Status of CCTNS, Mission Mode Project in Chhattisgarh alongwith supporting documents available with MHA - Respondent: Copies of the contracts, bills, project reports etc. ought to be available with state government - CIC: Re-examine the RTI application
Information sought and background of the case:
The Appellant filed an RTI application dated 09.09.2016seeking status of CCTNS, Mission Mode Project in Chhattisgarh State alongwith supporting documents available with Ministry of Home Affairs.
1. State Nodal Officer details.
2. State Designated Agency Details
3. System Integrator details with copy of award, progress reports, copy of bill submitted by SI alongwith payment made till date.
4. SPMU State Project Management Unit.
5. Copy of MOU/Contract/Agreement between MHA and State, SDA and SI, SDA and SPMU, SDA and BSNL and other if any.
6. Details of fund released, utilization details/certificates received from Chhattisgarh.
Having not received any information from the PIO, the Appellant filed a First Appeal dated 11.10.2016 which was not adjudicated by the First Appellate Authority. Meanwhile, the PIO, Dy. Secretary(CCTNS) vide letter dated18.01.2017 furnished the information as under:-
1. Chhattisgarh State Nodal Officer is as below Shri Rajinder Kumar Vij, IPS, Addl. Director General of Police
2. Chattisgarh State designated agency is office of DGP, Chhattisgarh.
3. System integrator of Chhattisgarh state is CMC Ltd.. We don’t have details of bill payment and copy of contract.
4. SPMU of Chhattisgarh State is TCIL.
5. Till date Rs. 45.3927 Crore is release to Chhattisgarh State and Utilization State and Utilization certificate of Rs. 22.9270 Crore is received by MHA till date.
Feeling aggrieved and dissatisfied, the Appellant approached the Commission with the instant Second Appeal.
Facts emerging in Course of Hearing:
A written submission has been received from the Director (Women Safety) vide letter dated 16.10.2020 wherein while reiterating the response of the CPIO, it was stated that the First Appeal was decided vide order dated 14.03.2017 and the reply of the CPIO was upheld.
In order to ensure social distancing and prevent the spread of the pandemic, COVID-19, audio hearings were scheduled after giving prior notice to both the parties.
The Appellant participated in the hearing on being contacted on his telephone. He stated that only partial information was received by him from the Respondent Public Authority and the application was transferred for the remaining points to the Chattisgarh Government which has not replied to him, till date. However, he referred to points 5 and 6 of the RTI application and stated that the information on the said points should be held and available with the Respondent Public Authority.
The Respondent is represented by Shri Anil Subramaniam Director, Women Safety and Shri Srinivas Pradhan, DS- Retd and Consultant through audio conference. Shri Subramaniam stated that information as per the available record was provided to the Appellant. Since the project mentioned in the RTI application was implemented by the State Government, copies of the contracts, bills, project reports etc. ought to be available with the concerned State Government. However, he stated that they were willing to provide a revised response with the latest details of the utilisation certificate at this stage.
Keeping in view the facts of the case and the submission made by both the parties, the Commission directs Shri Anil Subramaniam Director, Women Safety to re-examine the RTI application and provide an updated response to the Appellant in accordance with the provisions of the RTI Act, 2005. The aforementioned direction should be complied with by the Respondent by 30.11.2020 under intimation to the Commission.
With the aforementioned direction, the instant Second Appeal stands disposed off accordingly.
Y. K. Sinha
Citation: Shri Jaigopal Soni v. Ministry of Home Affairs in Second Appeal No. CIC/DHOME/A/2018/636867, Date of Decision: 29.10.2020