When asked about the University rules relating to obtaining permission to proceed abroad on a private visit, first Public Information Officer writes stating ‘usual terms and conditions’ , and 1st Appellate Authority conveniently bypassed the main issue on which information was sought and disposed of the appeal. The information sought in the RTI was very simple and it was expected that a Dy Registrar of the AMU would have obtained the information and provided the same to the appellant. This was not done.
Aligarh Muslim University evading RTI
CIC went to an extent to direct Vice Chancellor to make officers handling RTI should be made aware of the responsibility. The CIC recorded that "A copy of this order be marked to Lt Gen (retd) Zameer Uddin Shah, Vice Chancellor, Aligarh Muslim University with directions to ensure that officials of the AMU entrusted with the responsibility of implementing the RTI Act, are made aware of their responsibility and act in accordance with the provisions of the Act. In the instant case, the Dy Registrar (Admn-T) has failed to provide a speaking order and has conveniently skirted query no.1 of the RTI." The AMU website regarding RTI can be visited here.
Vide RTI dt 11.7.13 appellant had sought information on the following:
- University rules relating to private visits abroad and copy of the resolution of the Executive and Academic Council for the same.
- Sanctioning authority for casual leave of teachers.
CPIO/SO(T) vide letter dt 16.7.13 provided a response to query no.2 and transferred query no.1 to CPIO, Council Section. CPIO/SO Council, vide letter dt 29.7.13, expressed inability to trace the Resolution.
Submissions made by the appellant and public authority were heard by CIC. Appellant submitted that the AA/Dy Registrar(Admn-T) had vide his letter dt 22.5.13, addressed to the appellant, had made a reference to ‘usual terms and conditions’ in response to a letter from her. Vide her RTI addressed to the CPIO/SO(T), the appellant had sought University rules relating to obtaining permission to proceed abroad on a private visit. SO(T) for some inexplicable reasons, transferred this query to CPIO(Councils) and the AA Shri SM Suroor Athar in his order dt 26.8.13, conveniently bypassed the main issue on which information had been sought and disposed of the appeal. CPIOs present were unable to provide any reasonable explanation for not providing the information.
Dr. Rachna Kaushal, Aligarh Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh 22.01.2014
Rajiv Mathur, Central Information Commissioner