Filing of FIR is no solution to missing files

When PIO looses certain records CIC has directed the authorities to come up with policy and action  in alternative. Filing of FIR is no solution to missing files. When What will be alternative plan ? Who will be responsible for keeping record ? What action will be initiated to fix responsibility and consequences thereof ?

In what appears to be deviation to set procedure of filing First Information Report (FIR) with Police for missing or lost record, Central Information Commission has given a new solution. If you have any question regarding Right to Information, you can post it at our forum here! You can access our all content from mobile phone by using our top Android App or iOS App for Apple.

If this action plan is put into place, it will become much easier in Government Departments to fix responsibility and also evolve strategies to make a backup of the files. In these times when each Government Department (Central Ministries) are being asked to shift to eOffice application in a mission mode project, the data loss will be minimised once all records are digitised.

Filing of FIR is no solution to missing files

In the present case of Bhan Singh Vs SDM(Mehrauli), GNCTD the Commission noted that respondent authority office has mentioned about existence of order of 1989 referred by the appellant, but respondent authority stated that no other paper relating to that was available. The Commission directs the respondent authority to spell out the policy in case the record pertaining to key orders like 1989 of Tehsildar (Mehrauli) are not maintained or missing. The complete decision can be read here!

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  1. There is always copies of the records distributed to multiple entities and at multiple locations. So the File can always be rebuilt. I was in the Government service and used to do this exercise besides filing a Complaint (not FIR as made out in your post) with the police. The officials custodians of the file/record were also taken to task as per the conduct rules as applicable.

  2. First of all I must report a bug!!
    The on clicking the link above leading to the order of CIC reports as under:

    Not Found

    The requested URL /cic_decisions/CIC_DS_A_2013_001858_T_151401.pdf was not found on this server.

    Please rectify it!!

  3. Sir,
    I agree with Karira Ji that the culprit must be booked by police so that missing file resurfaces.Without any kind of Third degree the culprit who happens to be the custodian of the file will continue to harass people.

    However, now in a shift to eOffice and plenty of computers in each Desk in the office and attached peripherals, the PAs should concentrate to digitise the important files at the first go.

    Rest will follow.


  4. Govt. servants are afraid to file FIR. It is true. I have come across a case in PWD, where measurement book is lost and department is not pursuing the matter with Police to file FIR.

  5. This is a non-sensical order from a ignorant Information Commissioner ! Doesn’t he know by now, that Sec 4(1)(a) obligates each and every public authority to index and catalog its records and digitise them to the extent possible. Even his own office, the CIC – has no index, no catalog and does not digitise its records.

    Why didn’t this public authority do it ? If they had followed the RTI Act in letter and in spirit, the case of missing files would have never occurred.

    Public servants are seriously afraid of filing FIRs and that is the only thing that the IC needs to order.

    Even CIC loses records and no one is held responsible there.

    Mr Commissioner, people staying in glasshouses should not throw stones !

    1. Very well said Karira Ji. I am of the same view. I may add that the Commission cannot dilute the accountability of the officers Officials who are responsible for upkeep of the in a safe custody, and give them a clean chit to do away with impunity. The Law / Rules provide for action against such lax officers and FIR is the process, besides the departmental action.

      He should have ordered for the digitization of the record of all public authorities instead. He should immediately recall the order and set it in right perspective, with the spirit of law of RTI Act 2005. I am going to write to the commission in this regard.