In on the decision Appellate Authority of Central Information Commission has decided that a citizen is obliged to make an application under the RTI Act only before the CPIO of the concerned Public Authority.
The provision under Section 6(3) has to be read in the context of Section 6(1) of the RTI Act. In other words, Section 6(1) lays down a rule while Section 6(3) is an exception. If every applicant is allowed to submit all petitions concerning various Public Authorities to one single Public Authority, then virtually every Public Authority would be rendered into a Post Office, whose only task would be to transfer a RTI application to the concerned CPIOs. This will put the whole system unworkable. This could not have been the intention of the Legislature while enacting Section 6(3) that each and every person can submit applications seeking information wherever he likes.
It was stated that "If a harmonious construction is attempted of the two provisions, a citizen is obliged to make an application under the RTI Act only before the CPIO of the concerned Public Authority. There may be situations where a citizen may not be able to ascertain as to who would be the appropriate CPIO/Public Authority who has the information. Only in such exceptional cases, he should file an application before some other Public Authority. Some other Public Authority also cannot be each and every Public Authority, it has to be in some way or the other related to the subject-matter of the request for information".
The decision can be read and downloaded from our website here! FAAD_25052009_01