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STATE INFORMATION COMMISSION, PUNJAB

SCO NO. 32-33-34, SECTOR 17-C, CHANDIGARH


(www.infocommpunjab.com)

Mrs. Naib Kaur,


C/o Sh. Gurbaksh Singh,
# 802, Village Matour,
Tehsil & District Mohali.

Complainant
Versus

Public Information Officer,


O/o The Secretary,
Housing & Urban Development, Punjab,
Mini Secretariat, Sector 9,
Chandigarh.

Respondent

Complaint Case No. 172 of 2014


ORDER
1.

Since the case has dragged on for over a year, it is prudent to

recapitulate the facts of the case in brief, its turns and twists and the changing
stances of the respondent PIO during this period.
2.

In the instant case, the complainant had filed her RTI application

more than a year ago on 23.09.2013 wherein) she had urged the PIO to explain
whether the New Oustee Policy was applicable to her too, whose a piece of land
held in joint account was acquired before 07.05.2001.
Besides, ii) she had sought for Punjabi version of paragraph
number 10, 11&12 of the New Oustee Policy (Policy related to compensation to
the individuals).
3.

Instead of furnishing the information within a stipulated period of 30

days as mandated u/s 7(1) of RTI Act 2005, the APIO on the behalf of the
respondent PIO furnished the information on 20.02.2014. However, the PIO had
not touched on query No ii in his response at all.
Thus, there was a delay of over 100 days over and above the mandated
period of 30 days and attracted penal action u/s 20 (I) of the RTI Act.
However, the respondent PIO had forwarded a copy of the said
policy on 23.10.2013 , the last day of furnishing the information as mandated

Complaint Case No. 172 of 2014

under the RTI Act, to the Assistant Director, Language Department, Punjab Civil
Secretariat with a direction to translate it in Punjabi immediately on as it was to
be furnished to an information seeker Naib Kaur under the RTI Act. The APIO
also kept the complainant posted of this development that the New Oustee policy
was being translated.
5. But when the complainant failed to get the requisite information within
reasonable time, she approached the State Information Commission on
01.01.2014 u/s 18 (c ) ibid and the complaint was referred to the SIC Surinder
Awasthi who issued notice of hearing to both parties on 05.02.2014 and the
hearing was fixed on 05.03.2014.
6. On the first hearing on 05.03.2014, the representative of the PIO stated
that the information had been supplied to the information seeker on 19.02.2014.
As regards information, the case was closed. However, the Commission initiated
proceedings u/s 20 (1) as the furnishing of information had been delayed over
100 days over and above the mandated period of 30 days. This was startling
that the said three passages of which the

complaint was seeking Punjabi

translation were of just 150 words and the entire New Oustee policy not more
than 1000 words.
However, the PIO took over four months to get that piece translated from
English to Punjabi which is the official language of the state. Its strange pace
and efficiency of the government indeed!
7. The representative of the PIO stated that Mr. Mohinder Singh Sood was
the PIO and accordingly a show cause notice was issued to PIO cum
Superintendent Mr. Sood and the case was deferred to 26.03.2014. But the
respondent PIO failed to file his response to the show cause notice. Again the
case was adjourned to 23.04.2014.
Later in response to the show cause notice, Mr. Sood filed an affidavit
that he was not the PIO during the contentious period when the RTI application
was filed or responded to and added that the said public authority had not any
designated PIO for six months from 17.09.2013 to 17.03.2014.

Complaint Case No. 172 of 2014


8.

