation: V.K. Shrivastava v. Hindustan Antibiotic Limited in Second Appeal No. CIC/HINAL/A/2019/118468, Date of Decision: 25-01-2021