The Central Information Commission Directs the CPIO To Embellish a Reply to the Appellant and Be Vigilant With the Provisions of RTI Act

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Facts

The appellant filed an RTI application on the date 14.03.2019 ,the CPIO replied on 27.03.2019 where they stated that according to section 11 of the RTI Act,2005 the appellant is neither a sender nor an addressee so it is a third party information and cannot be provided to the appellant. Discontented with the reply received from the PIO the appellant filed the first appeal.The order of the FAA on the date 15.05.2019 directed the CPIO to instantly issue the notice to sender for achieving consent for providing information to the appellant. After this the appellant came up with the second appeal to the commission and pleaded for correct and complete information.

Arguments before the Court

The appellant and the respondent both are present during the course of the hearing . The appellant repeated all the contents of the RTI application and conveyed the information of how his appeal was denied by the CPIO on waggish ground and by mentioning section 11 of the RTI Act,2005 being the third party information. The appellant also stated about the violation of natural justice where he wasn’t given a chance of even hearing  by the First Appellate Authority . Moreover the appellant came up with extensive charges of corruption and told the court that he required information only because he wanted to excavate them .In return he was informed that a decision of a court case is pending and to justify his claims he needed to bring the delivery sheet.

Court’s Observation

The tribunal drew respondent’s attention towards section 11 of the RTI Act 2005. The court said that if the Central public information officer or a state public information officer plans to disclose information to the third party should be between the time of five days, or can call the third party for written or oral submission. The commission also stated that section 11 of the RTI Act,2005 is not an excluded clause where if the CPIO wishes to disclose then they can only if the confidentiality between the CPIO and the third party remains intact. The commission expressed their severe displeasure as in this case as the CPIO denied information wrongfully and gave misleading information to the appellant. Carelessness and casualty while dealing with the provisions of the RTI Act,2005 was also observed by the commission , The commission reminded the CPIO that if they don’t have the information about the sender they how they quoted appellant as third party.

Court’s Decision

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By giving ample consideration to both arguments and facts the court made both parties conscious about the sections of RTI Act,2005 . Furthermore the court asked the First Appellate Authority and the CPIO to submit their order of the date 13./15.05.2019 by following all the procedure laid down in the RTI Act,2005 and furnish an appropriate reply to the appellant within the time limit of 45days.


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