The Central Information Commission Issued a Strict Warning to the CPIO for Denying the Information Without Proper Justification.

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Facts

The appellant filed an RTI application on the date 02.09.2020. The CPIO replied on the date 30.09.2020. The appellant wanted to gain some information published in the newspaper Danik 1 next, Danik Jagran and Danik Jawani. The second appeal was filed because the appellant didn’t receive any information under Section 8 of the RTI Act by the CPIO. 

Arguments 

The Respondent was present during the hearing via a phone call but the appellant was not present and no information was available about him as he didn’t mention any details in the file. The notice of the hearing was duly sent to the appellant through Speed Post on the date 11.06.2021 and the court decided to judge the case based on the relevant information available at present. The CPIO was unable to explain why she didn’t mention a specific sub-clause of section 8 in her reply. Later, she agreed on rechecking and providing an appropriate reply surrounded by classified information and if for any other reason the details are not disclosable then she should give proper dispensation with proper explanation. 

Court’s Observation

The commission observed that the desired information was under exclusion of Section 8 of the RTI Act and there was no larger public interest. Furthermore, the court observed the FAA order of the date 24.11.2020 disposed of the first appeal and validated the CPIO’S reply. The commission observed that the CPIO has not supplicated any specific clause while rejecting the information rather a general ground of RTI was affirmed. Henceforth, this wasn’t found appropriate by the commission. The commission also asked the CPIO how the information was excluded but the CPIO was not able to explain that. 

Court’s decision 

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The commission furnished a strict warning to the CPIO for not providing information without suitable justification. The CPIO was directed to reanalyse the RTI application and to provide an appropriate point-to-point reply as per the provisions of the RTI Act. The court further pronounced that the CPIO should provide a proper reply whenever the information was exempted and wherever available for replying the same information should be given to the appellant within the time frame of 10 days.


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