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news details
SIC dismisses RTI appeal against Chief Er R&B Jammu
9/24/2018 10:34:53 PM
Early Times Report

Jammu, Sept 24: The State Information Commission (SIC) has dismissed an appeal seeking copies of RTI applications/appeals filed in the office of Chief Engineer (CE) R&B Jammu.
The information seeker, who is an RTI activist, had also sought copies of RTI replies that were sent by the CE's office to various information seekers. The SIC upheld the order of CE and ordered that no such information be provided to the information seeker as information sought does not come under the definition of information and happens to be third party information.
Details available with Early Times reveal that an RTI application was filed by one Rajeshwar Singh, an RTI activist and a resident of Shakti Nagar, Jammu, on 28.12.2017 with the PIO, in the office of CE, PWD (R&B) Jammu, seeking following information:
i) Copies of RTI applications and replies by PIOs having No. ID/RTI application Number and date mentioned in the reply of current financial year
ii) Copies of RTI applications and their replies having no name and email ID of PIO / deemed PIO of the period stated above.
iii) Copies of RTI applications and their replies not containing "that the first appeal if any against the reply of the PIO/ deemed be addressed to FAA within 30 days of receipt of reply of above said period Also in the reply name, designation and mailing address of the First Appellate Authority not provided of above said period
iv) Copies of FAA orders having their diary no and date of receipt alongwith copy of appeal and its annexures which were not honoured by PIO / deemed PIO during January 2016 to till date 2017.
The PIO in the office of CE Jammu informed the applicant that the information sought by him does not fall under the ambit of the RTI Act. The appellant thereafter filed the first appeal before the First Appellate Authority (FAA)/CE, PW(R&B) department Jammu on 27.01.2018 which was not disposed of by the FAA. Finally, the RTI applicant filed the second appeal before the SIC on 08.05.2018.
SIC order dated 29.8.2018 reads: "The appeal came up for hearing before the Commission on 29th August 2018. PIO Shri Rajesh Gupta, in the office of Chief Engineer PW(R&B) department Jammu was present and attended the hearing. Rajeshwar Singh, the appellant, was also present and attended the hearing.
PIO submitted that since the information sought by the appellant through his RTI request does not fall within the ambit of the RTI Act, therefore, the applicant was informed accordingly and the RTI request was returned.
The appellant submitted that he wanted to know details of all RTI applications filed by different applicants before the PIO and replies furnished by the PIO in such matters along with copies of first appeals filed by different applicants from January 2016 till the date of filing of his RTI request.
"While going through the basic RTI application of the appellant dated 20.12.2017, it has been found that no specific information has been sought by the appellant. He has sought copies of all RTI applications filed with the PIO, office of the Chief Engineer, PW(R&B) Department Jammu and copies of all replies furnished in response to all such RTI applications besides copies of first appeal and replies thereof. Such details cannot be termed as information within the meaning of Section 2(d) of the RTI act. Besides, the applications filed by others and replies furnished to them amount to third party information cannot be given to the present appellant without seeking the agreement of such third parties."
The order further reads: "The appellant, on being asked to show the existence of public interest in disclosure of information relating to RTI applications and replies thereto filed by others, he failed to show any such public interest.
The order of the PIO, office of the CE PW(R&B) department Jammu dated 26.12.2017 rejecting the RTI application on the ground that the information sought does not fall within the ambit of RTI Act is, therefore, upheld. The appeal is accordingly dismissed."
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