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CIC instructs CCIT, Ranchi to educate concerned officials about RTI Act, 2005

The Complainant vide his RTI application sought information regarding the total amount paid to Guest House/ Houses for stay by Shri S.K. Roy, JCIT, Range-3, Bokaro during the month of October, 2016.

Mr. Radha Raman Tripathy Vs. CPIO & Jt. Commissioner of Income Tax (Central Information Commission)

It is observed by the Commission that the officials at Bokaro/Hazaribagh remained ignorant about the provisions of the RTI Act, 2005 and its translation into practice which is a matter of utmost concern of the Commission and the public at large. The CCIT, Ranchi is therefore, instructed to ensure that periodic conferences/ seminars to sensitize, familiarize and educate the concerned officials about the relevant provisions of the RTI Act, 2005 for effective discharge of its duties and responsibilities are conducted.

FULL TEXT OF THE CENTRAL INFORMATION COMMISSION ORDER IS AS FOLLOWS:-

FACTS

The Complainant vide his RTI application sought information regarding the total amount paid to Guest House/ Houses for stay by Shri S.K. Roy, JCIT, Range-3, Bokaro during the month of October, 2016.

The CPIO, vide its letter dated 09.12.2016, denied disclosure of information as per Section 8 (1) (j) of the RTI Act, 2005. Dissatisfied by the response of the CPIO, the Complainant approached the Commission.

RTI-2: CIC/DOREV/C/2017/ 112066-BJ

Date of RTI application 24.12.2016
CPIO’s response 03.01.2017
Date of the First Appeal Not on record
First Appellate Authority’s response Not on record
Date of diarised receipt of Complaint by the Commission 22.02.2017

FACTS

The Complainant vide his RTI application sought information on 02 points regarding the number of days in which the JCIT-Range-03, attended the office at Bokaro during the month of November, 2016, copy of leave applications submitted by Sri. S.K. Roy to the Pr. CIT, Hazaribag during the month of November, 2016.

The CPIO, vide its letter dated 03.01.2017, denied disclosure of information as per Section 8 (1) (j) of the RTI Act, 2005. Dissatisfied by the response of the CPIO, the Complainant approached the Commission.

RTI-3: CIC/CCAPT/C/2017/ 11 1833-BJ

Date of RTI application 25.12.2016
CPIO’s response 03.01.2017
Date of the First Appeal Not on record
First Appellate Authority’s response Not on record
Date of diarised receipt of Complaint by the Commission 21.02.2017

FACTS

The Complainant vide his RTI application sought information on 02 points regarding copy of the rules for leaving Headquarters by a Government Servant, copy of all applications filed by Shri S.K. Roy, JCIT for leaving Headquarters during Holidays and for not being in the Headquarter, etc.

The CPIO, vide its letter dated 03.01.2017, denied disclosure of information as per Section 8 (1) (j) of the RTI Act, 2005. Dissatisfied by the response of the CPIO, the Complainant approached the Commission.

Similar matters were heard and decided by the Commission in

CIC/DITIN/C/2017/ 195088-BJ + CIC/DITIN/C/2017/ 195089-BJ +
CIC/DITIN/C/2017/195091-BJ + CIC/CCAPT/C/2017/111738-BJ +
CIC/CCITP/C/2017/111435-BJ + CIC/CCITP/C/2017/111440-BJ +
CIC/CCITP/C/2017/111441-BJ + CIC/CCITP/C/2017/111442-BJ +

CIC/CCITP/C/2017/ 111445-BJ dated 26.02.2018.

RTI-4: CIC/CCAPT/C/2017/ 111834-BJ

Date of RTI application 25.12.2016
CPIO’s response 03.01.2017
Date of the First Appeal Not on record
First Appellate Authority’s response Not on record
Date of diarised receipt of Complaint by the Commission 21.02.2017

FACTS

The Complainant vide his RTI application sought information on 02 points regarding total amount paid to Bokaro Steel Plant by Shri S.K. Roy, JCIT on account of stay in Guest House of Bokaro Steel Plant, date of payment, etc.

The CPIO, vide its letter dated 03.01.2017, denied disclosure of information as per Section 8 (1) (j) of the RTI Act, 2005. Dissatisfied by the response of the CPIO, the Complainant approached the Commission.

