CIC issues showcause notice to MCD PIO for denial of info

The CIC has issued a showcause notice to the Public Information Officer of Municipal Corporation of Delhi for "malafide" denial of information to an applicant.

Updated: Jul 05, 2010, 18:59 PM IST

New Delhi: The CIC has issued a showcause
notice to the Public Information Officer of Municipal
Corporation of Delhi for "malafide" denial of information to
an applicant.

The Central Information Commission also directed the PIO
to send a cheque of Rs 2,000 to the applicant as compensation
for expenditure borne by him in visiting his office.

While exercising his Right to Information, Inderjeet
Singh Gambhir has filed an application to MCD seeking
information on Tehbazari sites situated between Pusa road and
new Rohtak road of central Delhi.

Apparently unsatisfied over the details given to him by
the PIO, he filed an appeal to First Appellate Authority (FAA)
seeking permission to inspect certain official documents as
per provisions of the Act.

The FAA allowed his appeal and asked the PIO to
facilitate the inspection. However, the PIO did not adhere to
the order and forced the applicant to undertake several visits
to his office.

The PIO, Om Prakash, had claimed that no records of
Tehbazari were available with his office and he has filed a
complaint at Karol Bagh Police Station. Aggrieved over
lackadaisical response of the PIO, the applicant approached
the Commission.

"The appellant had demanded the copy of the said FIR from
Om Prakash and inspite of repeated attempts no copy of the FIR
was given to him. Thus, no tehbazari records have been shown
to the appellant nor any evidence that FIR has been filed for
all the lost or stolen files.

"There have been a number of cases of this nature where
no Tehbazari records are shown to appellants and subsequently
it is claimed that these are missing," the CIC observed.

"The Commission directs the PIO to either allow an
inspection of the relevant files to the appellant... In case
the files are not there, a copy of the FIR for the missing
files will be given to the appellant on that day. The PIO is
also directed to ensure that a cheque of Rs 2,000 is sent to
the appellant before July 30, 2010," Information Commissioner
Shailesh Gandhi said in his order.

While hearing the matter, the Commission noticed that the
PIO has violated provisions of the RTI Act by not replying
within 30 days.

"He (PIO) has further refused to obey the orders of his
superior officer, which raises a reasonable doubt that denial
of information may also be malafide. The First Appellate
Authority has clearly ordered the information to be given.

"It appears that the PIO`s actions attract the penal
provisions. A showcause notice is being issued to him, and he
is directed give his reasons to the Commission why penalty
should not be levied on him," said Gandhi.

PTI