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appeal from Shri Pradipta Dutta Vs Directorate of Income Tax (Legal & Research)

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Central Information Commission

Decision No.285/IC(A)/2006

F. No.CIC/MA/A/2006/00653


Dated, the 20th September, 2006

  • Name of the Appellant : Sh. Pradipta Dutta, B-141 Chittaranjan Park, New Delhi – 110 019

  • Name of the Public Authority: Directorate of Income Tax (Legal & Research) (DIT), 3rd floor, Drumshaped Building, I.P.Estate, New Delhi- 110 002.



Facts of the Case:

  1. The appellant had sought certain information in the form of queries, whichhave been duly responded by the CPIO and the appellate authority as well. Hehas however filed an appeal before the Commission against the reply of theappellate authority and prayed that the CPIO of DIT (L&R) be directed to furnishinformation with respect to his following queries:

    1. “Kindly inform why ITOs have been posted at DIT (L&R) even though there is no corresponding post in the same pay-scale at ITJSection, CBDT. What functions are the ITOs expected to discharge at DIT (L&R)?
    2. Kindly inform why ITOs at DIT (L&R) are being forced, under threat of disciplinary action, to perform the functions of an Asstt.Commissioner without being paid officiating pay.”
    3. Commission’s Decision:


      1. In its oft-repeated decisions, the Commission has advised the informationseekers that they ought not seek the views and comments of the CPIO on the questions asked by them. Yet, in the garb of seeking information mainly for redressal of their grievances, applications from requesters are filed. The CPIO’s in turn, have also ventured to answer them. Thus, the information seekers as providers have erred in interpreting the definition of information.
      2. A CPIO of any public authority is not expected to create and generate a fresh, an information because it has been sought by an appellant. The appellant is, therefore, advised to specify the required information, which may be provided, if it exists, in the form in which it is sought by him.
      3. The information sought relate to duties and responsibilities of ITOs deployed at different locations and the salary or compensation paid to them.Under Section 4(1) of the Act, all the public authorities are required to disclose such information as above. Had it been done by the respondent, the CPIO could have informed the applicant about the source where from he could have obtained the information. The need for filing application for information and this appeal could have thus been avoided. In pursuance of the principle of maximum disclosure, as u/s 4(1) of the Act, the CPIO is directed to disseminate the information so that in future, such applications are minimized.
      4. The appeal is accordingly disposed of.


      (Prof. M.M. Ansari)

      Information Commissioner

      Download the Decision from Download segment.


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    • By Shrawan

      Central Information Commission


      Decision No.286/IC(A)/2006
      F. No.CIC/MA/A/2006/00453
      Dated, the 20th September, 2006


      Name of the Appellant : Sh. N. Anbarasan, APPLESOFT, #39,1st, Cross, 1st Main, Shivnagar, W.C. Road,Bangalore – 560 010.
      Name of the Public Authority: Indian Overseas Bank, Central Office, Customer Service Department, P.B.No.3765, 763, Anna Salai, Chennai – 600 002.
      Facts of the Case:

      The appellant had sought the following information from the CPIO of the Indian Overseas Bank:
      “Request/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.”
      [*]In his reply, the CPIO informed that information sought is: “Exempted under Section 8(1)(d) of the Act as the information falls under “commercial confidence” and “Trade Secrets” which would harm the competitive position of the third parties and the larger public interest does not warrant such disclosure.”
      [*]The appellate authority has upheld the decision of the CPIO.

      Commission’s Decision

      In a recent decision of the Commission, the following was observed: (Decision No.216 dated 31st August 2006):
      “Transparency 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.”
      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)
      Information Commissioner

    • By arunonline
      As per section 10 (2) (e), there is a power with the Public Information Officer to review his own orders. Is there such power of review with the first and second Appellate authorities?
    • By mohitgarg
      Hello, I wanted to know what should be written in the appeal against the refusal of information?
    • By avdhesh
      There are several projects prepared by research institute and several research results recorded in such institutes which are normally supplied with a price. Can I apply for that information under RTI?
    • By Shrawan
      In a remarkable judgement, the CIC has directed SVNIRTAR to compensate the Appellant for having had to come to the Commission for the hearing by paying him the equivalent of AC-2 Tier fare from Cuttack to Delhi and back in addition to Rs.500/- for his local expenses in Delhi.
      Central Information Commission

