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Shri Bijay Kumar Agarwal vs Ministry Of Law & Justice on 19 June, 2009

Central Information Commission
Shri Bijay Kumar Agarwal vs Ministry Of Law & Justice on 19 June, 2009
                 CENTRAL INFORMATION COMMISSION
                               .....

F.No.CIC/AT/A/2009/000363
Dated, the 19th June, 2009.

Appellant : Shri Bijay Kumar Agarwal

Respondents : Ministry of Law & Justice

This matter was heard on 10.06.2009 pursuant to Commission’s
notice dated 14.05.2009. Appellant was absent when called while the
respondents (Department of Legal Affairs) were represented by
Shri M.K.Sharma, CPIO. Shri A.K. Singh, Director and Shri Navin
Chandra, Under Secretary & CPIO represented the Ministry of Rural
Development (Department of Land Resources) respectively.

2. Appellant’s RTI-application dated 12.05.2008 was received by the
CPIO, Ministry of Legal Affairs, who on 09.07.2008 transferred it to the
CPIO, Ministry of Rural Development, who in his turn, transferred the
application to the CPIO, Department of Land Resources, Shri Navin
Chandra.

3. Through his communication dated 10.06.2009, the CPIO,
Department of Land Resources has urged that since the records
requested by the appellant pertained to the year 1984, it was not
possible to locate these documents in spite of diligent search. It was
pointed out that the Department of Land Resources was created in the
year 1994 and several old records were lost during the separation of
Land Resources Department from the Department of Rural
Development.

4. However, after receiving the appellant’s RTI-petition, a diligent
search was again made to find whatever record that was available
regarding the subject of the RTI-application and it was possible to
locate one file which had some elements of information relating to the
queries appellant had raised. Respondents offered to allow appellant
inspection of the file now located.

5. Now that respondents have authoritatively stated that no
records corresponding to the appellant’s queries contained in his
RTI-application dated 12.05.2008 are available and, with great difficulty
they have managed to lay their hands on only one file of 1984 vintage,
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it is not possible to authorize disclosure of any information other than
what is contained in the file now located.

6. It is accordingly directed that should the appellant wish to inspect
this file now held by the CPIO, Shri Navin Chandra, Under Secretary,
Department of Land Resources, he (appellant) may, within one week of
the receipt of this order, make a formal request to the CPIO for
inspection of the above file. In case such a request is received within
the time stipulated, CPIO, within two weeks of the receipt of the
appellant’s request, would intimate to him a day and time on which the
appellant can come over to the respondents’ office, which will also be
indicated to him, and inspect the file. He can take copies including
certified copies of the inspected documents free of charge.

7. Appeal disposed of with these directions.

8. Copy of this direction be sent to the parties.

( A.N. TIWARI )
INFORMATION COMMISSIONER

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