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Saturday, April 24, 2010


M K Gupta
Now, it will not be easy any more for a government office to take plea that the records/ files are not available. In a decision in the case of M K Gupta and All India Radio, New Delhi, the Hon’ble Information Commissioner, Mrs. Annapurna Dixit has invoked the provisions of the section 18 (2)) of the RTI Act and has passed. The extract from the operative part of the decision is as under:

6. “The Commission after hearing the submissions of both sides, directs the PIO, with the power vested on it under Section 18(2) of the RTI Act to ensure into the matter of the missing file of the Appellant, fix the responsibility and take appropriate disciplinary action against the official responsible for the losing the file. A copy of the enquiry report may be provided to the Appellant under intimation to the Commission. In the event the file remains untraceable, an affidavit to be provided to the Commission with a copy to the Appellant affirming the loss of the file and giving reasons for its non-availability. In the event (sic. event) the file is located, complete information to be provided to the Appellant, free of cost.

7. “The entire exercise should be completed by 10.5.10 and the Appellant to submit a compliance report to the Commission by 15.5.10.”

Earlier, Central Information Commissioner Prof. M M Ansari in his decision in the case of Shri Raj Mangal Prasad v/s Deptt. of Women & Child Welfare has awarded a compensation of Rupees ten thousand to the appellant failing which a penal interest of 10% would be applicable. IC in his decision remarked

“The appellant is surely deprived of the opportunity to access the information contained in the file to expose the mal-practices in the purchase scam. ……. appellant’s right to seek information has not been duly honoured in the letter and spirit of the Act, for which he needs to be compensated under Section 19(8)(b) of the Act for all kind of detriment suffered by him.”

Recently, in the case of Sanjay Kumar of Kabir Basti, North Delhi against the Municipal Corporation of Delhi, Central Information Commissioner Shailesh Gandhi has in his order wrote:

“If the file is not located, he (PIO) will file a police complaint about theft giving the names of officers who last handled it and send a copy of it to the appellant and CIC before April, 20”. Now, citizens may hope that such decisions will bring accountability to an extent in the working of the bureaucracy.
In a similar case CIC asked Registrar of RCS office file an FIR with
parliament street police, ND and give compliance report by Registrar
and to reconstitute file.
You may want to know whose file, it was related to alleged membership
violation of former CBI officers daughter in a society ,dwarka,nd.

There are many such file missing cases and am sure now babus will
littile carefull.

thanks once again


1 comment:

Vijay Trimbak Gokhale said...

It is indeed good but we must also remember the days when ICs were giving kidglove treatment to the PIOs. They were shielding them and not penalsing them. It was a cry of activists and public in general that ICs have now started invokoing their powers and penalising PIOs in onee way or the other.