Aghast at the development, the under signed Commissioner

directed the head of the department Mr. A. Venu Prasad , Secretary, Department
of Housing and Urban Development , Punjab to clarify as to who had been
discharging the duties of PIO during the contentious period of six months from
17.09.2013 to 17.09.2014 so that penal action could be initiated against the
erring PIO u/s 20(1).
When the case came up again on 21.05.2014, Mr. Sood,
Superintendent cum APIO, sought more time to provide the name of the PIO or
the officer discharging the duties of the PIO and the case was again adjourned.
On the next hearing on 04.06.2014, Mr. Sood, who had been appointed
PIO on 03.06.2014, reiterated that there was no PIO during the contentious
period from 17.09.2013 to 17.03.2014.
Meanwhile, Secretary, Housing and Urban Development in a letter had
stated that as per the instructions of the Punjab government, Department of
Information and Technology (Administrative Reform Branch) , only under
secretary, deputy secretary and joint secretary could be appointed as PIO and
since there was none of said ranks officer available the department, the post of
the PIO remained vacant for six months. Since the Punjab government had
appointed a special secretary recently, a PIO had been appointed on 08.05.2014.
9. But Mr. Prasad had failed to explain and list his detailed efforts and
communications to seniors to ensure the appointment of such officers who could
be assigned the responsibilities of the PIO. How could the department remain
without PIO for a period of six months? How could an important department of
Punjab government deny the right of information to the citizens of the country
which is granted by the parliament?

Taking an excuse that the government

instructions of 2005 did not permit the Secretary to appoint junior officers to the
post of PIO speaks volumes of the total apathy of the senior officers towards the
Right of Information Act.
In many departments, even officers of the rank of superintendents
have been appointed as PIOs and the secretary could have cross checked with
his counterparts in other departments or could have approached the office of

Complaint Case No. 172 of 2014

chief secretary to seek advice on how to appoint the PIO in the eventuality of
non-availability of officers that he faced. The secretary of the department has
apparently failed to discharge his duties as head of the public authority and the
under singed Commissioner took a serious note of it.
Moreover, Mr. Sood, who had been acting as APIO during the
contentious period from 17.09.2013 to 17.03.2014, argued that the public
authority had not denied the information during the contentious period even in
absence of any formally designated PIO adding that he had been furnishing
information to the complainants/appellants during this period after obtaining the
approval of the secretary of the department. This suggested that the Secretary of
the department had himself been discharging the responsibilities of the PIO. To
verify Mr. Mohinder Singhs contentions, the Commission directed him to
produce the entire record related to RTI of the department at the next
hearing- which included Cash Register and Information Register which are
mandatory to be maintained by the public authority under rule 4(6) and 3(3)
respectively of Punjab Right to Information Rules 2007.
10.
government

The Commission could hardly permit a scenario where the

fails to appoint a PIO for six months and deny the right of

information to the citizens of the country for such a long times which can reduce
the RTI Act a unique Act having a fixed timeline for furnishing information - to a
farce. The Commission would be last to be a mute and passive spectator to such
a tendency that hit hard at the spirit of the RTI Act. The Commission has a duty
to fix the responsibility for delaying and denying the information within the
stipulated period and impose penalty as prescribed in section 20(1) of RTI Act.
These registers summoned by the undersigned Commissioner
were

certainly to help in determining who in the department had been

discharging the functions of the PIO and is guilty of delaying and denying the
information within the stipulated period and to impose penalty in the instant case.
However, Mr. Sood who had been elevated from APIO to PIO by
then, failed to produce the record (the registers) on 01.07.2014 but produced the
official records on 10.07.2014. On perusal of the official records, it was revealed

Complaint Case No. 172 of 2014

that the RTI applications were responded to by then APIO Mr. Sood and the
information provided to the appellants/complainants during this period was
cleared by the Secretary of the department. Evidently, the Secretary of the
department had himself taken over the role of the PIO instead of appointing a
regular PIO. Thus, the undersigned Commissioner was of considered opinion
that the secretary of the department himself had been the PIO (though he was
not formally declared as PIO) as under RTI only PIO is expected to clear the
information to be provided to the complainants/ appellants.
11.

