First 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."
Personal hearing important while deciding first appeal under RTI
The Commission was of the considered view that it is a fit case to be remanded back to learned FAA with a direction to disposed of the appellant’s First Appeal, under the provisions of RTI Act 2005, afresh, after affording an opportunity to the appellant, within 30 days from the date of receipt of this order under intimation to the Commission. As such, the case is remanded back.
Shri S P Goyal Vs The Dy. Commissioner cum CPIO O/o. the Dy. Commissioner of Customs, Inland Container Depot (GRFL) Sahnewal, G T Road, Ludhiana, File No. CIC/KY/A/2014/0000287 dated 01.07.2014
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