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K.K. Garg Vs. CPIO & Assistant Commissioner (Hqrs.) - (Central Information Commission) (11 Dec 2017)

Before imposing penalty, Commission has to be satisfied that, delay occurred was without reasonable cause or request was denied mala fidely


Right to Information

The Appellant vide his RTI application sought information regarding the date of payment and cheque number with amount against each bill submitted by the Transport Operator. The CPIO/Joint Commissioner of Income Tax, denied disclosure of information as per Section 8(1)(j) of the Right to Information Act, 2005. Dissatisfied by the response of the CPIO, the Appellant approached the FAA. The FAA and Pr. CIT, vide its order concurred with the response of the CPIO.

The purpose and object of the promulgation of the RTI Act, 2005 was to make the public authorities more transparent and accountable to the public and to provide freedom to every citizen to secure access to information under the control of public authorities, consistent with public interest, in order to promote openness, transparency and accountability in administration and in relation to matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.

The High Court of Delhi in the decision of Col. Rajendra Singh v. Central Information Commission and Anr. held that, Section 20 of Act, no doubt empowers the CIC to take penal action and direct payment of such compensation or penalty as is warranted. Yet the Commission has to be satisfied that the delay occurred was without reasonable cause or the request was denied mala fidely.

The Appellant was not able to contest the submission of the Respondent or to substantiate his claims further regarding mala fide denial of information by the Respondent or for withholding it without any reasonable cause. The Commission directs the Respondent to disclose the details sought by the Appellant within a period of 15 days from the date of receipt of this order. The Commission also instructs the Respondent to convene 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. Appeal disposed off.

Relevant : Col. Rajendra Singh v. Central Information Commission and Anr.


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