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Transfer of a RTI Application - Sec. 5(4) + 5(5) OR Sec. 6(3)

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Sunil Ahya

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There are two specific provisions in the RTI Act for dealing with a situation where the information sought is not available with the Public Information Officer (PIO) with whom the RTI application has been filed, but,

Situation A - The Information sought is available within the Same Public Authority, or,

Situation B - The Information sought is available with another Public Authority.

 

Both the above situations A and B have been discussed below:

Situation A - Where the Information sought is available within the Same Public Authority

(i.e.Information not available with the Public Information Officer with whom the application has been filed with, but is available with another Public Information Officer of the same Public Authority):

 
Section 5(4) read along with section 5(5) has been laid down for such situations:
 
Section 5(4A Public Information Officer may seek another Public Information Officer's assistance if the information sought is available with another Public Information Officer of the same Public Authority.
 
Section 5(5): For the purpose of contravention of any of the provisions of the Act, the Officer whose assistance has been sought shall be treated as the Public Information Officer.
 
In this regard, the Hon'ble Delhi High Court in The CPIO, Supreme Court of India versus Subhash Chandra Agarwal & Anr. has decided as follows:
 
"It is the duty of the CPIO to obtain the information that is held by or available with the public authority. Each of the sections or department of a public
Authority cannot be treated as a separate or distinct public authority. If any information is available with one section or the department, it shall be deemed to be available with the Public Authority as one single entity CPIO cannot take a view contrary to this"
 
Please find the above mentioned Delhi High Court Decision on the following link:
 
 
Situation B - Where the Information sought is available with Another Public Authority
 
(i.e.Information not available with the PIO with whom the application has been filed with, but is available with another PIO of another
Public Authority):
 
Section 6(3) has been laid down for such situations.
 
Where the information in an application (complete or a part of the application) is available with another Public Authority, then the complete application or such part of the application shall be transferred under sec. 6(3) to that other Public Authority under intimation to the applicant.
 
(For more details, you may please read the provisions in the Bare Act)
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