A similar matter was decided by the Commission in

CIC/DITIN/C/2017/195088-BJ + CIC/DITIN/C/2017/195089-BJ +
CIC/DITIN/C/2017/195091-BJ + CIC/CCAPT/C/2017/111738-BJ +
CIC/CCITP/C/2017/111435-BJ + CIC/CCITP/C/2017/111440-BJ +

 

CIC/CCITP/C/2017/111441-BJ + CIC/CCITP/C/2017/111442-BJ +

CIC/CCITP/C/2017/ 11 1445-BJ dated 26.02.2018.

RTI-5: CIC/CCAPT/C/2017/ 11173 1-BJ

Date of RTI application 24.12.2016
CPIO’s response 03.01.2017
Date of the First Appeal Not on record
First Appellate Authority’s response Not on record
Date of diarised receipt of Complaint by the Commission 21.02.2017

FACTS

The Complainant vide his RTI application sought information regarding the total amount paid by Shri S.K.Roy, JCIT, Range-3, Bokaro on account of personal Telephone calls made by him during the month of November ,2016.

The CPIO vide its reply dated 03.01.2017 stated the information sought therein by the said query was not available in that office. Dissatisfied by the response of the CPIO, the Complainant approached the Commission.

RTI-6: CIC/CCAPT/C/2017/ 11 1732-BJ

Date of RTI application 24.12.2016
CPIO’s response 03.01.2017
Date of the First Appeal Not on record
First Appellate Authority’s response Not on record
Date of diarised receipt of Complaint by the Commission 21.02.2017

FACTS

The Complainant vide his RTI application sought information regarding the total rent paid to Central Government by Shri S.K.Roy, JCIT on account of Guest House for the month of November, 2016.

The CPIO vide its reply dated 03.01.2017 stated that the information sought therein by the said query was not available in that office. Dissatisfied by the response of the CPIO, the Complainant approached the Commission.

RTI-7: CIC/CCAPT/C/2017/ 140466-BJ

Date of RTI application 01.02.2017
CPIO’s response 20.02.2017
Date of the First Appeal Not on record
First Appellate Authority’s response Not on record
Date of diarised receipt of Complaint by the Commission 13.06.2017

FACTS

The Complainant vide his RTI application sought information on 02 queries regarding present Basic Pay drawn by Shri S.K.Roy, JCIT,Range-3, Bokaro and scale of pay of JCIT as per Seventh Pay Commission.

The CPIO vide its letter dated 20.02.2017 denied disclosure of information as per Section 8 (1) (j) of the RTI Act 2005. Dissatisfied by the response of the CPIO, the Complainant approached the Commission.

RTI-8: CIC/CCAPT/C/2017/ 140467-BJ

Date of RTI application 03.02.2017
CPIO’s response 20.02.2017
Date of the First Appeal Not on record
First Appellate Authority’s response Not on record
Date of diarised receipt of Complaint by the Commission 13.06.2017

FACTS

The Complainant vide his RTI application sought information on 03 queries regarding the mode of travel on return from leave from Hometown to Office of JCIT, Bokaro during the month of January,20 17, expenses incurred on such travel by JCIT, Bokaro and the date of payment to Government account with regard to query no. 02.

The CPIO vide its letter dated 20.02.2017 denied disclosure of information as per Section 8 (1) (j) of the RTI Act 2005. Dissatisfied by the response of the CPIO, the Complainant approached the Commission.

RTI-9: CIC/DITIN/C/2017/ 195098-BJ

Date of RTI application 19.11.2016
CPIO’s response 09.12.20 16
Date of the First Appeal Not on record
First Appellate Authority’s response Not on record
Date of diarised receipt of Complaint by the Commission 29.12.2016

FACTS

The Complainant vide his RTI application sought information on 02 points regarding the vehicles taken on hire for the use of JCIT, Range-03, as on 01.10.2016, total amount paid to vehicle owners by the JCIT, Range-03 during the month of October, 2016 and issues related thereto.

The CPIO, vide its letter dated 09.12.20 16, denied disclosure of information as per Section 8 (1) (j) of the RTI Act, 2005. Dissatisfied by the response of the CPIO, the Complainant approached the Commission.

