Information regarding a recruitment rally conducted by the Punjab Regimental Centre, Ramgarh Cantt. was sought from the Cantonment Board - CIC: Where the applicant is aware of the ‘concerned’ public authority, RTI Application ought to be filed accordingly
The Appellant sought information through 7 points regarding a recruitment rally conducted by the Punjab Regimental Centre, Ramgarh Cantt. Jharkhand on 29.07.2018.
Grounds for the Second Appeal:
Appellant is aggrieved with the fact that the Respondent office did not transfer the RTI Application to the concerned public authority and that CPIO replied on the RTI Application only after expiry of the 30 day time period and two days after First Appeal was filed, and that too for returning the RTI Application.
Relevant Facts emerging during Hearing:
The following were present:-
Appellant: Not present.
Respondent: Sriniwas Rao, PA to CEO & CPIO, Cantonment Board, Ramgarh present through VC.
At the outset, Commission observes from the perusal of facts on record that the grounds of instant Appeal is devoid of any merit as by his own admission Appellant is aware that the information sought pertained to Punjab Regimental Centre, yet he filed the RTI Application with a completely unrelated public authority i.e the Respondent office, Cantonment Board, Ramgarh.
It may be noted that Section 6(1)(a) of RTI Act provides as under:
“6. Request for obtaining information.— (1) A person, who desires to obtain any information under this Act, shall make a request in writing or through electronic means in English or Hindi in the official language of the area in which the application is being made, accompanying such fee as may be prescribed, to—
- the Central Public Information Officer or State Public Information Officer, as the case may be, of the concerned public authority;”
Clearly, the import of the aforesaid provision is that where the applicants are aware of the ‘concerned’ public authority, the RTI Application ought to be filed accordingly. In the instant case, Appellant is beyond any reasonable doubt aware that the information sought pertained to Punjab Regimental Centre, yet he chose to file the RTI Application with Cantonment Board, Ramgarh. While in Second Appeal, he appears to be insistent upon the notion that the Respondent office should act as a post office and transfer his RTI Application to concerned public authority under Section 6(3) of RTI Act. Even so, the public authorities may transfer the RTI Application in such instances in keeping with the spirit of RTI Act but a public authority cannot be compelled to act as a post office under the garb of Section 6(3) of RTI Act as it will only add to the burden of public authorities.
In view of the foregoing, Commission finds no scope of intervention in the CPIO reply and condones the delay in replying on the RTI Application. With the above observations, the appeal is disposed of.
Divya Prakash Sinha
Citation: Rahul Kumar v. Cantonment Board in File No: CIC/IARMY/A/2018/163631, Date of Decision: 22/07/2020