|Early Times Report|
Srinagar, Aug 5: State Information Commission (SIC) while hearing a 2nd appeal in the matter of Ghulam Qadir Wani S/o Abdul Gaffar Wani R/o Ganghbugh, Srinagar V/S First Appellate Authority (FAA)/Chief Engineer, EM&RE Wing, Kashmir and Public Information Officer (PIO) in the office of Chief Engineer, EM&RE Wing Kashmir , Public Information Officer (PIO)/Executive Engineer, Electric Sub Transmission Division-II, Rajbagh, Srinagar has said that PIO cannot be forced to create any information which he does not possess.
Details available with Early Times reveal that an RTI application dated 15-12- 2017 was filed by the appellant Ghulam Qadir Wani seeking information from Public Information Officer (PIO)/Executive Engineer, Electric Sub Transmission Division-II, 2 Rajbagh, Srinagar with respect to academic qualficiation and date of birth certificate of Abdul Majid Bhat S/o Shri Nabir Bhat R/o Gangbugh, Srinagar who is working as class-IV in the sub-division, copy of his engagement order as casual labourer, copy of his appointment order, attendance sheet of Abdul Majid Bhat from Nov. 2017, casual leaves availed by the said employee and the stay of the incumbent at the present place of posting.
The PIO furnished the information to the appellant on 19-01-2018 informing him that his office was not in a position to provide academic qualification and date of birth certificate as the said employee has been transferred to his division and not appointed in the division. However, the appellant has been informed that the academic qualification of above named employee was middle pass as per the certificate issued by the Headmaster, S.P. Middle School, Namchabal, Srinagar and his date of birth recorded in the service book was 04-10- 1968. The appellant has also been informed that Abdul Majid was converted in the regular cadre in the year 2001 and that no casual leave has been availed by him with effect from Nov. 2017 upto 14-12-2017. The present place of posting was also furnished to the appellant.
Not satisfied with the information, the appellant filed first appeal with the First Appellate Authority (FAA) / Chief Engineer, EM&RE, Kashmir on 29-01-2018. Subsequently, the appellant filed second appeal before the State Information Commission (SIC) on 05-04-2018 claiming thereunder that the information provided to him by the PIO was incomplete and that the FAA has not disposed of the appeal in accordance with the provisions of the J&K RTI Act, 2009.
The appeal came up for hearing before the SIC on 04-06- 2018. During the hearing, the Public Information Officer (PIO)/Executive Engineer, Electric Sub Transmission Division-II, Rajbagh, Srinagar submitted that the entire information has been provided to the appellant as was available with the PIO. The appellant was provided with the copy of the service book with respect to entries of date of birth of the official and also informed him that the academic qualification of the said official was Middle Pass as per the certificate issued by Headmaster, S.P. Middle School, Namchabal, Srinagar. At this stage, the PIO in the office of Chief Engineer, M&RE Wing, Kashmir was also impleaded as a party in this appeal and was directed to provide information with respect to point No. 1 relating to copies of qualification and date of birth certificates of the above named official. The appeal again came up for hearing before the Commission today on 03-07-2017. The PIO in the office Chief Engineer, E&MRE Wing, Kashmir submitted that the official Abdul Majid was basically working as a daily wager in the PDD. He was converted into regular establishment as helper vide Chief Engineer, EM&RE, Kashmir order No. 43 of 2001 dated 30-04-2001. No formal appointment orders are issued for engagement of casual labourers and no academic qualification is required for such engagements. The official whose information is sought by the appellant was working as a casual labourer/daily wager and was converted into regular establishment helper in 2001, the relevant entries have been recorded in the service book of the official and his date of birth as also been recorded in his service book as 04-10-1968 on the basis of a certificate issued by 5 Headmaster, S.P. Middle School, Namchabal, Srinagar under Ad No. 411 F.No. 6/A. Since the certificate issued by Headmaster, S.P. Middle School, Namchabal, Srinagar was not available in the office of PIO in the office Chief Engineer, E&MRE Wing, Kashmir, the office took up the matter with the concerned employee and asked him to submit the copy of his date of birth certificate and qualification certificate. The said employee Abdul Majid informed by filing an affidavit that his residential house was submerged in the devastated flood of September, 2014 and all his house hold goods and items including documents got washed away in the said floods.
SIC's final order reads as
"The Public Authority is under an obligation under the J&K RTI Act to provide information to an information seeker that is available with it. The PIO has provided a copy of the service book of the official which indicates the qualification and the date of birth of the official with regard to whom the appellant has sought information. It also indicates that the qualification and date of birth entries have been recorded on the basis of a certificate issued by Headmaster, S.P. Middle School, Namchabal, Srinagar. In this situation, all that could have been provided by the PIO has been provided by him to the appellant. and then provide to the appellant. What is not available in the office of Public Authority cannot be provided by him. However, the PIO can provide a copy of the order issued by Chief Engineer under order No. 43 of 2001 dated 30-04-2001 where under Shri Abdul Majid has been converted into regular establishment, if serious 7 efforts are made in this behalf. The PIO in the office of Chief Engineer, E&MRE Wing, Kashmir is accordingly directed to locate the copy of order No. 43 of 2001 dated 30-04-2001 and provide the same to the appellant within a period of two weeks from the date of receipt of this order. The PIO/ Executive Engineer, Electric Sub Transmission Division-II, Rajbagh, Srinagar is also directed to provide an authenticated copy of the first page of service book and also a copy of the affidavit filed by Abdul Majid claiming damage caused to his house hold belongings including the documents during 2014 floods within the aforesaid period. With these directions, the 2nd appeal filed before the Commission is disposed of".