Thus,

Secretary,

Department

of

Housing

and

Urban

Development, Punjab Mr. Prasad was deemed to be PIO and responsible for
delay and denying the information within stipulated period and undersigned
Commissioner was constrained to issue show cause notice to him u/s 20(1) ibid
and the case was deferred to 07.08.2014, when the respondent deemed PIO Mr.
Prasad filed a detailed response dated 05.08.2014 and this was taken on record.
The response to the show cause notice could not be taken up as
the legal advisor Mr. Bhupinder Singh to Mr. Prasad, Secretary Housing and
Urban Development sought more time for arguments. The case was then
adjourned to 20.08.2014
12. Meanwhile, the acting Chief Information Commissioner on the
request of the respondent passed an order constituting full bench comprising Ld.
Commissioners Mr. Narinderjit Singh, Mr. Harinderpal Singh Mann and the
undersigned to hear the case. The larger bench heard the arguments of the
respondent PIO. However, the pronouncement was deferred and the case was
fixed for pronouncement today.
13. Before coming to the crux of the matters, the undersigned
commissioner would like to dispose of the peripheral issues raised by the
deemed PIO in his affidavit or submissions made on his behalf by his counsel.
Mr. Prasad in his affidavit has mentioned of an earlier RTI application
wherein the PIO had promptly responded to. However, the earlier RTI application

Complaint Case No. 172 of 2014

was not under consideration of the undersigned Commissioner who was only
limiting himself to the RTI application wherein she has sought information against
two queries.
14. Secondly, instead of furnishing the information in time, the deemed
PIO has questioned the very credentials of the information seeker. The deemed
PIO in his affidavit dated 05.08.2014 goes on to assert: There will be no wonder
that some such persons as the complainant may just be acting as pawns in the
hands of some unscrupulous property dealers. Also, it is a well known fact that
some of the information seekers are all out to misuse the provisions of the RTI
Act as a means of arm-twisting of the concerned department/its officials to settle
some other personal scores which is sometimes too obvious from their tone and
tanner by which they try to dictate their terms and conditions as if they are pay
masters of the officials of the department.
In fact not the information seeker, on the contrary many state
governments are accused of acting as mafias or at their behest to dispossess the
poor farmers of their land by following arbitrary policies without any input from
the stake holder farmers. And in this case, the policy related to farmers is
formulated in a language which overwhelming majority of the farmers does not
even understand and when some affected farmer sought its Punjabi translated,
she was dubbed to be playing in the hands of property dealers.
Evidently, the deemed PIO has resorted to insinuations and
attributed motives without realizing that all citizens have the right to information
and even hard core criminals and convicts too have sought information under the
Act and all the State Information Commissions and Central Information
Commission have been ensuring that information is provided to them subject to
the exemption u/s 8 of the Act. The PIO has no business to question the
credentials of the information seekers.

Complaint Case No. 172 of 2014

This attitude of the PIO towards the information seekers, the


undersigned Commissioner feel is preposterous and unwarranted without
substantiating his allegation with any proof and he is advised not to resort to such
tactics to cover his own lapses.
To preempt such bureaucratic arrogance to deny information to
information seekers, the law makers has specially created provisions u/s 6 (2)
ibid which states:
An applicant making request for information shall not
be required to give any reason for requesting the information
or any other personal details except those that may be
necessary for contacting him.
15. Another peripheral issue raised by the deemed PIO is that the
complainant had not approached the First Appellate Authority(FAA) and
approached the State Information Commission without exhausting the
available channels to get her grievances redressed. But an information
seeker has a right to approach the State Information Commission u/s 18 of
RTI Act
However, since the Commission had received a complaint under
section 18 of the RTI Act, its role was limited. In the Chief information
Commissioner and Anr. v/s State of Manipur and Anr, the Apex court as upheld
the contention and do not to find any error in the impugned judgment of the High
court whereby it had been held that the Commission while entertaining a
complaint under section 18 of the said Act has no jurisdiction to pass an order
providing access to the information. It ordained in no uncertain terms that: The
only order which can be passed by the Central Information Commission or the
State Information Commission, as the cases may be, under section 18 is an
order of penalty provided under Section 18. However, before such order is
passed, the Commission must be satisfied that the conduct of the Information
Officer was no bona fide.

