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RTI prompts civic body to reconsider its order

Atul Patankar

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Atul Patankar

As reported by N Ganesh at indianexpress.com on Aug 03, 2009


Mumbai : A Right to Information (RTI) application has prompted the Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) to modify its order. TMC Municipal Commissioner Nandkumar Jantre had issued an order in May as per which a new list of public information officers (PIOs) and first appellate authorities was published. However, the appointment came with the rider that the previous orders, issued by heads of departments as appellate authorities, in appeals pending before them stood annulled and the appeals would be heard afresh by the new appellate authorities.



“Appellate authorities are akin to judges who preside over the appeals and decide on a matter after perusing the facts and reasons presented by all the parties concerned. In a judicial or a quasi-judicial process the orders made by them in pending matters remain in effect even after there is a change in the presiding officers,” Thane resident Nainesh Dolas who filed the application said.


Orders of the appellate authorities can be modified, annulled or confirmed, by second appellate authorities- the information commissioners. “However a municipal commissioner is not the authority to modify the orders of the appellate authorities arbitrarily and doing so would be encroaching on the territory of the information commissioners,” said Dolas. In June, Dolas pointed out the anomaly in the order and sought an explanation from the municipal commissioner in this regard. The public relations officer Sandeep Malvi as a PIO promptly informed in writing to Dolas that the civic body would make the necessary corrections in the order and issue a fresh order.

This is not the first time that Dolas has pointed out at an anomaly in an order. A year ago, Jantre had issued an order in which officers who were PIOs were made appellate authorities. However, Dolas pointed out that doing so was against the principal of natural justice as the order would imply appellate authorities deciding on an appeal against orders which they had themselves passed as PIOs. The order was withdrawn and necessary amendments made.


Source: RTI prompts civic body to reconsider its order

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