CPIO Not Obliged To Justify Action to Citizen Under RTI Act: Chief Information Commission

Facts

The Appellant had filed an RTI application to the CPIO, National Consumer Dispute Resolution Commission in New Delhi. The Appellant sought information about whether the authority letter for authorization to someone is valid, the rule under which the district consumer forum may be bound by the decisions of the state forum, national forum, and the Supreme Court.

The CPIO hadn’t provided the information sought by the Appellant. So, the Appellant filed for a First Appeal on 4th July 2019. The FAA’s response was not on record. So, the Appellant filed for a Second Appeal under Section 19 (3) of the RTI Act as the information sought by him hadn’t been provided to him. The Appellant requested the Commission to provide the information sought by him.

Arguments Advanced

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Both the Appellant and the Respondent had attended the hearing through audio-call. The Appellant stated that he didn’t receive any of the information he had sought in the RTI Application. The Respondent responded stating that they submitted a letter on 3rd July 2019 which had a point-wise response to the information sought by the Appellant.

Court Observations

The Commission found the letter provided by the Respondent to be satisfactory. The Commission referred to Section 2(f) of the RTI Act to understand the meaning of information. The Commission found out that the Appellant sought information about seeking explanation which is not a part of the definition of information provided in Section 2(f) of the RTI Act. The Commission referred to the Hon’ble Supreme Court decision in 2011 (8) SCC 497 CBSE and Anr. Vs. Aditya Bandopadhyay and Ors in which it was stated that an opinion or advice is not information and in such a case the public authority can provide the said advice only if it has the necessary information.

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The Commission also referred to the Khanapuram Gandaiah Vs. Administrative Officer and Ors and High Court of Bombay in Celsa Pinto, Ex-Officio Joint Secretary (School Education) vs The Goa State Information Commission on 3 April 2008 to understand whether the Commission needs to provide additional information for the same.

Decision

The Commission has concluded that the information sought by the Appellant is about seeking an explanation which is not a part of the definition of information under Section 2 (f) of the RTI Act. The response made by the CPIO was enough. Hence, the CPIO needn’t provide any extra information to the Appellant. This appeal is dismissed.

Click here to read the order.


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