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RTI Application for mobile towers





I have applied to the Municipal commissioner, to know the status of the towers in mumbai city through RTI. Whether they are legal or illegal.


Just to inform you all, that most of the towers are illegal. The companies dont take the proper permission to erect the tower.


However to my RTI query the commissioners office has forwarded the application to all the wards seperately, and the wards are replying to me seperately.


My query was -

1. how many towers are there

2. How many of them have permission


Now the commissioners office has smartly forwarded this to all the wards telling that the wards will reply. Wach ward (like a, b, c ...) has again forwarded the query to Asesement and collector and also to Building proposal department.


Srangely, the BP department tpld that "the information sought by you is voluminous in nature & it would disproportionately divert the recources of the public authority. hence in view of clause 7(9) of chapter II of the RTI act, the information cannot be mande available.


My question to RTI experts is

a. When I'm asking information from municipal commissioner, can he direct me to various departments? I want a consolidated reply from his office nd not replies from various departments/wards and then I have to fight will all the departments/wards.


b. Can the BP dept refuse me information which is of importance to public at large?


How to proceed further.


IF it is suitable, I can upload all the application and rpies received.

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Hi Dr Pravin, I am not an expert, but I think you should get a conslidated reply from the building proposal dept. Can u post the application and replies you have received from the different Wards?

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Please also read some of the threads listed under "similar threads" at the bottom of this page.

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You have taken up very good cause.


Firstly, Municipal Commissioner may forward the query to any other office, if such information is hold by another office


Section 5(4) facilitates the PIO to do so...

Section 5 (4)
The Central Public Information Officer or State Public Information Officer, as the case may be, may seek the assistance of any other officer as he or she considers it necessary for the proper discharge of his or her duties.


However, that would not allow the PIO ,Municipal Commissioner if he is PIO, from responding to you. He would have to collect the information from other offices and would have to provide the information directly.


Further, if the PIO (MC) has forwarded any query, to any office, such officer of that office would be also treated as the PIO. Therefore in case appeal /complaint all such officers would be liable for penalty/compensation if so awarded.


Any officer, whose assistance has been sought under sub-section (4), shall render all assistance to the Central Public Information Officer or State Public Information Officer, as the case may be, seeking his or her assistance and for the purposes of any contravention of the provisions of this Act, such other officer shall be treated as a Central Public Information Officer or State Public Information Officer, as the case may be.


Therefore in the case of complaint filed by your being satisfied from the information provided (as it is the case) the Municipal Commissioner and all other officer (the deemed PIO) would be liable for non-supply of the information.


In the matter of Subash Chandra Agrawal v/s Under Secretary, Dt.08-04-2009, the applicant had sought information from the Under Secretary and the Under Secretary transferred the same to Ministry of Urban Development , and in turn the MoUD, transferred the application to 5 departments and eventually in the decision on the complaint filed by the applicant CIC observed :


All the five PIOs are guilty of not doing their job and their actions certainly attract the penal provisions of Section 20 (1) of the RTI act.
Either all the officers who have dealt with the RTI application are ignorant, or nobody knows who is responsible for what functions. The five PIOs in the offices of DG (Works), Directorate of Estates, Chief Secretary –Delhi Government, Secretary-NDMC and MCD Commissioner’s office are responsible for not providing information to the complainant
...A showcause notice is being issued to them, and they are directed to give their reasons to the Commission to show cause why penalty should not be levied on them.


Regarding refusal of providing information under section 7(9) merely reproducing the text of the section would be malafide and denial of information. In this case before the CIC, the PIO had refused to provide the information on the grounds of Section 7(9) , but provided opportunity to the applicant to inspect the records. In the Second Appeal CIC dismissed the appeal observing that the decision of PIO was correct.


Therefore, if the PIO was honest and correct in his opinion he would have allowed to inspect the records.


In nutshell

(a) The Municipal Commissioner has to provide you the consolidated reply from the information receiving from other offices.

(b) The BP has malafidely denied the information.


Therefore, this is good case of second appeal as well as complaint, against the Municipal Commissioner and all other officers of the Ward Office/BP.


Good luck!!

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