PIO suggested to visit the website of Lok Sabha/Rajya Sabha for information in respect of prisoners of war during Indo-Pak War of 1971 - CIC: reply of PIO upheld; the appellant cannot expect the respondent to cull out information & provide it to him
Shri Ajit Kumar Singh, the appellant, has filed the present appeal dated 13.05.2013 before the Commission against the respondent Lok Sabha Secretariat, New Delhi for not providing requested information in response to his RTI application dated 20.12.2012. The appellant was absent whereas the respondent were represented by Shri Kaushal Sarkar, CAPIO, Shri Dharmender, SLA, Ms. K. Sona, Under Secretary.
2. The appellant through his RTI application dated 20.12.2012 addressed to the CPIO, PMO, sought information in respect of prisoners of war during Indo- Pak War of 1971 and also sought copies of correspondence exchanged at Government level and international level, along with details of discussions held in Parliament in this regard. The CPIO, PMO vide dated 19.2.2013 transferred the RTI application to the CPIOs, Lok Sabha/Rajya Sabha Secretariat. The CPIO, Lok Sabha Secretariat vide letter No. I (231)/IC/13 dated 07.03.2013 replied to the appellant as follows: “So far as information regarding number of times discussion taken place on the issue of Indian soldiers of 1971 war in the Parliament (Lok Sabha/Rajya Sabha), it is stated that text of Rajya Sabha debates and Lok Sabha debates are available on the website of Lok Sabha/Rajya Sabha. For consultation of printed copy of Lok Sabha debates, the appellant being Bhagalpur based may visit Bihar Legislative Assembly Secretariat Library, Patna or Radhika Sinha Institute and Sachidanand Sinha Library, Sinha Library Road, Patna or Gandhi Sangrahalya, Patna, as copy of Lok Sabha debates may also be available there. Alternatively, for consultation of printed (Hindi/English) copy of the Lok Sabha debates/indices, the applicant may visit himself or depute someone to the Parliament Library by contacting Smt. Meena Malla, Director (PLP) and obtain photocopy of the culled out information @ Re. 1/- per page or compile or take down the same as the Library is open for the bona fide researchers. He will be provided all necessary assistance. Similarly, the CPIO, Rajya Sabha Secretariat vide letter No. RS/2(44)/2013-RTI dated 22.1.2013 replied to the appellant.
3. Aggrieved with the response of the CPIO, the appellant preferred first appeal on 30.3.2013 before the FAA, Lok Sabha Secretariat. The FAA vide order No. I(231)/AA/IC/13 dated 7.5.2013 while upholding the reply of the CPIO held that the detailed information regarding debate taken place on a particular issue in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha are available on their respective website and the appellant has been provided the related link in this regard. In addition to this, the appellant has been suggested various prominent Libraries where the information could be available. Regarding Indo-Pak war, Pakistan and Prisoners of War on which discussions has taken place from time to time. The appellant may depute someone to the Parliament Library and cull out the specific information required by him and get the same photocopies on payment basis.
4. The Commission is of the view that requisite information has been provided to the appellant by the CPIO vide his letter dated 7.3.2013 and the FAA has also passed an exhaustive order dated 7.5.2013 on appellant’s first appeal. The appellant cannot expect the respondent to cull out information and provide it to him. This would amount to creation of information. The Commission therefore finds no reasons to interfere in the replies of the respondent.
Chief Information Commissioner
Citation: Shri Ajit Kumar Singh v. Lok Sabha Secretariat in Case No. CIC/SM/A/2013/000856/SS