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Sunday, March 7, 2010

CIC Fines AMU PIO For Not Providing Information


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Decision No.CIC/SG/A/2009/003178/6603Penalty

Appeal No. CIC/SG/A/2009/003178


Appellant : Dr.Anisul Ain Usmani

Depatment of Physics

Aligarh muslim University


Respondent : Mr. Moinuddin

Public Information Officer & Consultant

Aligarh Muslim University

Registrar office, Aligarh-202002

RTI application filed on : 19/10/2009

PIO replied : 07/11/2009

First Appeal filed on : 12/11/2009

First Appellate Authority order : 10/12/2009

Second Appeal Received on : 17/12/2009

Notice of Hearing Sent on : 01/01/2010

Hearing Held on : 29/01/2010

Information sought:

The Appellant sought the certified copies of the application forms submitted by the candidates appointed as Professors after April 20, 2009. A list of 44 candidates was provided with it. The Appellant also requested to provide application forms of any other candidates appointed professors till date.

PIO’s Reply:

The information sought by the Appellant is not available. If this information is created all files of candidates appointed after 20/04/2009 will be required to be consulted for which disproportionate diversion of resources is involved and under Sec.7(9), this information can not be provided. Later the PIO on 01/12/2009 asked the Appellant to submit the amount of Rs.138/- for 69 photo copies of the information sought.

Grounds for First Appeal:

Incorrect and incomplete information provided by the PIO as every candidate fills a form and there is nothing to create. In continuation to his appeal the Appellant submitted the list of 14 remaining Professors appointed after 20/04/2009

Order of the First Appellate Authority:

As the Appellant had sought the information in his application dated 14/11/2009 only in regard of 14 Professors instead of 44 Professors as sought earlier and that information has been provided to him by the PIO. The offer of inspection still exists for the Appellant.

Grounds for Second Appeal:

Incomplete information provided as the PIO completely ignored the list of 44 candidates in his original application.

Relevant Facts that emerged during the Hearing on 29 January 2010:

“The following were present:

Appellant: Absent;

Respondent: Mr. Moinuddin, Public Information Officer & Consultant;

The Appellant had sought photocopies of application forms of 44 candidates who have been appointed as professors after 24/04/2009. The PIO has refused to give the information and invokes Section 7(9) asking the appellant to do an inspection of the records. The query is very simple and clear and sought only specific photocopies of 44 people of a record which was less than one year old. The PIO’s invoking Section 7(9) is definitely wrong since it cannot be claimed that giving photocopies of the application of the 44 people would lead to a diversion of resources of the public authority disproportionately. This was information which could very easily have been provided and it was the PIO’s attitude of not providing the information which has resulted in two officers traveling to the Commission and wasting their time and the Commission’s time.

Before parting with this matter the Commission must point out that it is a wrong practice of the Public Authority to appoint consultants as PIOs and the Commission advises the Vice- Chancellor to appoint its employees as Public Information Officers.”

Commission’s Decision dated 29 January 2010:

“The appeal is allowed.

The PIO is directed to provide the complete information to the Appellant before 10

February 2010.”

Facts leading to Showcause:

The issue before the Commission was of not supplying the complete, required information by the PIO within 30 days as required by the law. From the facts before the Commission it appeared that the PIO was guilty of not furnishing information within the time specified under sub-section (1) of Section 7 by not replying within 30 days, as per the requirement of the RTI Act. Hence a showcause notice was issued to him, and he was directed give his reasons to the Commission to show cause why penalty should not be levied on him on 03 March 2010 at 11.30am.

Relevant Facts emerging during the Showcause Hearing on 03 March 2010:

The following were present:

Respondent : Mr. Moinuddin, Public Information Officer & Consultant; Mr Qadim Mian, Assistant Clerk, Record Section;

The PIO Mr. Moinuddin has given written submission in response to the Showcause notice to the Commission. He states that he received the RTI Application on 24/10/2009 asking for certified copies of application forms for 44 Professors. He states that he directed Mr. Qadim Mian, Assistant in the Records Section on 27/10/2009 to get photocopies of the Application forms and an instruction to the Assistant Mr. Qadim Mian to send a letter to the Appellant to deposit the additional fees for the photocopies. He then states that Mr. Qadim Mian was not able to get the relevant files and hence he decided to send a letter on 07/11/2009 asking the Appellant to inspect the relevant records. It is evident from the admission of the PIO Mr. Moinuddin that when the information was not available he resorted to the devise of asking the appellant to inspect the files which he is not been able to locate, this is clearly dishonest. He then states that consequent to the Commission’s order of 29/01/2010 he has obtained the information and sent it to the Appellant on 08/02/2010. He has pleaded for sympathetic consideration of his case and requested the Commission not to levy penalty on him.

The PIO has offered no reasonable cause for not providing information with a period of 30 days. He has infact admitted that since he could not get the relevant information he used the device of Section 7(9) to ask the appellant to inspect the records which he was not able to locate. This is clearly dishonest. The RTI Application has been filed on 19/10/2009 hence the information should have been provided to the Appellant before 19/11/2009. Instead the information has been provided to the Appellant on 08/02/2010 i.e. after a delay of 78 days. Since the delay in providing the information to the Appellant has been 78 days the Commission decides to penalize Mr. Moinuddin, PIO under Section 20(1)of the RTI Act at the rate of Rs.250/- per day of delay i.e. Rs.250/- X 78 days = Rs.19500/-


As per the provisions of Section 20 (1) RTI Act 2005, the Commission finds this a fit case for levying penalty on Mr. Moinuddin, Public Information Officer & Consultant. Since the delay in providing the correct information has been of 78 days, the Commission is passing an order penalizing Mr. Moinuddin for Rs. 19,500/-.

The Vice-Chancellor, Aligarh Muslim University is directed to recover the amount of Rs.19,500/- from the salary of Mr. Moinuddin and remit the same by a demand draft or a Banker’s Cheque in the name of the Pay & Accounts Officer, CAT, payable at New Delhi and send the same to Shri Pankaj K.P. Shreyaskar, Joint Registrar and Deputy Secretary of the Central Information Commission, 2nd Floor, August Kranti Bhawan, New Delhi – 110066. The amount may be deducted at the rate of Rs.4875/ per month every month from the salary of Mr. Moinuddin and remitted by the 10th of every month starting from April 2010. The total amount of

Rs.19,500/- will be remitted by 10th of July, 2010.

This decision is announced in open chamber.

Notice of this decision be given free of cost to the parties.

Any information in compliance with this Order will be provided free of cost as per Section 7(6) of RTI Act.

Shailesh Gandhi

Information Commissioner

03 March 2010

(In any correspondence on this decision, mention the complete decision number.) (BK)

1- Vice-Chancellor

Aligarh Muslim University

Aligarh-202002- Uttar Pradesh

2. Shri Pankaj K.P. Shreyaskar,

Joint Registrar and Deputy Secretary

Central Information Commission,

2nd Floor, August Kranti Bhawan,

New Delhi – 110067

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