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nk agarwal

Violation of Provisions of RTI Act-2005

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nk agarwal

What actions can be taken by Information Commissioners on  violation/abuse of Section 6(3) of the RTI Act-2005 by PIO ?

or What if a PIO  violate's/abuse  Section 6(3) of the RTI Act-2005

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Prasad GLN

Only the applicant can bring that to the attention of IC during second appeal hearing.  It depends on IC, and mostly it is just mention to avoid it in future.  The inconvenience maximum to the applicant is 5 days if it is misused.  If it is purposefully transferred knowing that the other authority is not concerned then it amounts to deliberate and malafide action.

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nk agarwal

Here it concerns with following situation :

The PIO, who is also a Law Officer transfers the application citing Section 6(3), within the same Public Authority and within the same city to an "officer" to send info directly to the applicant - abuse of Section 6(3). 

In turn the application is transferred again by "this  Officer" citing Section 6(3), to other Officer within the same PA

This "other Officer" too does the same and provides incomplete and incorrect info as an officer of the PA

The PIO and Law Officer  did not use Section 5(4 & 5) to seek assistance of any other officer.

This delayed the process of seeking info; 

This caused a need for filing avoidable appeals

Can I mention its deliberate and malafide action on the part of the PIO and it has caused delay in the process of seeking info (its 14 years since RTI Act-2005 has come into force, (PIO cannot plead innocence and lack of knowledge)

 

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Prasad GLN

Definitely you can first bring this to attention of FAA first and then in second appeal as deliberate and malafide.  If the PIO is ordinary officer it is different, but here in this case he is law officer and supposed to know fundamentals in RTI.

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nk agarwal

Oh yes; the FAA  ignored it in the 1st Appeal.

Thanks would follow it in 2nd appeal too.

regards

 

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Prasad GLN

Write separate letter to FAA for not directing to follow the stipulations in RTI Act and that when a law officer is not knowing fundamentals what is his public authority and who is the other authority after 14 years of enactment shows lack of sincerity at various levels and ask him to direct PIOs on such transfers under 6 (3).  Wait for a response and enclose this to second appeal.  If you want you can file RTI Application to FAA as to the status of your letter on functioning of PIO.

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nk agarwal

Yes,  it seems to be a good idea but, before that I would like to understand ramification of following options  :

(1) will this letter to FAA post communication of his decision will amount to making another 1st appeal/review appeal before him? - for which there is no provision in RTI Act-2005.

instead

(2) Can such a letter be written to the Public Authority i.e. the CMD of the State Govt. Deptt.to which my application is concern and who has nominated the SR. Law officer as PIO Chief and the FAA who flout the provisions of RTI Act-2005 - Actions taken can be followed up on this letter by subsequent RTI application. 

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Prasad GLN

In a democracy, Citizen is master and Government officials are public servant.

Every public servant is accountable and his functioning must be transparent.

FAA is also a public servant and has the obligation to control as he is superior and is having his own designation with public authority.

There is no bar on writing letters to any public servant to my knowledge.

We give options for consideration as suggestion and it is left to the members to decide and guidance is not ultimate unless it is well considered by implementing member.

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nk agarwal

If convenient, any citation -CIC/court decision making it  mandatory to put name by signatory on any communications to applicant/appellant? say by PIO & FAA

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Prasad GLN

In this  forum DOPT directives are uploaded stating the process of response to applicant by CPIO and it is clearly stated a format.  Kindly search, you can find diamonds in that mine.

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nk agarwal

I am not able to locate the DOPT directives!

 

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nk agarwal

Thank you very much.

 

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Deepak Dang
On 7/14/2019 at 6:38 PM, Prasad GLN said:

Definitely you can first bring this to attention of FAA first and then in second appeal as deliberate and malafide.  If the PIO is ordinary officer it is different, but here in this case he is law officer and supposed to know fundamentals in RTI.

