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    Fight of a bold officer against abuse of RTI


    rtiindia

    fight against rti activistCentral Information Commission gave a title to the decision in which CPIO steadfast fought against the disgruntled employee, who blatantly misused RTI, subverted process of law with malicious intentions as Fight of a bold officer against abuse of RTI and directed the Public Authority to place this order in their official website under the heading ‘Fight of a bold officer against abuse of RTI’ in their RTI Section. (If you want to file an RTI , please go to our guide to file RTI online)

     

    Shri Sanjay Chaturvedi posted as a Principal & APIO in the Govt. Sarvodaya Bal Vidyalaya Chirag Enclave, New Delhi submitted to CIC that he is aggrieved with repeated RTI applications filed by Shri Ranjan Sharma (RTI Applicant) and the order passed by the Appellate Authority who allowed inspection of records and directed to provide the documents, free of cost. As the First Appellate Authority has no power to review its order once passed and communicated. CPIO being aggrieved with the decision of the First Appellate Authority, have approached Commission under Section 19 (3) of the Right to Information Act, 2005. For any RTI help, head straight to our forum and post your query.

    Fight of a bold officer against abuse of RTI

    He stated that RTI Applicant, Shri Ranjan Sharma has been charge sheeted under Rule 14 of CCS(CCA) Rules, 1965 and he Shri Sanjay Chaturvedi (Appellant) was appointed as Inquiry Officer in the matter by the Department. Since the initiation of enquiry, a number of RTI applications have been filed seeking unrelated information which does not warrant any public interest in any way as the sole motive behind filing these RTI applications was just to harass him.

     

    The Commission on perusal of the documents on record and after hearing the Appellant was of the opinion that this was a clear case of harassing a sincere officer by Shri Ranjan Sharma though filing frivolous RTI applications against Shri Sanjay Chaturvedi for being an Inquiry Officer in the disciplinary case against Shri Ranjan Sharma.

     

    The commission noted that the RTI Applicant had adopted a stratagem of contrivance to delay the disciplinary proceedings and even went to the extent of threatening civil and criminal action against the inquiry officer.

    (This is an extract of the decision available on the CIC public website, and is meant for generating interest in our readers only. For the true detailed and authentic copy you must read and download the decision from the CIC website. If you have any query, kindly post it over our website here!)
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    What I do not understand is where is the question of boldness involved for the higher official to point out that the applicant is misusing the RTI. by asking for unrelevant informations.

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    What type of harassment? Misuse by asking information? Whether ALL queries need to be of Public interest? If the information is specific in nature & applicant is ready to bear the cost, why should applicant run for inspection every time? WHAT HAPPENED TO THE COMMISSIONERS THESE DAYS? DO THEY DECIDE IN CONFORMITY WITH THE ACT? There is more than enough provision(sec 8 & 9) in the Act to shield information; even to shield PAs (Sch II). The PIO should see whether the specific queries pass through these sections or not. If the asked information is too large, s/he should reply in a FORM(u/s7(9)) that is most suitable for him/her. Many a times, applicants require to pin point the required information, after unfolding several covers/layers through the replies unyielding PIOs. Each time the applicant has to pay for the information. If the applicant is ready to bear the cost for100 times-can write/print 100 times-can post 100 times: why can't PIO reply for 100 times? It is the applicant, who bears more difficulty to ask many times. After all, applicant+PIO+AA+IC must follow the Act. And the Act has no such limit. Contrary to the decision, Karnataka HC has clarified that (W.P 20643-645/2010, D-06/08/2010) applicant asking multiple queries cannot be denied....Should this be not tried for contempt of court? :)

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    This decision of the of the CIC should not taken as a milestone. The charged employee and the inquiry officer have some time personal score to settle. On the face of it, there is no evidence to show that the appellant(inquiry officer) is really an innocent person, as he might also be carrying grudge against the RTI applicant.Immediately some complaint/grievance is against the IO, he should himself opt out of the role assigned to him under the departmental rules & then brave the RTI applicant. The department which instituted proceedings against the RTI/applicant should as matter of natural justice appointed another IO.

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    I can't understand how it is possible that applicant harass the cpio with filling of rti applications,????

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    I can't agree with the CIC in this matter. Where is the lawful authority of CIC under the RTI Act, 2005 to question the relevance of information sought for by any applicant or to issue any such certificate of boldness to any CPIO. Often it becomes a continuous process to establish any specific matter with evidence by obtaining apparently non-related pieces of information through scores of application under RTI Act, 2005 (which the police also do during any investigation process in any case). It would be a very good tool at the hands of any corrupt Public Servants to suppress everything of their misdeeds from the ambit of RTI Act, 2005. In this 71st honest country where a sizable portion of officers of all ranks including the highly placed ones are grossly corrupt, it would not be very difficult for any corrupt higher authority to frame any false charges against any honest officer (of his dislike for obvious reasons) with the help of equally corrupt other officers under his control. I think the CIC would reconsider its ORDER in this case considering its larger adverse ramification on the nation.

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    it is sheer stupidity on the part of officers pointing to abuse of RTI act.If the officer is bold enough he should answer rTI application in true spirit instead of making weird excuses

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    if seeking information is harassing the pio according to commission then probably the commission hints that passing of rti act was a mistake. i don't understand how the rti applicant is harassing the officer by seeking information under rti act.the applicant is excercising his right to know. probably the govt officials have the supreme authority vested with them to harass the citizens because they enjoy power by virtue of the post held.when a rti applicant, who is also a citizen, seeks information that is considered as harassment, misutilisation of rti act etc. this is the only act in india which can not be misutilised and govt officials should know it.

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