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Rejection of RTI appln.


gnp.group

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gnp.group

Appellate authority of RBI constituted under the RBI Act rejected my appeal against Ombudsman. When I asked for the information as to why the appeal was rejected withoput granting me hearing I was told that there is a lower officer who examins the appeals and rejects the appeals not found substantive. When I asked the inspecvtion under RTI I found that the case was never seen by Appellate Authority who is the Dy Govorner of RBI. Also I doubt that some papers were attached after I asked the inspection. Most important is that I had asked the data as to how many appeals were rejected without hearing and how many of them were of the banks and how many were of consumers. i received a reply that the data in not maintained in that format.

 

Secondly, I asked an insurance company about the master policy details of a cover note issued by a Master Policy Holder. Insurance company played hide n seek for about an year. After that i asked for the info under RTI. They rejected it as it was a third party info. I asked for the inspection of file of my RTI case which was rejected. They have again rejected the same stating that my application amounted to challenging the rejection and therefore I should approach the Appellate Authority who he is sure would support him being [quite obviously] party and guide to the reply.

 

Could you pl guide me if there are any citations of Supreme Court or CIC to substanciate my appeal in above cases ?

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karira

1. In case of RBI, what was the reason given for denial of information ? Did the PIO cite any sub-section of Sec 8 ? In no, then the denial is not correct. They cannot say that information is not available in that format. he has to offer you the format in which it is available.

 

2. Your RTI application was rejected as "third party". There is no such possibility in the RTI Act. If "third party" is involved then the due process has to be followed as per Sec 11. Please read: http://www.rtiindia.org/forum/11536-applicability-procedure-regarding-sec-11-third-party.html

Did the PIO do that ?

Your next RTI application (was it a separate RTI application ?) to inspect the file of your RTI application can also not be rejected. Did the PIO cite any sub-section of Sec 8 ? If not, the rejection is not valid.

 

File First Appeals in both cases.

They have to be filed within 30 days of receiving the PIO's reply.

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Ketan Modi

Hi GNP Group,

 

First of all it is wrong on the part of the First Appellate Authority, who is quasi judicial officer to delegate his task to a lower official who is not empowered under the RTI Act to act as FAA and reject appeal at his/her level. It would be misinterpretation of jurisprudence. It is wrong on the part of RBI for adopting such wrong practice. My suggestion is that you move Consumer Forum in terms of the order of the National Consumer Forum's order in the matter between Dr. S. P. Thirumala Rao v/s Mysore Municiple Corporation and seek compensation as well as costs.

 

About the insurance company, if your application sought informations pertaining to genuine third party, then the stand taken by the PIO is correct. However, recently when I had appeared in a matter between Mr. A. M. Attar v/s New India Assurance, where the CIC had issued Show Cause on the PIO for playing hide and seek, on why he should not be sujected to cost of Rs.5000, I had prayed for more as Mr. Attar had incurred expenses of more than the compensation that CIC was about to grant. The order is yet to come.

However, continue fighting for your rights and Happy information seeking

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gnp.group

Dear Mr. Karira,

 

Thnx a million for a Qk reply. I am aware that PIO cannot refuse the info except under any of the explicit provisions of S. 8.

 

Surely I am going to appeal against this irregularity. But as you know the first appellate authorities are invariably the administrative superiors of the PIO or concerned officer. The reply given by PIO, in most cases, is drafted in consultation of the same officer. Therefore it is my common experience that they [and even Second Appellate Authorities many a times] have to be influenced by citations of Supreme court or CIC. There are two specific provisions about the format in the act. Firstly, as per the mandatory provision of S. 7[9]; the information shall be supplied in the form in which it is requested. As per the exception to this provision, in the later part of the same section, could be avaled by the PA only where it would disproportionately divert the resources of the public authority or would be detrimental to the safety or preservation of the record in question. The meaning applicable to the word FORM could be a debatable issue whether it is the tabular structure of the information [including its headings, columns etc] or physical structure in which the information is inscribed [eg. paper,CD,Electronic Format]. However, since the provision for exception matches both interpretations; I reckon, the applicability in both cases would be equitably justified.

