The Central Information Commission (CIC) has directed the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) to take disciplinary action against one of its employees for not fulfilling his duty as prescribed under the Right to Information (RTI) Act.
The decision came on an RTI application filed by Hari Ram who had sought some information from the multi-level car parking section of the MCD.
‘The First Appellate Authority (FAA) had received the order from the commission on Nov 20, 2009 by his own admission. He was therefore duty-bound to conduct the hearing and give his order by Dec 20. If there were any special reasons for the delay he could have recorded these and ensured that the decision was given before Jan 5, 2010. He has not done his duty as detailed in the RTI Act,’ Information Commissioner Shailesh Gandhi noted in his order to MCD commissioner.
Under the RTI Act, an information seeker applies for information from a public information officer in a department. If he does not get a reply or gets an unsatisfactory reply, he can file first appeal with the FAA who has to dispose an appeal within 30 days of the receipt of the appeal. The limit can extend upto 45 days if FAA gives reasons in writing for the delay.
‘The FAA Krishan Kumar has provided no reasons for not having done his duty specified under the Act. His submission in fact shows that he does not appear to have any understanding of the duty cast upon him by the RTI Act which states that he shall dispose the first appeal within 30 days. It is thus apparent that Krishan Kumar, deputy commissioner and FAA has refused to do his duty under the RTI Act and has no reasons or explanation for this,’ Gandhi observed.
Gandhi said that all public officers are expected to do their duty as mandated by law and this is not a matter in which an officer can decide how he will discharge his duty.
‘In view of this, the commission recommends to the municipal commissioner that appropriate disciplinary (action) should be initiated against Krishan Kumar for dereliction of his duty as FAA,’ he said.
He also directed the municipal commissioner to inform them about the action initiated against Krishan Kumar before April 20.