Similar matters were heard and adjudicated by the Commission in No.:-

CIC/DITIN/C/2017/ 195088-BJ + CIC/DITIN/C/2017/ 195089-BJ +
CIC/DITIN/C/2017/195091-BJ + CIC/CCAPT/C/2017/111738-BJ +
CIC/CCITP/C/2017/111435-BJ + CIC/CCITP/C/2017/111440-BJ +
CIC/CCITP/C/2017/111441-BJ + CIC/CCITP/C/2017/111442-BJ +

CIC/CCITP/C/2017/ 11 1445-BJ dated 26.02.2018

RTI-10: CIC/CCAPT/C/2017/ 111835-BJ

Date of RTI application 14.12.2016
CPIO’s response 05.01.2017
Date of the First Appeal Not on record
First Appellate Authority’s response Not on record
Date of diarised receipt of Complaint by the Commission 21.02.2017

FACTS

The Complainant vide his RTI application sought information on 02 points regarding total number of vehicles taken on hire for the use by the JCIT, Range-3, Bokaro as on 01.11.2016, total amount paid to the vehicle owners by the JCIT, Range-03, Bokaro during the month of November, 2016.

The CPIO, vide its letter dated 05.01.2017, denied disclosure of information as per Section 8 (1) (j) of the RTI Act, 2005. Dissatisfied by the response of the CPIO, the Complainant approached the Commission.

Similar matters were heard and adjudicated by the Commission in No.:-

CIC/DITIN/C/2017/ 195088-BJ + CIC/DITIN/C/2017/ 195089-BJ +
CIC/DITIN/C/2017/195091-BJ + CIC/CCAPT/C/2017/111738-BJ +
CIC/CCITP/C/2017/111435-BJ + CIC/CCITP/C/2017/111440-BJ +
CIC/CCITP/C/2017/111441-BJ + CIC/CCITP/C/2017/111442-BJ +

CIC/CCITP/C/2017/111445-BJ dated 26.02.2018

HEARING:

Facts emerging during the hearing:

The following were present:

Complainant: Mr. Radha Raman Tripathy through VC;

Respondent: Mr. S. C. Majumdar, ITO Ward 3(5), Bokaro; Mrs. Dewanti Dass, ITO Ward 3(2), Bokaro through VC;

The Complainant reiterated the contents of his RTI application and stated that the Respondent wrongly claimed exemption under Section 8(1)(j) of the RTI Act, 2005 and questioned the ignorance of the Public Authority officials regarding the provisions of the Act. He consistently maintained that the Respondent wrongly took shelter under Section 8(1)(j) without understanding the significance and relevance of this provision and mechanical reply was provided citing the same clause. In its response, the Respondent stated that the information of this nature was not maintained or readily available in their office. When confronted how Section 8(1)(j) of the RTI Act, 2005 was invoked by the Respondent Public Authority, no satisfactory reply could be offered. The Commission gathered that the Respondents remained ignorant about the provisions of the RTI Act, 2005. It was also noted that similar matters were heard and adjudicated by the Commission in No.:-CIC/DITIN/C/2017/ 195088-BJ +

CIC/DITIN/C/2017/ 195089-BJ + CIC/DITIN/C/2017/ 195091-BJ +

CIC/CCAPT/C/2017/111738-BJ + CIC/CCITP/C/2017/111435-BJ +

CIC/CCITP/C/2017/111440-BJ + CIC/CCITP/C/2017/111441-BJ + CIC/CCITP/C/2017/ 11 1442-BJ + CIC/CCITP/C/2017/ 11 1445-BJ dated 26.02.2018.

DECISION

Keeping in view the facts of the case and the submissions made by both the parties and in the light of the decision of the Commission in similar matters, no further intervention of the Commission is required in the matter.

Nonetheless, considering the large number of Appeals/Complaints on similar matters filed by the Applicant, it would be prudent for the CCIT, Ranchi to look into this matter and take appropriate necessary action. It is all the more significant and critical to examine the matter in the light of the fact that arrest of the then Pr. CIT was made by the CBI wherein recovery of cash and gold was also made from him which further created a suspicion on the conduct of officials within the public authority.

Moreover, it is observed by the Commission that the officials at Bokaro/Hazaribagh remained ignorant about the provisions of the RTI Act, 2005 and its translation into practice which is a matter of utmost concern of the Commission and the public at large. The CCIT, Ranchi is therefore, instructed to ensure that periodic conferences/ seminars to sensitize, familiarize and educate the concerned officials about the relevant provisions of the RTI Act, 2005 for effective discharge of its duties and responsibilities are conducted.

The Complaints stand disposed accordingly.

Categories: Corporate Law
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