In my view "Ignorance of law is no excuse".  A new advocate or CPIO can't plead ignorance of law.  However, in practical life it happens as Mr. Prasad referred above that to avoid in future. But applicant regularly insist at every stage so that it may help at any stage.

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nk agarwal

Letter addressed and sent to FAA as discussed in above posts; a reply recd. today (5.8.19) from Suptd. Engineer and not FAA stating that the FAA has already disposed the 1st Appeal hence now there is no justification for 1st Appeal.

Two points emerges here :

(1) It was a plain letter to FAA requesting him to advice the PIO as well as the FAA to follow section 6(3) of the RTI Act-2005; hence, any reply was to be received from the signature of the FAA and not from any other officer?

(2) No review appeal lies with CIC; is there a  bar of review of decision by FAA too?

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Deepak Dang

In my opinion THE FAA has considered your letter as Ist Appeal.  Because it was requested to him to advise the PIO as well as the FAA to follow section 6(3) of the RTI Act-2005.  However a letter may be sent to Suptd. Engineer that the letter was addressed to FAA hence disposal was required from him & move to CIC or SIC.

(2) Yes, there is no provision of any review by any authority under RTI 2005.

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nk agarwal

My letter was crisp and clear giving reference to the FAA's decision on my 1st Appeal; its the who cares for RTI Act-2005 attitude by PIOs and FAAs

 

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sppataskar

Instead of going for first Appeal which is of  no use, as the immediate Superior Officer of that Department who is FAA will naturally give weight ot the version of the PIOs under his control,why  a direct complaint against the PIO be filed U/s 18 to the State Information Commissioner for violation of provisions of Section 18 (c)&(f)  of the Act..

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Prasad GLN

This is the first query posted on 14-7-2019

"What actions can be taken by Information Commissioners on  violation/abuse of Section 6(3) of the RTI Act-2005 by PIO ?

or What if a PIO  violate's/abuse  Section 6(3) of the RTI Act-2005

 

This lead to various discussions and there are many posts confusing the main issue.  As far as applicant is concerned, his focus must be on Information alone.  The maximum inconvenience if any to the applicant by transfer is delay of 5 days or more delay and his right is not effected.  There are number of  CIC decisions that state that if the application is transferred with delay, the first PIO must take care and it is his duty to get the information and to provide it to applicant.

The action on this by IC is confined maximum to warning or reprimand  to PIO  and that is it.  

Except delay, such transfers can not affect the rights of applicant in transfer under Sec. 6 (3).  If it is abuse or deliberate/malafide transfer  can be decided only on receiving information and on mutual correspondence between two PIOs and by IC only.

The member that has opened the thread has not posted present status even after two months as even after transfer the second PIO must have by this time provided information or retransferred to PIO No.1 by this time.

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nk agarwal
4 hours ago, sppataskar said:

Instead of going for first Appeal which is of  no use, as the immediate Superior Officer of that Department who is FAA will naturally give weight ot the version of the PIOs under his control,why  a direct complaint against the PIO be filed U/s 18 to the State Information Commissioner for violation of provisions of Section 18 (c)&(f)  of the Act..

Yes, this is one option I am contemplating independent of 2nd Appeal. Only point in mind is that complaint filing under section 18 should not deprive my right of filing a 2nd appeal for seeking info and also penal action for delay, incorrect info etc. before the same SIC as both issues originate from the same RTI Application.

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nk agarwal
3 hours ago, Prasad GLN said:

This is the first query posted on 14-7-2019

"What actions can be taken by Information Commissioners on  violation/abuse of Section 6(3) of the RTI Act-2005 by PIO ?

or What if a PIO  violate's/abuse  Section 6(3) of the RTI Act-2005

 

This lead to various discussions and there are many posts confusing the main issue.  As far as applicant is concerned, his focus must be on Information alone.  The maximum inconvenience if any to the applicant by transfer is delay of 5 days or more delay and his right is not effected.  There are number of  CIC decisions that state that if the application is transferred with delay, the first PIO must take care and it is his duty to get the information and to provide it to applicant.

