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CIC warn MoWCD CPIO for reply RTI in casual manner

                         क य सच  ु ना आयोग
                    CENTRAL INFORMATION COMMISSION
                             बाबा गंगनाथ माग
                            Baba Gangnath Marg
                        मु नरका, नई द ल - 110067
                        Munirka, New Delhi-110067

                                           File no.: CIC/MOWCD/A/2019/637488
In the matter of:
Raghav Tanaji
                                                              ... Appellant
                                              VS
CPIO & Director,
Ministry of Women and Child Development (MoWCD),
Shastri Bhawan, New Delhi - 110001.
                                                              ...Respondent
RTI application filed on          :   07/02/2019
CPIO replied on                   :   14/03/2019
First appeal filed on             :   13/03/2019

First Appellate Authority order : 29/03/2019 Second Appeal dated : 04/04/2019 Date of Hearing : 13/01/2021 Date of Decision : 13/01/2021 The following were present:

Appellant : Heard over phone Respondent: Shri Manoj Kumar, Director & the then CPIO alongwith Shri Sameer Sinha, Under Secretary & the present CPIO, both heard over phone.

Information Sought:

The appellant has sought the following information in regard to the National Child Protection Policy of MoWCD for which suggestions and comments were requested from stakeholders:

1. Provide the date, name, e-mail address, State and other relevant details of the stakeholders who have provided comments on the National Child Protection Policy.

2. Provide the details of number of comments received.

3. Provide the details of public authorities who would consider the comments.

4. Provide the details as to when the draft Policy for Child Protection will be presented in the Parliament.

5. How many comments pertain to shared parenting?

Grounds for Second Appeal The CPIO did not provide clear information.

Submissions made by Appellant and Respondent during Hearing: The appellant submitted that he is not satisfied with the reply of the CPIO as a point-wise reply was not given to him. He requested that the CPIO may be directed to provide the desired information as the issue related to the Rights of children is very important.

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The then CPIO reiterated the contents of his reply dated 14.03.2019 & his written submissions dated 12.01.2021.

Observations:

From a perusal of the relevant case records, it is noted that the reply of the CPIO is grossly improper as rather than providing a point-wise reply, the CPIO has given a clubbed response to all the points while stating that approx.250 comments have been received from different stake holders. The CPIO should have been careful to examine each of the points separately and provide a proper and separate reply to the appellant. However, the CPIO in his recent submissions has given a point-wise reply to the appellant. During the hearing, the appellant submitted that even though a point-wise reply was given but the same has been given after a delay of almost 18 months and it was only after the issuance of the hearing notice that such an attempt was made to give a point-wise reply. He further submitted that even in the recent reply, the desired information on point no. 1 has been denied u/s 8(1)(j) of the RTI Act. To this the then CPIO explained that all the details sought for are personal information related to the stake holders and hence cannot be shared. The Commission is in agreement with the submissions of the concerned CPIO that the names and email-ids are covered u/s 8(1)(j) of the RTI Act, however, the date on which a comment was received from any stake holder and the state from where the same was received could have been provided as these two details in the absence of any other detail cannot be said to be personal to any third person. The CPIO is therefore directed to provide a revised reply to the appellant on this point to the extent indicated. He is also directed to provide a point-wise reply on the rest of the points once again to the appellant in the manner as was explained by him during the hearing.

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The Commission expresses its displeasure at the conduct of the then CPIO for such negligent handling of the RTI application. It is pertinent to mention here that such a long delay as was found in the present case defeats the purpose of filing the RTI application.

Decision:

In view of the above, the CPIO is directed to re-visit the RTI application and provide a revised reply to the appellant in a point-wise manner as per the discussions held during the hearing within a period of 15 days from the date of receipt of this order under intimation to the Commission.

The concerned CPIO is issued a strict warning not to handle the RTI applications in such a causal manner as was done in the present case and to ensure that a separate, point-wise reply is given to each point raised in the RTI application. In case this kind of lapse is repeated in future, the Commission will be constrained to take strict action against him.

The appeal is disposed of accordingly.

                                             Vanaja N. Sarna (वनजा एन. सरना)
                                     Information Commissioner (सच
                                                                ू ना आयु त)
Authenticated true copy
(अ भ मा णत स या पत          त)


A.K. Assija (ऐ.के. असीजा)
Dy. Registrar (उप-पंजीयक)
011- 26182594 /
 दनांक / Date

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