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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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Personal hearing important while deciding first appeal under RTI

deciding first appeal under RTIFirst Appellate Authority decided the case without inviting RTI Applicant for hearing. Central Information Commission remanded back the RTI case to First Appellate Authority (FAA) with directions to decide the appeal after affording an opportunity to the appellant for hearing. Not giving personal hearing to the appellant to make their submissions is against the principles of natural justice and even the provisions of Section 19 (1) of the RTI Act 2005. Thus, it is not legally tenable. (Learn how to file RTI Online here with our simple guide)

Earlier the CPIO vide his response had simply denied the required information to the appellant by taking a plea under Section 11 of the RTI Act 2005 without mentioning as to whether the comments of the Third Party was invited or not. Surprisingly, FAA mentioned that the procedure laid down relating to third party has been followed by the CPIO and the parties concerned have given in writing that the applicant has family disputes and business rivalry with them and as per the Section 11 of the RTI Act 2005, no such information may be given to him. CIC recorded that “the views of CPIO and FAA are in a divergent direction. As such, these are not legally tenable.” Read more ›