Central Information Commission: In a second appeal filed under Section 19 of the Right to Information Act, 2005 on the ground of unsatisfactory reply furnished by the Central Public Information Officer (CPIO), the Information Commissioner Amita Pandove, has directed the CPIO and Assistant Director (E-Governance cell), to provide an opportunity to the appellant to inspect the relevant records as the information provided to the appellant was erroneous, and also, reprimanded the public authority for providing such mindless and incongruous replies.
In this case, the Appellant filed an online RTI application on 02.05.2021 seeking information on the following:
- Copy of salary sheet with details such as pay scales, gross pay, provident fund (PF) deduction and tax deducted at source (TDS) from 2018 to 2021 submitted by the Suresh Deep Polytechnic, (SDP)Ghaziabad.
- Whether the salary of all faculty /staff members which is mentioned in the salary sheet submitted by the Management of SDP, Ghaziabad is as per the All-India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) norms and regulations for pay scales of teachers?
Name of the members of grievance redressal committee established by the Suresh Deep Polytechnic along with the name of Ombudsman appointed by the university.
The CPIO provided the appellant salary sheet for the academic year 2017-18 and mentioned that no more data is available with them.
The Commission noted that on being dissatisfied by the unsatisfactory reply furnished by the Respondent, the appellant filed a second appeal requesting the Commission to direct the CPIO to provide complete information sought for. Further, the appellant stated that the respondent has provided wrong and misleading information and the respondent submitted that the averred institute does not submit their salary sheet to them every year and whatever record was available in their office pertaining to the assessment year 2017-18 has been given to the appellant
The Commission observed that though the respondent has provided the information to the appellant as per the available records but the information on point no. 1 to 3 of the RTI application is erroneous and cautioned the respondent to be careful in future while dealing with matters pertaining to the RTI Act.
Moreover, the Commission directed the CPIO and Assistant Director (E-Governance cell), to provide an opportunity to the appellant to inspect the relevant records as sought in the present RTI application on a mutually decided date and time duly intimated to the appellant telephonically and in writing. Further, the said direction should be complied with within 60 days from the date of receipt of this order and a compliance report of the same be duly sent to the Commission, enumerating the details of documents inspected and copy of documents provided.
The Commission further directed that all the personal information/identifying particulars of any third parties should be adequately redacted/blackened out and that no information shall be disclosed to the appellant which is exempted from disclosure under the provisions of Section 8 and 9 of the RTI Act.
[Akshay Kumar Shakya v. Centra; Public Information Officer (AICTE), 2022 SCC OnLine CIC 396, decided on 08.09.2022]