On 14.03.2018 a complaint was filed under RTI Act,2005 with CIC under section 20(1), on the grounds that the CPIO did not provide the information despite the orders of FAA.
During the hearing the respondent CPIO of PMO office submitted that information had been provided to complainant vide letter dated 01.03.2018 through speed post.
Whereas, the information wasn't received by me and after having hearing submission of both the parties and persuing the records the commission directs the respondent to resend the letter dated 01.03.2018 alongwith the proof of its dispatch including tracking number to the complainant within two weeks. Furthermore my complaint have been disposed of.
The CPIO of PMO has coplience the orders of CIC and now I received the information alongwith proof of dispatch on 05.07.2019.
Since the copy of reply furnished by CPIO of PMO is unprincipled and immature, & very much fishy. Therefore, expert advice is needed on the following issues
1. Can I still file my appeal against the reply of CPIO of PMO in the event of disposed of my complaint in CIC orders.
For your convenience I am enclosing the CIC orders.
.CIC Order on PMO CPIO
Central Information Commission
Dated, the 20th September, 2006
Name of the Appellant : Sh. N. Anbarasan, APPLESOFT, #39,1st, Cross, 1st Main, Shivnagar, W.C. Road,Bangalore â€“ 560 010.
Name of the Public Authority: Indian Overseas Bank, Central Office, Customer Service Department, P.B.No.3765, 763, Anna Salai, Chennai â€“ 600 002.
Facts of the Case:
The appellant had sought the following information from the CPIO of the Indian Overseas Bank:
â€œRequest/invitation for proposal/quotation, Quotations, Technical bid, Commercial bid submitted by various language software (like Hind isoftware, Tamil software etc.) suppliers related to supply of software to all the Head/corporate offices and sub-ordinate offices/branches.
Purchase Order/Supply Order placed on various language software suppliers related to supply of software.
Request/invitation for proposal/quotation, Quotations, Technical bid, Commercial bid submitted by various vendors/dealers related to purchase of computers like PC, Server, Thin client etc. to the Head/Corporate offices and sub-ordinate offices/branches. Minutes/proceedings of the various committees involved in the
purchase of software/hardware.
Delivery Challans, Bills/Invoice, orders passed to make the payment, letter of sanction etc. related to purchase of computers like PC, Server, Thin client etc. to the sub-ordinate offices/branches.â€
[*]In his reply, the CPIO informed that information sought is: â€œExempted under Section 8(1)(d) of the Act as the information falls under â€œcommercial confidenceâ€ and â€œTrade Secretsâ€ which would harm the competitive position of the third parties and the larger public interest does not warrant such disclosure.â€
[*]The appellate authority has upheld the decision of the CPIO.
In a recent decision of the Commission, the following was observed: (Decision No.216 dated 31st August 2006):
â€œTransparency in functioning of public authorities is expected to be ensured through the exercise of right to know, so that a citizen can scrutinize the fairness and objectivity of every public action. This objective cannot be achieved unless the information that is created and generated by public bodies is disclosed in the form in which it exists with them.
Therefore, an information is to be provided in the form in which it is sought, u/s 7(9) of the Act. And, if it does not exist in the form in which it is asked for and provided to the applicant, there is no way that proper scrutiny of public action could be made to determine any deviations from the established practices or accepted policies.â€
In view of this, the information sought relate to the public action with regard to the processes that have been followed in purchase of computers and other accessories. Such actions clearly fall under the public domain and therefore exemption claimed u/s 8(1)(d) is not justified.
The CPIO is, therefore, directed to furnish the information sought within 15 working days from the issue of this decision. The appeal is accordingly disposed of.
(Prof. M.M. Ansari)