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No provision for condoning the delay in filing the appeal

late RTI AppealFirst Appellate authority (FAA) under RTI Act rejected the Appeal just because it was filed beyond 30 days, in the pretext that “There is no provision under RTI for condoning the delay in filing the appeal”. The commission retreated Section 19 (1) of RTI Act and directed FAA that “the First appellate authority should not reject the first appeal filed beyond the prescribed period without hearing the appellant and consider the reason of delay.”

First appellate authority should have considered the reasons for delay proposed by appellant as proviso to section 19 (1) of the RTI Act provides:

“Provided that such officer may admit the appeal after the expiry of the period of thirty days if he or she is satisfied that the appellant was prevented by sufficient cause from filing the appeal in time.”

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Presence of RTI Applicant not essential while hearing appeal- Rules CIC

presence of RTI Applicant

The First Appellate Authority (FAA) passed the order stating that because the RTI Applicant did not appear, it is assumed that RTI applicant has nothing to say and thus the appeal is disposed of. The RTI applicant complained that the First Appellate Authority sent hearing notices and when he went to his office, he would not facilitate the hearing. The hearing of the first appeal was postponed for 5 times because of which he has to suffer lot of inconvenience and lose all working days. Information Commission noted that this reflect a non ­serious attitude towards the first appeal hearing and amount to violation of statutory provisions which is limiting the period of hearing to 45 days and passed the order that after giving the due notice of hearing, it is the duty of the FAA to consider the written appeal of the appellant even if he is not present on the date of hearing and decide on the basis of the material before him whether the appellant is present or not.

The RTI Act, 2005 provides the first appeal before the designated senior officer of the same Public Authority, with a view to provide a quick hearing and address the problems/grievance, if any, and clarify the doubts of the RTI applicant. Compelling the appellant to take 5 rounds for just first appeal was not proper. The Public Authority has a responsibility under the RTI Act to conclude the hearing. Read more ›