Delhi High Court: A fine of Rs. 25,000 was imposed by the Central Information Commission on Chief Public Information Officer (CPIO) of Indian Council of Agricultural Research. The applicant had applied for seeking the information under the RTI Act, 2005 about Project Directorate on Foot and Mouth Disease, its contents, costs and other related information.
It was clear on the face of it that the reply given by the CPIO was quite disappointing as to most of the questions, the answer was same that is- ‘It is an institute matter’. The Court noticed that such kind of response neither answers the queries nor renders any explanation for not providing the information. Even when it was asked by the CIC as to what the abovementioned phrase meant. He responded that it meant the Project Directorate on Foot and Mouth Disease.
Not even while filing the reply, but also after responding to the question by CIC, the CPIO of ICAR failed to render enough explanation for such vague response by him which could barely convey any meaning to the applicant as well as the CIC. To this, the Court upheld the decision of CIC of imposing fine on Dr. B.B. Dash, CPIO, ICAR for not providing information to the applicant without any cogent reason. [B.B. Dash v. Central Information Commission, 2017 SCC OnLine Del 6691, decided on 24.01.2017]