Copy of appellants own answer sheet of Political Science paper II of B.A. 2nd year was not provided by the deemed PIO claiming that the Executive Council has decided not to entertain such requests till further orders - CIC: Provide the information
The appellant (Roll No.-12A07601) has sought copy of his own answer sheet of Political Science paper II of B.A. 2nd year 2017.
Grounds for Second Appeal
The CPIO did not provide the desired information.
Submissions made by Appellant and Respondent during Hearing:
The appellant submitted that the desired information was not provided to him till date. The CPIO submitted that since she is not the custodian of the information, the RTI application was forwarded to the concerned officer. However, the concerned officer is denying to provide the requisite information stating that a copy of the appellant’s answer script cannot be provided as it is decided by the Executive Council not to entertain such requests till further orders.
From a perusal of the relevant case records, it is noted that the deemed PIO under whose custody the information is lying is totally unaware of the provisions of the RTI Act. He also seems to be unaware of the settled position of law that a candidate under the RTI Act is entitled to get a copy his answer sheet and it cannot be denied to him.
The Commission finds it appropriate to bring to the notice of the respondent authority that this issue has attained finality now in the matter of Paras Jain Vs Institute of Companies, dated 15.07.2019 wherein the Hon’ble Supreme Court has made following observation,
“Be that as it may, Guideline No. 3 of the Appellant does not take away from Rule 4, The Right to Information (Regulation of Fees and Cost) Rules, 2005 which also entitles the candidates to seek inspection and certified copies of their answer scripts. In our opinion, the existence of these two avenues is not mutually exclusive and it is up to the candidate to choose either of the routes. Thus, if a candidate seeks information under the provisions of the Right to Information, then payment has to be sought under the Rules therein, however, if the information is sought under the Guidelines of the Appellant, then the Appellant is at liberty to charge the candidates as per its guidelines.”
While the issue in the above mentioned case related to payment of obtaining documents etc. under the RTI Act and the University’s provisions, the matter is applicable in this case too – what is sought under the RTI Act cannot be denied and this will overrule any decision of the Executive Council in the spirit of the provisions of the RTI Act.
In view of the above observations, the deemed PIO, Shri N.T Jose is directed to assist the CPIO and supply a copy of the answer sheet as sought for by the appellant so that she may further transmit it to the appellant. This direction is to be complied with within a period of 15 days from the date of receipt of this order under intimation to the Commission. The deemed PIO and the CPIO may note that in case of failure to provide the requisite information to the appellant, the Commission will be constrained to initiate penal action u/s 20 of the RTI Act against the concerned PIOs.
The appeal is disposed of accordingly.
Vanaja N. Sarna
Citation: Mangkal Tachang v. Rajiv Gandhi University in Decision no.: CIC/RJGUV/A/2018/128189/02238, Date of Decision: 22/11/2019