Information regarding the course of action that Department of Expenditure takes on additional conditions imposed Promotion and Pay fixation orders - CIC: It is hypothetical in nature and non-specific; Not within the definition of information u/s 2 (f)
O R D E R
The issues under consideration arising out of the second appeal dated 18.09.2018 include non-receipt of the following information raised by the appellant through his RTI application dated 09.02.2018 and first appeal dated 26.03.2018 :-
Government of India, Ministry of Finance, Department of Expenditure had vide their Office Memorandum No.F-2-1l2015-E.til (A) dated 16 October, 2015 clarified that in cases where promotion took place in the pre-revised pay structure during the period between 01.01.2006 and the date of notification of CCS (RP) Rules, 2008 when the pre-revised and revised pay scales were different and the posts carried the character of feeder and promotional grades, pay fixation on such promotion shall be allowed under Rule 13 of the CCS (RP) Rules, 2008 subject to four conditions. In the light of the above, provide the following information.
(i) Copies of clarifications sought/queries raised by any Ministry/ Department/ Constitutional Body/ Statutory Authority etc. of Govt. of India regarding the implementation/ applicability of the above mentioned Office Memorandum.
(ii) Copies of the clarifications provided/reply given by the Department of Expenditure on the clarifications sought/queries raised etc. as mentioned in point (1) above. Also provide copies of the entire file notings on the clarifications provided/reply given as mentioned above.
(iii) Office of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India has imposed additional condition other than the four conditions mentioned in the Office Memorandum No. F-2-1/2015-E.III (A) dated 16 October 2015 for giving pay fixation benefit on such promotion under Rule 13 of the CCS (RP) Rules, 2008 as mentioned in the above mentioned Office Memorandum. Department of Expenditure being the nodal Department for issuing clarifications/ interpreting pay fixation orders. Please provide information regarding the course of action that Department of Expenditure takes on such additional conditions imposed on the orders issued by the Department, if it is brought to the notice of Department of Expenditure.
2. Succinctly facts of the case are that the Appellant filed an application dated 09.02.2018 under the Right to Information Act, 2005 (RTI Act) before the Central Public Information Officer (CPIO) Department of Expenditure, North Block, New Delhi, seeking aforesaid information. The CPIO replied on 14.03.2018. Dissatisfied with the response of the CPIO, the Appellant filed First Appeal dated 26.03.2018. The First Appellate Authority (FAA) disposed of the first appeal vide its order dated 23.05.2018. Aggrieved by this, the Appellant has filed a Second Appeal dated 18.09.2018 before this Commission which is under consideration.
3. The appellant filed the instant appeal dated 18.09.2018 inter alia on the grounds that reply given by the CPIO was not satisfactory. The appellant has requested the Commission to direct the CPIO to provide information immediately and take necessary action as per sub-section (1) of section 20 of the RTI Act.
4. The CPIO vide letter dated 14.03.2018 replied that their department followed single file system and unless the exact reference number and date of the OM/Order etc., was available, the information could not be traced out. The FAA vide his order dated 23.05.2018 agreed with the views taken by the CPIO.
5. The appellant remained absent and on behalf of the respondent, Shri Ashok Kumar, CPIO, Deptt. of Expenditure, New Delhi attended the hearing in person.
5.1. The respondent while defending their case inter alia submitted that they department follow single file system and unless the exact reference number and date of the OM/Order etc., was given, the information could not be traced out. They further submitted that information sought was not specific and ambiguous. Hence, they expressed their inability to provide the information to the appellant.
6. The Commission after adverting to the facts and circumstances of the case, hearing the respondent and perusal of records, observes that due reply has been given by the respondent. Moreover, the information sought by the appellant was hypothetical in nature and non-specific, hence, the same would not fall within the definition of information as defined under section 2 (f) of the RTI Act. Further, the appellant has neither filed any objection/reply nor appeared before the Commission to controvert the averments made by the respondent. Hence, the submissions made by the respondent are taken on record. The Commission further feels that no public purpose would be served in further prolonging the matter. Accordingly, the appeal is dismissed.
Copy of the decision be provided free of cost to the parties.
Citation: Ratnagiri S v. Department of Expenditure in Second Appeal No.CIC/DOEXP/A/2018/158880, Date of order: 08.10.2020