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CIC takes nine months to realize that complaint is not in proper format

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Dear Friends,



Here is my experience with CIC in a matter that I am pursuing since 2009:




  • CIC, at time chooses not to respond to RTI applications. It is happening - CIC simply does not respond and you can't do anything*
  • In a complaint against a PA, after NINE MONTHS CIC replies that complaint is not in proper format.**



*You can definitely opt for appeal but can you expect no response from CIC, which is the body responsible to promote Right To Information.


**What is the complaint-False information by Public Authority to information commissioner based on which IC decided the case.


Let me share few facts of this complaint:


  1. I filed RTI application to Indian Army. CPIO rejects application citing fiduciary relation. First AA upheld decision, disposed my appeal.
  2. I Filed second appeal to CIC. Now FAA/PA takes a new stand that files of retired officers are destroyed after 3 years so information can't be given.
  3. IC decided the matter by saying 'Information should have been given to applicant. But since file has been destroyed, matter becomes academic and should be closed'.
  4. I filed another RTI application in Army, and got reply that files are kept for 15 years.
  5. I filed complaint to CIC in Jan, 2011-No response.
  6. I filed RTI Application to CIC to know the status of my complaint-no response.
  7. I filed another complaint in August, 2011
  8. In March, 2012 I was told matter will come up in June, 2012
  9. In April, 2012, I asked for file number of my complaint-On this dealing officer forcefully wants to convey me that my application is wrong (indirectly wants to convey that I should not pursue the matter-I don't know his interest and I refused)
  10. I field RTI Application on 11th May, 2012 to know the status of my complaint filed in Aug, 2011-no response till date
  11. On 15th June, I received letter from CIC that my complaint is not in proper format and that I should file again-That after 9 months, they came to know that my application was not in proper format.
  12. I filed fresh complaint as per suggestion on 26th June, 2012
  13. I also filed First Appeal on 26th June, 2012 against non-supply of information sought through RTI application on 11th May, 2012


Now I am again awaiting their response.


Thank You,




New Delhi

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Dear Jha,

  • In a complaint against a PA, after NINE MONTHS CIC replies that complaint is not in proper format.**


Referring the letter/reply, you could have filed another RTI by yourself or through other person, asking the PIO of CIC about the format of complaint, that he mentioned in his reply:

1) DOPT circular No

2) Name of the person(s), who have taken the decision.

3) Certified copy of the circular showing the format.


However, as the fresh complaint is in process, to make it run faster, file another RTI to CIC, enquiring about the progress report of the complaint. Do refer the Diary No. of the complaint obtained from the CIC site.

I have obtained your diary No.(provided it is true):

[TABLE=class: general]




[TD] [TABLE=class: general]



[TH]Diary No./

Diary Date /

File Number[/TH]

[TH=width: 89]Submitted By/


[TH=width: 105]Public Authority[/TH]

[TH=width: 101]Dealing Officer[/TH]

[TH=width: 42]Status[/TH]








[TD] Ministry of Defence[/TD]

[TD] DO to IC(LS)[/TD]

[TD] Fresh Dak[/TD]










For your help, i am providing the contents that has to be sent with an Appeal:


Under Appeal Procedure 2005, GSR 650(E)

One should send the following documents for Appeal only:


3. Contents of appeal.- An appeal to the Commission shall contain the following

information, namely.-

(i) name and address of the appellant ;

(ii) name and address of the Central Public Information Officer against the

decision of whom the appeal is preferred.

(iii) particulars of the order including number, if any, against which the appeal is

preferred ;

(iv) brief facts leading to the appeal ;

(v) If the appeal is preferred against deemed refusal, the particulars of the

application, including number and date and name and address of the

Central Public Information Officer to whom the application was made ;

(vi) prayer or relief sought ;

(vii) grounds for the prayer or relief ;

(viii) verification by the appellant ; and

(ix) any other information which the Commission may deem necessary for

deciding the appeal.

4. Documents to accompany appeal.- Every appeal made to the Commission

shall be accompanied by the following documents, namely.

(i) self-attested copies of the orders or documents against which the appeal is

being preferred ;

(ii) copies of documents relied upon by the appellant and referred to in the

appeal ; and

(iii) an index of the documents referred to in the appeal.

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Period of 9 months is not material here as pendency is the culprit . Courts reject petitions / Appeals on preliminary objections after months and years .


Real issue is that there is no prescribed format for the complaint , hence rejection on such ground is arbitrary and bad in eye of law .

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Dear digal,


I will file a fresh RTI enquring about the status of my complaint on Monday.


Thank You



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I think following will be fair enough:

1. Applicant should be supplied with the processing/scrutiny sheet/s.

2. Be given an opportunity to redo the application.

3. Option of early hearing should be available in such case.

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jatin Sharma

For your additional information the IC office which deals with "Indian Army" always recommend not to pursue the matter ,you are not alone in it. Moreover, if you can get decision in your favour they'll give you an impressive statement on Indian Army as if it is the most honest organisation in country. Just ask them about "NGOs" involved and "their" hesitation on bringing transparency and they'll get mum and will start looking busy.

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Thank you Mr. Suresh, Mr. Jatin for your thoughts and time.


Just to continue with my post, I am surprised at the response of CIC. I tell you during my hearing on second appeal in CIC, at one point of time, I felt that CIC was unduly trying to shield Indian Army and at the same time trying to impress upon me that they delivered the best decision. However few points/questions I would like to highlight are as follows:


1. If any organization takes so much time in decision making, the very purpose of RTI gets defeated.

2. Can CIC which directs other organizations to act within deadline afford such delays.

3. In many organizations there is a system of sending deficiency letter to the applicant which lists the further documents required if not supplied earlier, based on which applicant supplies further documents/information as required to complete the application-I am surprised that instead of writing for more documents (if any b'coz i still believe that no docs required), CIC chose to return my application.

4. Even if they chose to return, they should have a system such that fresh complaints is heard in a fast manner.

5. To add to Mr. Jatin's message, it was my first experience and I was surprised when a particular officer forcefully wanted to convince me that my application was wrong and I should not pursue the matter. He is the same officer who returned my application after I filed RTI Application to know the status of my complaint.


Thank you,


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