Central Information Commission Orders to Strictly Avoid Mysterious Replies, Says Any Denial in RTI Matters Should Be Given Proper Hindrance

Facts 

By the communication dated 3.6.2021 which was received by the PIO east district revealed that the RTI application which was transferred to the PIO South-east District was the actual attendant of the information. Providing a brief background of the matter, the appellant stated that he had filed a complaint on 03.03.2019 when he came to know that someone fraudulently filed an RTI impersonating on his behalf. The FIR was filed after much persuasion on 30.03.2019. He contended that this lapse of 27 days is in contravention of the Supreme Court decision dated 12.11.2013 and 05.03.2014 in the case of Lalita Kumari vs. Govt. Of UP & Ors. which laid down specific guidelines for registration of FIR in cases of cognizable offences. 

Arguments

The Appellant started their arguments by pointing out the submissions sent by the respondent to the Commission where he stated that the necessary information should have been shared with him. Also, the appellant said that the respondent should be presented by the PIO instead of the ACP who’s the junior of the PIO. The appellant went on where he told the commission that someone impersonating him filed the RTI application. Agitated with the response received from the CPIO, the appellant filed a First Appeal dated 24.04.2019 on the ground that the PIO did not provide his contact details nor particulars of the FAA. He was aggrieved on being provided with the DD Entry instead of the General Diary/Station Diary and claimed that irrelevant and misleading information was furnished by the PIO. The FAA/Dy. Commissioner of Police, SED vide order dated 22.05.2019 upheld the reply of the CPIO noting that additional queries have been raised by the appellant in his First Appeal. However, the contact details of the PIO were duly provided by the FAA. Dissatisfied by this, the appellant approached the commission with the second appeal. 

Court’s Observation 

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The commission observed that PIO-Sh. Kumar Gyanesh was responsible for all of the above lapses in the replies which obstructed the flow of information on untenable grounds. The Commission noted that the reply against RTI application dated 02.04.2019 in the second appeal no. CIC/DEPOL/A/2019/642156 is incorrect as it does not answer the queries raised by the appellant. The PIO’s reply dated 01.05.2019 is thus set aside. It is directed that a comprehensively revised reply should be furnished by the current PIO/Addl. DCP/South-East District – Sh. Surendra Chaudhary concerning the three queries, within four weeks of receipt of this order. 

Court’s Decision

The Commission decided to dispose of the case by stating and remarking some of the unnecessary transfer of the RTI applications to unrelated authorities. The commission was also directed to understand the responsiveness in handling all the future RTI matters. The commission also ordered to strictly avoid mysterious replies. The replies should be justified and any denial in the matters of the RTI should be given proper hindrance. 

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Click here to view the Judgement.


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