Tuesday, July 17, 2012


CBI official fined for delayed reply to RTI plea

Ahmedabad: Keeping an RTI applicant waiting for nearly six months for information proved costly for a senior officer of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in Gandhinagar. The central information commission slapped a fine of Rs 25,000 on the central public information officer (CPIO) of the CBI for delaying to respond to an application for six months.
The information pertained to the final investigation report of the CBI with regard to a corruption case involving the then station director of the All India Radio station in Ahmedabad.
The RTI applicant Ravindra Parmar, who was an employee of AIR and the whistleblower in the case, had led the CBI to initiate an enquiry against the station director, Sadhana Bhatt. Parmar sought details regarding the verification report that the CBI had submitted after probing the case.
“The case pertains to four sponsored programs in 2006 and 2007 undertaken by AIR. The CDs of recording of sponsored programs were missing and were never made part of the verification record. I was demanding a copy of the verification report and the copy of the CDs pertaining to the case. For six months, the CBI officer did not respond to my application,” said Parmar.
Central public information officer of the CBI, Deepak Damor, argued before the central information commission that Parmar had made multiple applications and had mixed them up. He also contended that there was no intention of hiding any information from the applicant as it is made out to be.
However, chief information commissioner Satyananda Mishra noted: “We are of the view that the delay on the part of the CPIO concerned was not justified. The fact remains that the RTI application remained with the CPIO for more than six months before it was considered. The argument that it got mixed up with other similar applications and complaints is not very convincing. Every office needs to be organized in a manner that papers are kept in an orderly fashion and attended to according to their relative importance,” Mishra said in the order.
The order stated, “Since the RTI application has to be dealt with within a period of 30 days, there is no question of getting it mixed up with other such papers. Therefore, we do not accept the explanation offered by the CPIO as reasonable enough .”