 

With regard to the provision of third party, I wanted the inspection only to check if any action in terms of S 11 was initiated. I did not want to alert them before hand so as to deny them an opportunity to fabricate such documentation post facto in support of their illegal denial. Therefore I did render a separate RTI Application. I am sure to appeal against both the decisions of the PIO, viz. first denial on grounds of third party and the second denial of the inspection of the file. In fact for the first denial I have already filed the appeal.

 

I wanted your help to locate some citations in support of these appeals. Also I would not be wrong if I look forward to get the issues to the central information commission in second appeal.

 

Tks once again in anticipation.

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gnp.group

Dear Mr Ketan Modi,

 

I find there is a confusion over the similarity in the terminology used under RBI Act and RTI Act. I have mentioned AA constituted under RBI Act. Surely AA under RBI Act is also a quasi judicial authority and its powers rightly could not be deligated without any constitutional provisions. I therefore asked for the rules formed under RBI Act for AA procedings. But to that also a vague reply was received that it is on website rbi.org.in. I am sure there are no rules on that site. The lower officials rejected my application without granting me an opportunity of being heard. This again is a violation of my fundamental right to justice. Even Kasab is granted a hearing. But law abiding citizen of India does not have that right. To embarass them I asked them a question as to how many appeals were filed in one year and how many of them were from banks and how many from public. I also asked how many appeals were provided hearing and how many were denied hearing. On this they have replied that the record is not maintained in the format asked. I am going to appeal on this issue as well. As rightly stated by Mr Karira, they should have provided information in whatever format they had, at least to show that they had a will to disclose the information.

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RAVEENA_O

Section-7(9) of RTI Act provides that 'an information shall ordinarily be provided in the form in which it is sought unless it would disproportionately divert the resources of the public authority or would be detrimental to the safety or preservation of the record in question.

 

Since you have asked information about RTI dealings, there cannot be any justiciable reason to disproportionately divert the resources of RBI. Therefore the information is to be supplied in the format in which you have asked for.

 

Moreover, the Public Authority (RBI in this case) is required to maintain such detailed information about RTI in terms of Sub-Section(3) of Section-25 of RTI Act. Therefore, again it cannot be said that information is not maintained (in any format).

 

You can prefer a complaint under Section-18(1) for non-compliance of Section-25(2) by RBI directly to CIC and seek remedy as enumerated under Section-25(4).

 

Regarding the Insurance Company case -- the PIO cannot simply deny disclosure under the plea of THIRD PARTY. As we discussed in various threads, there are certain principles under which the PIO can reject information under Clause-11.

 

(1) PIO indents to disclose any information or part thereof;

 

(2) which relates to or has been supplied by a third party;

 

(3) which (information) has been treated as CONFIDENTIAL by that third party;

 

(4) PIO must within 5 days serve a written notice to the third party indicating therein

 

PIO indents to disclose the information or record or part thereof;

[ii] invite third party to make a submission in writing or orally whether the information should be disclosed;

 

(5) Such submission of THIRD PARTY shall be kept in view while taking a decision about disclosure of information.

 

(6) Except in case of Trade or Commercial secrets protected by law, disclosure may be allowed if public interest in disclosure outweighs in importance any possible harm or injury to the interest of such third party

 

(7) The PIO has to record reasons of his decision within 40 days after receipt u/s 6

 

(8) The PIO has to give a copy of his notice of decision to the Third Party.

 

Consequently, the RTI Applicant is entitled for a copy of the decision so recorded by the PIO being affected person. Needless to mention, the PIO is duty bound to record the decision on each and every aspect mentioned above - say whether it is confidential, whether it is trade secret protected by law (which law?), whether disclosure may be in public interest, whether the disclosure harm or cause injury to the third party etc. Unless these steps are followed, the decision of PIO shall merely be a denial without reasons. PIO cannot merely deny information quoting Sec.11

 

Therefore any rejection under Third Party clause (Sec-11 of RTI Act) is not tenable if it is without following above steps.

