New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Monday stayed a Central Information Commission (CIC) order setting up an inquiry against some senior officers of the transparency panel for their alleged failure to reply to an RTI query filed in December 2010.
Asking Information Commissioner Shailesh Gandhi to repond by November 1, Justice Vipin Sanghi stayed his order setting up an inquiry against Anita Gupta, First Appellate Authority, M C Sharma, retired PIO, S Padmanabha, CPIO and Akash Deep Chakravarti, Deemed PIO and JS(Law) on an application filed by Naveen Kumar Peer under the Right To Information (RTI) Act alleging that the officials have failed to give "satisfactory" reply to his plea.
Justice Sanghi passed the order on the plea of Chakravarti, an IAS officer and presently posted as Deemed PIO and JS(Law) with CIC, through counsel Rajiv Bansal challenging Gandhi`s April 19 interim order for the inquiry.
Acting on a RTI plea of Peer alleging that the reply sent by the department was without signature, Gandhi had examined the records and ordered for setting up an inquiry against the CIC officials under section 18 of RTI Act and also summoned them to appear before him.
"A reply from the Legal Cell without any any date and signature or name of person providing the informations states that the appellant (Peer) filed many RTI applications after sending letters which were incoherent....
"The total facts revealed before the commission do not appear to be compatible. The commission is therefore setting up an inquiry under section 18 of RTI Act to uncover the true facts," Gandhi said in the interim order.
As per Chakravarti`s petition, "The respondent 1(Gandhi)
has in a malafide manner, grossly misused its powers vested in him under the RTI Act and has clearly acted in a manner denying natural justice to petitioner (Chakravarti)...."
He contended that the order was passed without even issuing show-cause notice to him.
Chakravarti claimed that Peer had filed more than 5000 applications under RTI before CIC and said in December 2010 he had written a letter to the commission under the title "all held decisions due to civil writ petitioner number 12210/09 and 13550/2009 against CIC and others with High Court, New Delhi" which was "without clearly describing either the subject matter or the issue concerning him."
According to the petitioner, Peer had also sought an appointment with the concerned CIC officer to offer his suggestions and service which was in the form of letter but not an application. However, the reply was sent to him in February but being aggrieved with the reply, Peer had filed a plea before First Appellate Authority.
Again in April, 2011, another reply was sent to him but Peer filed a second appeal before the information commissioner in May last year.