Why did PNB return a cheque unpaid with a reason “Insufficient funds”? - CIC: The PNB have shown callous and unprofessional attitude both while representing during the hearing as well as dealing the RTI application; Relocation of office not a pretext
O R D E R
1. The issues under consideration arising out of the second appeal dated 15.05.2018 include non-receipt of the following information raised by the appellant through his RTI application dated 23.02.2018 and first appeal dated 06.04.2018:
(i) why did PNB return this cheque unpaid with a reason INSUFFICIENT FUNDS.
(ii) provide me with the relevant information at the earliest.
2. Succinctly facts of the case are that the appellant filed an application dated 23.02.2018 under the Right to Information Act, 2005 (RTI Act) before the Central Public Information Officer (CPIO), Punjab National Bank, Central Delhi, seeking aforesaid information. The CPIO transferred the RTI application to Pitam Pura Delhi in respect of point no. 1 of the RTI application on 27.02.2018. Dissatisfied with the response of the CPIO, the appellant filed first appeal dated 05.03.2018. The First Appellate Authority transferred the first appeal to the concerned FAA on 07.04.2018. Aggrieved by this, the appellant has filed a second appeal dated 15.05.2018 before this Commission which is under consideration.
3. The appellant filed the instant appeal dated 15.05.2018 inter alia on the grounds that the respondent had not taken any action on his RTI application as well as his first appeal.
4. The CPIO transferred the RTI application to Pitam Pura Delhi on 27.02.2018. The FAA did not pass any order.
5. The appellant and on behalf of the respondent Shri Anil Thakur, Chief Manager, attended the hearing through audio conference.
5.1. The appellant submitted that the respondent has not provided any response to the RTI application till then.
5.2. The respondent submitted that they could not trace the relevant files relating to this appeal required for hearing due to relocation of their office. The respondent further submitted that they would make efforts to organise the paperwork and reply to the appellant at the earliest.
6. The Commission after adverting to the facts and circumstances of the case, hearing both the parties and perusal of records, feels that the respondent have shown callous and unprofessional attitude both while representing during the hearing as well as dealing the RTI application. The respondent may not evade their responsibility as a public authority on the pretext of relocation of their office in addition to the lapse of over two years. In view of this, the Registry of this Bench is directed to issue show cause notice to Shri Anil Thakur, Chief Manager and CPIO, as well as to the then CPIO (as on 23.02.2018) to show cause as to why penalty under provisions of section 20 (1) of RTI Act may not be imposed upon each of them for not responding to the RTI application within the prescribed time limit. The respondent is directed that point-wise reply/information be made available to the appellant within three weeks. Shri Anil Thakur is given the responsibility to serve a copy of this order upon the then CPIO and secure his written explanation as well as his attendance on the next date of hearing. All written submissions must reach this Commission through post or be uploaded on the Commission’s web portal within 21 days.
Copy of the decision be provided free of cost to the parties.
NB ; Kindly see second appeal appellant prayed only for one point
Citation: Lopamudra Chatterjee v. Punjab National Bank in Second Appeal No. CIC/PNBNK/A/2018/130662, Date of order: 12.05.2020