Request for hard copies of information under RTI Act in respect of those information which are already available in the public domain will to unnecessary diversion of resources & conflict with other public interest which includes optimal use of resources
O R D E R
1. The instant matter is listed today for further hearing. Earlier, the matter was heard by this Commission on 01-05-2020 and it was adjourned.
2. The appellant, Mr. Prabhat Kumar attended the hearing through audio conferencing. Mr. S. K. Tiwari, Executive Director participated in the hearing representing the respondent through audio conferencing. The written submissions are taken on record.
3. The appellant stated that the respondent should be directed to provide him a hard copy of the document available on their website (scales of pay relating to officers and employees of the company as given in Enclosure ‘V’) thereby confirming its authenticity.
4. Reiterating their reply dated 10-05-2018, the respondent submitted as follows:-
1&2:- It may be informed that the scales of pay relating to officers and employees of the company on EPI’s website are authenticated only.”
5. Further, the respondent submitted that the CPIO is not obliged to provide hard copy of the document to the RTI applicant which is already available on their website in the public domain.
6. This Commission observes that the respondent has already indicated in their reply dated 10-05-2018 that the details available in the public domain on their official website are authentic. Hence, any clarification in this regard in respect of maintaining and seeking of a hard copy of the information from the respondent is unwarranted. This legal position has also been upheld by the Hon’ble Delhi High Court vide its order dated 21-11-2017 in W.P.(C) 3530/2011 titled as The Registrar, Supreme Court Of India v. R S Misra, wherein, it was observed as under:-
“59. In the present case, maintaining two parallel machinery: one under SCR and the other under the RTI Act, would clearly lead to duplication of work and unnecessary expenditure, in turn leading to clear wastage of human resources as well as public funds. Also, request for hard copies of information (as contemplated under Section 7 of the RTI Act) in respect of those information which are already available and accessible in the public domain, under the mechanism contemplated under the SCR, will further lead to unnecessary diversion of resources and conflict with other public interest which includes optimal use of limited fiscal resources.”
7. With the above observations, the appeal is disposed of.
8. Copy of the decision be provided free of cost to the parties.
Neeraj Kumar Gupta
Citation: Prabhat Kumar v. Engineering Projects (India) Limited in Second Appeal No. CIC/EPILT/A/2018/626076, Date: 03-07-2020