Information pertaining to the civil work done by M/s Progressive Engineers, Rourkela for HSCL, Rourkela Steel Plant was sought - CIC: No reply was given; Show cause notice issued why penal action under Section 20(1) of the RTI Act should not be initiated
O R D E R
1. The appellant filed an online application under the Right to Information Act, 2005 (RTI Act) before the Central Public Information Officer (CPIO), Hindustan Steelworks Construction Limited (HSCL), Rourkela, seeking information on five points pertaining to the civil work done by M/s Progressive Engineers, Rourkela for HSCL, Rourkela Steel Plant, Odisha, including, inter-alia,
(i) details of the total work done by the aforesaid firm along with the value for work done, and
(ii) the total amount claimed by HSCL for the work done by the firm.
2. The appellant filed a second appeal before the Commission on the grounds that no reply has been furnished to her, till date, in response to the RTI application. Further, the FAA also did not dispose of the appeal. The appellant requested the Commission to direct the respondent to provide the information sought for.
3. Both the parties were not present despite notice.
4. The Commission, after perusing the records, notes that no reply in response to the RTI application was given to the appellant and since the respondent was not present in the hearing, the reason for the same could not be ascertained. The Commission, therefore, directs the Registry of this Bench to issue a Show Cause Notice to the CPIO, Hindustan Steelworks Construction Limited, Rourkela, Odisha for explaining as to why action under Section 20(1) Where the Central Information Commission or the State Information Commission, as the case may be, at the time of deciding any complaint or appeal is of the opinion that the Central Public Information Officer or the State Public Information Officer, as the case may be, has, without any reasonable cause, refused to receive an application for information or has not furnished information within the time specified under sub-section (1) of section 7 or malafidely denied the request for information or knowingly given incorrect, incomplete or misleading information or destroyed information which was the subject of the request or obstructed in any manner in furnishing the information, it shall impose a penalty of two hundred and fifty rupees each day till application is received or information is furnished, so however, the total amount of such penalty shall not exceed twenty-five thousand rupees: Provided that the Central Public Information Officer or the State Public Information Officer, as the case may be, shall be given a reasonable opportunity of being heard before any penalty is imposed on him: Provided further that the burden of proving that he acted reasonably and diligently shall be on the Central Public Information Officer or the State Public Information Officer, as the case may be. of the RTI Act should not be initiated against him.
5. The Commission further directs the respondent to provide the information sought by the appellant vide her RTI application within a period of four weeks from the date of receipt of a copy of this order under intimation to the Commission.
6. With the above observations, the appeal is disposed of.
7. Copy of the decision be provided free of cost to the parties.
Chief Information Commissioner
Citation: Ankita Sharma v. Hindustan Steelworks Construction Limited, Rourkela in Second Appeal No. CIC/HSCLT/A/2017/184362, Date 17.05.2019