      Dated, the 16th November 2006

      Name of the Appellant:
      Er. Ranjan Das,
      S/o Shri Baba Charan Das,
      Plot No. 927, Tala Sahi,
      Laxmi Sagar,
      Bhubaneshwar, Orissa.
      Name of the Public Authority : Swami Vivekanand National Institute of Rehabilitation Training & Research, Cuttack.
      The Appellant, Er. Ranjan Das of the Swami Vivekanand National Institute of Rehabilitation and Research (SVNIRTAR), Cuttack, had applied for study leave for doing the M.Tech Course in BIO-Medical Engineering at IIT Mumbai in 1997. He was refused the study leave on the ground that this course
      was “neither beneficial to the Institute nor related to the sphere of duties of Shri Das being Mechanical Engineer.” Shri Das then filed a writ petition in the High Court of Orissa vide OJC no. 15834/1997 against the orders of refusal of leave by the Institute. After hearing the case, the Hon’ble High Court directed the Institute to relieve the Petitioner forthwith to enable him to join the course. The judgment added that during the period of training at IIT, Mumbai, the petitioner would be granted study leave and would draw the leave salary as admissible to an employee proceeding on study leave.
      On receiving the judgment, Shri Das asked to be relieved forthwith as
      per the directions of the Court to enable him to join the IIT course.
      Accordingly, he was relieved of his duties from the Institute vide order No. DR 1A 57 dated 14.7.1998 but without a proper sanction of study leave.
      As the Institute did not consider this course to be of any relevance/
      benefit to the Institute, it moved the Supreme Court against the judgment of the Orissa High Court vide SLP (Civil) No. 12274/98. After hearing the case, the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India granted an interim stay order on the judgment of the High Court after which the Appellant returned to the Institute and joined back his duties w.e.f. 29.9.1998. However, at the time of the final disposal of the aforesaid SLP, the Supreme Court of India vide its order dated 13.12.2001 upheld the direction of the High Court of Orissa allowing the appellant to join the M.Tech programme at IIT (Mumbai) on study leave and ordered the Institute to relieve the appellant at the end of the then current academic year, i.e., 2001.
      Though, the Hon’ble Supreme Court had ordered that the Appellant be
      relived at the end of the academic year in 2001 to join the IIT (Mumbai), the Appellant in the meantime decided to join the M. Tech course in Biomedical Engineering at IT, BHU, Varanasi instead and submitted a request to his Institute accordingly. He was then granted study leave from 30.7.2002 to 31.1.2004 vide office memorandum no. AD6B01-969 dated 29th July, 2002. His Institute while granting him study leave for joining the course at IT seems to have been very careful to deduct the 76 days which the Appellant had spent at the IIT (Mumbai). As the M. Tech course at BHU was for a full 2 years and the study leave accordingly fell short, the Appellant requested the Institute for an extension of his study leave up to 31.7.04, i. e., 2 years 2 days.
      This leave was refused and he was asked to avail all other kinds of leave
      as per his entitlement for the period 15.5.04 to 31.78.04 to complete the
      course. The Appellant, however, completed the course well before the scheduled date and joined back his duties at the Institute at Cuttack on
      It was at this stage that the Shri Das made an application dated 17.5.06
      to his Institute under the RTI Act, 2005 requesting for photocopies of all orders relating to his periods of study leave including its extension and the bond executed between him and the Director, SVNIRTAR before proceeding to IIT, Mumbai, and then to IT BHU, Varanasi.
      The letter from the PIO, SVNIRTAR, dated 23.5.06 denied him the information under Clause 8(i)(j) of the RTI Act, 2005. Shri Das then filed an
      appeal against this order before the Director, SVNIRTAR on 13.6.06. The Appellate Authority did not deem it fit to pass any order on the same said
      appeal. At this, Shri Das approached the Central Information through his
      second appeal on 29 August, 2006, after which the Commission scheduled the hearing of both the parties u/s 19 of the said Act on 8th November, 2006.
      The bench of Dr. O.P. Kejariwal, Information Commissioner, heard the matter. At the hearing, the respondents were represented by Shri B.M. Pradhan, Director and Appellate Authority and Shri K.N. Kittur, the PIO, SVNIRTAR. The Appellant, Er. Ranjan Das was present in person.
      The Commission has thought it appropriate to give a detailed account of
      this case as this seems to be symptomatic of the ailment which afflicts many of our educational institutions, and especially those of higher learning where, only because of professional jealousy and narrow mindedness, bright and enthusiastic students as well as the employees of the Institutions are prevented from acquiring higher degrees and qualifications which would only go to the benefit of the Institution concerned and the nation at large. Has this not indeed been one of the main reasons for ‘brain drain’ from this country? The Commission was astounded to learn of the fact that just to prevent a person of their own fraternity from acquiring a higher degree, the SVNIRTAR thought it appropriate to move to the Supreme Court only in an effort to prevent Shri Das from availing study leave to acquire a higher degree. Actually Shri Das getting admission into IIT should have been a moment of glory for the SVNIRTAR: instead they seem to have hounded the bright scholar and made all efforts to prevent him from going to IIT. Even if we grant that the grounds given by the Institute that Shri Das’s acquiring the M. Tech degree from IIT, Mumbai was not beneficial to the SVNIRTAR – which does not seem to be the case – was it a crime if Shri Das returned to his Institute with greater qualifications and wider experience after completing a course at IIT – certainly an Institute enjoying a much higher reputation than the SVNIRTAR ? On the other hand, Shri Das, at the hearing, produced a copy of the advertisement for the post of Director of
      the National Institute of Rehabilitation Training and Research (SVNIRTAR) issued by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment which carried as an essential qualification a Masters degree in Biomedical Engineering. Yet another advertisement produced by the Appellant at the hearing was that of his own Institute where the qualification required for one of the posts was a degree in Biomedical Engineering from a Recognized Univer sity/ reputed Training Institute adding that “post-graduation in the above field will be added advantage”. At the hearing, the Respondents were asked how, at all, Clause 8(1)(j) of the Act was attracted in this case because the information asked for by the Appellant was for himself. To this the Respondents had no reply.
      After listening to both the Parties the Commission hereby directs the
      Respondents to make accessible all records/documents/files/bonds pertaining to the study leave of Shri Das to him within 15 days of the issue of this order. The Commission further directs the Director of Institute, SVNIRTAR, to compensate the Appellant for having had to come to the Commission for the hearing by paying him the equivalent of AC-2 Tier fare from Cuttack to Delhi and back in addition to Rs.500/- for his local expenses in Delhi, within 21 days from the date of issue of this order.
      The Appellant is also free to approach the Commission in case all the documents he has asked for are not made available to him within the time
      prescribed by this order.
      The Commission ordered accordingly.

      (O.P. Kejariwal)
      Information Commissioner
      Authenticated true copy:
      (Pankaj K.P. Shreyaskar)
      Assistant Registrar

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