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Ketan Modi

Sir,

 

The main issue is "can a judge delegate his authority to some junior staff to decide the fate of a dispute at his level. The answer is NO! And if it is happening at RBI you lodge a complaint with the CIC that unauthorized persons are deciding the fate of the case before the First Appellate Authority has even seen your appeal. There may be anomalies between RBI Act and RTI Act, but your application is under RTI Act and has to be disposed of under this law and no other law is applicable. Secondly, RTI Act being a latter law, it prevails over all the previous Acts. RBI is wrong in such act if it is being done. Lodge a complaint. Happy information seeking.

Dear Mr Ketan Modi,

 

I find there is a confusion over the similarity in the terminology used under RBI Act and RTI Act. I have mentioned AA constituted under RBI Act. Surely AA under RBI Act is also a quasi judicial authority and its powers rightly could not be deligated without any constitutional provisions. I therefore asked for the rules formed under RBI Act for AA procedings. But to that also a vague reply was received that it is on website rbi.org.in. I am sure there are no rules on that site. The lower officials rejected my application without granting me an opportunity of being heard. This again is a violation of my fundamental right to justice. Even Kasab is granted a hearing. But law abiding citizen of India does not have that right. To embarass them I asked them a question as to how many appeals were filed in one year and how many of them were from banks and how many from public. I also asked how many appeals were provided hearing and how many were denied hearing. On this they have replied that the record is not maintained in the format asked. I am going to appeal on this issue as well. As rightly stated by Mr Karira, they should have provided information in whatever format they had, at least to show that they had a will to disclose the information.

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karira

Shekhar,

 

Please read Ravi and Ketan's posts carefully.

 

There are different issues on which you need citations:

 

Form v/s Format: Please read some the threads in the following search as well as the links given in some of the posts in those threads:

information format form 7(9) - Google Search

 

Compile v/s Create information: Read some of the threads in the following search as well as the links given in the posts in those threads: compile create - Google Search

 

Although the AA you have mentioned is under the Ombudsman Act and not teh RTI Act, the AA is nevertheless a "quasi judicial authority" and therefore he has to follow the principles of natural justice. For Apex Court citations on this, read the Grounds for Appeal in the attachment given here: Second Appeal cum Complaint to APSIC for incorrect and delayed information and FAA passing orders... - RTI Directory

 

Also argue that each RTI application has to be treated differently and separately.

Just because the applicant is the same (in your case in the matter where he cited "third party" and you asking for "inspection") in two applications, the matter cannot be related to each other by the PIO, as was done in your case.

 

All RTI related documents are public documents and open to scrutiny. Any citizen of India can go ask for those documents related to your earlier RTI application. Please read:

 

http://www.rtiindia.org/forum/19141-all-documents-related-right-information-process-disclosable.html

http://www.rtiindia.org/forum/18632-erstwhile-faas-orders-cannot-reviewed-subsequent-faa-copies-all-documents-right-information-process-disclosable.html

 

Also cite the preamble of the RTI Act:

 

An Act to provide for setting out the practical regime of right to information for citizens to secure access to information under the control of public authorities, in order to promote transparency and accountability in the working of every public authority, the constitution of a Central Information Commission and State Information Commissions and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto ....

 

Stress on the parts highlighted in red.

Isn't that precisely what your RTI applications set out to do ?

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karira
Sir,

There may be anomalies between RBI Act and RTI Act, but your application is under RTI Act and has to be disposed of under this law and no other law is applicable. Secondly, RTI Act being a latter law, it prevails over all the previous Acts.

 

Just one correction - RTI Act prevails over all laws in force - not only earlier laws ! Please read Sec 22, it is very short and sweet:

 

The provisions of this Act shall have effect notwithstanding anything inconsistent therewith contained in the Official Secrets Act, 1923, and any other law for the time being in force or in any instrument having effect by virtue of any law other than this Act.

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