In most of the cases filed by a citizen for not receiving any reply from Public Information Officer (PIO) of various Departments, the Commission were merely directing the CPIO to provide the information which the complainant had sought instead of deciding the complaints on merits. There can be no dispute that while considering a complaint made under Section 18 of the Act, the Commission cannot direct the concerned CPIO to provide the information which the complainant had sought from him. The Commission has no power, while dealing with a complaint, to direct providing of the information subject- matter of the complaint. Thus Information Commission has no power to send the complaint back. The only order which can be passed by the Central Information Commission or the State Information Commission, as the case may be, under Section 18 is an order of penalty provided under Section 20.
Now in a landmark decision on 28.10.2013 J.K.MITTAL Vs CENTRAL INFORMATION COMMISSION AND ANR, Delhi High Court has quashed the practice of summary disposal of complaints by remanding the matter to First Appellate Authority/ CPIO, without even hearing the complainant or deciding the complaint on merits.
Where the fear of APAR is there, does a junior officer ever get a chance to record that superior officer has given the directions? Even if superior officer gives oral directions, it is actually imbibed by junior officer as his own noting. Both All India Civil Service Rules and Central Civil Service Rules covering most of the Government civil service contains the provision in Section3 from time immortal:
The direction of the official superior shall ordinarily be in writing. Oral direction to subordinates shall be avoided, as far as possible. Where the issue of oral direction becomes unavoidable, the official superior shall confirm it in writing immediately thereafter;
A Government servant who has received oral direction from his official superior shall seek confirmation of the same in writing as early as possible, whereupon it shall be the duty of the official superior to confirm the direction in writing.
Supreme Court Decision: “We, therefore, direct all the State Governments and Union Territories to issue directions like Rule 3(3) of the All India Services (Conduct) Rules, 1968, in their respective States and Union Territories which will be carried out within three months from today.“
Oral Directions to Civil Servants
It is not understood why this is a big news for the media, except for creating expectation of unexpected. On the first reaction from most of the officers, it is found that without reading the judgement of supreme court, they have unanimously concluded that from now on all decisions shall be in writing. That superior officer shall give most of the directions in writing. However, with the decision of Hon’ble Supreme Court, nothing changes. Only that SC has emphasised that like AIS rule 3(3) applicable to All India Service Officers, the directions shall be issued by all state Government to be implemented for other officers too. What is means that now the method applied by IAS in the state Government shall need to be followed by other service personnel too like State Services / Provincial Services. There is no change in the way Rule 3 (3) is to be interpreted. Read more ›
Here are few questions raised at our forum regarding Private Body under RTI. You can visit the Tag Private Body here at our forum.
Can I seek Information about private residential property?
Is DAV Public school under RTI Act 2005 ?
Do RTI act applies for private bodies?
whether rti act applies on private colleges affiliated by govt. university?
RTI for information about a private company
Private School under purview of RTI
Is right to information act only applicable to government offices or public Authorities?
RTI about private nursing home
Private Hospital & RTI
Private Companies & RTI
Can I Use of RTI Act in Private Institutions?
The answer to all the above whether information can be obtained from Private Body under RTI lies in the High Court Decision. According to which “all information including information furnished and relating to private bodies available with public authority is covered by Section 2(f) of the RTI Act.” Further, information which a public authority can access under any other law from a private body is also Read more ›