The action on this by IC is confined maximum to warning or reprimand  to PIO  and that is it.  

Except delay, such transfers can not affect the rights of applicant in transfer under Sec. 6 (3).  If it is abuse or deliberate/malafide transfer  can be decided only on receiving information and on mutual correspondence between two PIOs and by IC only.

The member that has opened the thread has not posted present status even after two months as even after transfer the second PIO must have by this time provided information or retransferred to PIO No.1 by this time.

Thanks, the matter is still alive and I am preparing the 2nd Appeal to SIC for seeking info,  and penal action for delay, abuse of section 6(3) and incorrect info etc. Only thinking to file a complaint as well under section 18 separately for  abuse of section 6(3)  and also violations of provisions of RTI Act-2005 or  to file the complaint once the 2nd appeal is disposed off by SIC. For the cause of action would still remain. I think, even if the IC in his orders ignores my plea on abuse and violation of sections of RTI Act-2005 and does not penalise the PIO, I can still file a complaint subsequently to the disposal of my 2nd appeal. - Yes as an appellant I am interested to obtain the info but, as a citizen I wish to join in the endeavours to bring accountability and transparency in our ways of governance. I may fail in as an individual.

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sppataskar

Unless and until the State Information Commissioners act strictly in conformity with the provisions of Section 20 of the Act, there is no use of either Second Appeal or Complaint. By simply mentioning in the orders of 2nd Appeal ' issue Show Cause Notice and the PIO is directed to furnish the information now within 10 days'  does not service any purpose. 

Latest example - One PIO in my district did't furnish Information within stipulated time. Hence first Appeal was filed in which I got notice for hearing. I have informed that as per orders of the CIC in particular case, the FAA has no authority to call the appellant/applicant. In this case,  fault lies with  his with PIO whio failed to furnish the information and I had nothing to contest..

Second appeal was filed quoting all the above facts. Hearing Notices were issued. On receipt of hearing Notices, partial information from the PIO, copy of disposal of First Appeal in old date and copy of PIOs letter addressed  to another Public Authority U/s 6(3) after one year has been received.. . 

This is the fate of implementation of RTI Act at every level. No justice can be expected from RTI Act as it is being killed slowly by poor execution of the provisions of the Act. In earlier days, there was some fear among the Executiving Authorities about strong Act. However orders of the Commissioner are awaited.

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Deepak Dang

Mr. N. K. Agarwal & Mr. G.L. N. Prasad has properly taken up & no issue is left unless delay is proved with malafied intention.

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nk agarwal

Does the Section for delay in RTI Act-2005 speaks to prove malafide ?

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nk agarwal
1 hour ago, sppataskar said:

Unless and until the State Information Commissioners act strictly in conformity with the provisions of Section 20 of the Act, there is no use of either Second Appeal or Complaint. By simply mentioning in the orders of 2nd Appeal ' issue Show Cause Notice and the PIO is directed to furnish the information now within 10 days'  does not service any purpose. 

Latest example - One PIO in my district did't furnish Information within stipulated time. Hence first Appeal was filed in which I got notice for hearing. I have informed that as per orders of the CIC in particular case, the FAA has no authority to call the appellant/applicant. In this case,  fault lies with  his with PIO whio failed to furnish the information and I had nothing to contest..

Second appeal was filed quoting all the above facts. Hearing Notices were issued. On receipt of hearing Notices, partial information from the PIO, copy of disposal of First Appeal in old date and copy of PIOs letter addressed  to another Public Authority U/s 6(3) after one year has been received.. . 

This is the fate of implementation of RTI Act at every level. No justice can be expected from RTI Act as it is being killed slowly by poor execution of the provisions of the Act. In earlier days, there was some fear among the Executiving Authorities about strong Act. However orders of the Commissioner are awaited.

Information Commissions are to be blamed for poor implementation of RTI Act-2005 by Public Authorities.

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