In a much relief for an RTI applicant, CIC has given a judgement that claim by Public Information Officer that similar RTI application was earlier answered is no defence for denial unless that claim is proved. Secondly CIC ruled that giving reference to website alone to obtain information sought is not complete provision of information under RTI Act. It should be accompanied by offer of supply of hard copies on payment of cost of copying. (If you want to file RTI online visit this article to know about it)
If the RTI application is a repetition and information was furnished, the PIO has to discharge the burden of proving the same. He should have to at least sent a copy of the same information to the appellant with reference to the present RTI application also, as non furnishing of information to the RTI application will be viewed seriously by the Commission and the respective PIO will be liable for penalty u/s 20 of the RTI Act.
Reference to website by PIO alone to obtain information sought is not complete
The respondent/PIO should also note that every appellant may not have the facility of checking their website for downloading the desired information. They should see that the appellant is furnished the required information by collecting the costs, even though the same is available on the website.
CIC Decision: Aseem Takyar Vs. Delhi Jal Board, GNCTD file number: CIC/AD/A/2013/001911SA dated 18-07-2014
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