Despite repeated requests, the PIO failed to maintain the decorum during the hearing & continued to speak without listening to the questions raised by the CIC, forcing the CIC to disconnect the conferencing CIC advised the PIO to maintain good behaviour
The appellant has sought a photocopy of evaluated answer book of Mathematics examination in respect of Santosh Kumar Doodala, Roll No. 2643380, Class -12th, CBSE, Year - 2019.
Grounds for Second Appeal/Complaint:
The CPIO did not provide the desired information.
Submissions made by Appellant/Complainant and Respondent during Hearing:
The Commission is in receipt of an email from the appellant in which he has stated that initially the PIO denied the information. However, after appealing to the First Appellate Authority, the PIO informed about the additional fee to be paid for the documents. After depositing the fee, there was considerable delay in supplying the information. Therefore, the second appeal was filed to direct the PIO for timely furnishing of documents. As the appeal was filed more than a year back and the documents have been provided to him, the appeal may be disposed of with a direction to the PIO to supply the information timely in future.
The CPIO submitted that complete information was provided to the appellant/complainant on 01.08.2019. While she was making her submissions, the manner in which she was doing so was not at all acceptable and it appeared that she was running the hearing. Despite repeated requests she failed to maintain the decorum of the Commission and continued to speak without listening to the questions raised by the Commission. The Commission was, therefore, constrained to disconnect the audio-conferencing and she was asked to file her written submissions to decide the case.
In her written submissions she had stated that vide their letter dated 06.05.2019, a copy of the notification dated 02.05.2019 was given to the appellant/complainant. Thereafter, vide the letter dated 17.05.2019 the appellant was informed to deposit the relevant photocopying charges to enable their office to provide the desired information to him. On 01.08.2019, the complete information was provided to the appellant/complainant. Regarding the delay, she had submitted that the Board has an open online system of providing photocopy of answer book with certain time lime immediately after declaration of the results in public domain. After following all the confidential procedures the photocopy of an answer book is made available to the applicant and this needs to go through different procedures which takes some time. Hence, the delay was not intentional.
From a perusal of the relevant case records, it is noted that complete information was provided to the appellant/complainant on 01.08.2019 and the appellant/complainant is also satisfied with the same. However, the appellant has requested the Commission to instruct the concerned PIO to supply the information within the time limit prescribed under the RTI Act. The Commission agrees with the submissions of the appellant/complainant and warns the CPIO to strictly follow the timelines prescribed under the RTI Act in future.
In view of the above, the CPIO is cautioned to remain careful while handling the RTI applications in future and to ensure that timely replies are provided to every RTI application handled by her. Further, it is necessary that decorum has to be maintained at all times during the hearing and even when the contention is justified it must be in a language of utmost restraint, always keeping in view that the person making the comment is also fallible. The CPIO is advised to maintain good behaviour in future when addressing a Judicial or Quasi-Judicial body.
The appeal and the complaint are disposed of accordingly.
Vanaja N. Sarna
Citation: D V Rao v. Central Board of Secondary Education in File no.: CIC/CBSED/C/2019/646022 + CIC/CBSED/A/2019/139196, Date of Decision: 09/09/2020