Complaint Case No. 172 of 2014

Therefore, the Commission had not erred in entertaining the


application under section 18 of ibid or in not directing the complainant to file an
appeal before approaching the Commission.
16.

Moreover, the issue that Naib Kaur remained absent or did

not pursue the case. During the first hearing itself, a representative of the
complainant, who did not carry any authority letter from the complainant, stated
that the complainant was an old woman and hence had failed to turn up. He
added that she had received the information on 19.02.2014 but was agitated that
the information was delayed after nearly four months. Since the Commissions
role was limited to adjudicate on the delay, it told her messenger that she need
not come for subsequent hearings and the respondent PIO was issued a show
cause notice to ascertain if the delay was bona fide or otherwise.
17. Also, the argument that the respondent deemed PIO had given
interim response on 23.10.213 that the requisite information i.e, the translation of
the three paragraphs of the New Oustee Policy had been sent for translation to
the Language Department, Punjab within stipulated period of 30 days is not
sufficient to let the PIO off the responsibility of providing the information within 30
days.
Section 7(1) of RTI Act states: The PIO should on receipt of request u/s 6
of Act shall as expeditiously as possible, and in any case within thirty days of
receipt of request either provide the information on payment of such fee as may
be prescribed or reject the request for nor any of the reasons specified in section
8 or 9.
So, informing the information seeker at the end of the mandated period
that her request is under consideration and then sleep over it for weeks and
months , keeping the information seeker waiting in anxiety and tension, is not
acceptable to the under signed Commissioner.
18. Also, the issue of interpretation of the New Oustee Policy as
against the query No 1 is not being debated or questioned. Under the RTI, the
PIO is not expected to interpret the information. Therefore, the undersigned is not

Complaint Case No. 172 of 2014

concerned regarding query No (i) raised in the RTI application is not responded
to. However, the respondent deemed PIO is obliged to, at least, inform the
information seeker within 30 days that the said query cant be responded to
under the RTI Act. But unfortunately, even this had not been done.
19.

The focus remains only the inordinate delay in furnishing the

information on query No ii, regarding which the respondent deemed PIO has
stated that the PIO is not legally obliged to get any policy translated into Punjabi,
which is the official language of the state.
20. The issues before the Commission were simple and crystal clear.
Firstly, whether there had been delay in furnishing information. Second issue
flows from the first itself that if there is delay, then who had been PIO during the
period when the RTI application was submitted and was expected to be
responded to so that the responsibility could be fixed. All other issues emanated
from the responses and assertions of the deemed PIO Mr. Prasad who tried to
cover up his delay by making up frivolous contentions and advancing specious
and fallacious logic.
21.In his affidavit dated 05.08.2014, he maintains that it should make
no difference to any applicant as to whether the application submitted by him
/her has been dealt with by the PIO or an APIO so long as the information sought
by him/her is provided.
Here, the RTI Act 2005 has defined the duties of the Central Assistant
Public Information Officer or a State Assistant Public Information Officer u/s 5(2)
Ibid and limited these to receive the applications for information or appeal under
this Act for forwarding with to the Central Public Information Officer or the State
Public Information Officer. Thus, the role of the APIO is limited to that of a
postman and nothing more. If the intentions of the law makers were to treat the
PIO and APIO as interchangeable, then it must have been expressed in so many
words .The deemed PIO has no business to challenge the wisdom of the law
makers and advance such arguments.

Complaint Case No. 172 of 2014

10

The issue whether the information was provided by the APIO or


PIO may usually remain wrapped in files but when the information was not
provided within stipulated period and the issue of imposing penalty for delay u/s
20 was to be decided, the undersigned commissioner had to decide who was the
PIO as the penalty could not have been imposed on the APIO.
22. Also, the deemed PIO has raised objection on declaring him
so. His argument runs as: The deponent is deemed to be PIO and responsible
for delay and denying the information within stipulated period, The deponent
humbly submits that since deponent had been appointed the Appellate Authority
vide order dated 17.04.2013, the deponent cannot be deemed to be discharging
the functions of PIO and the First Appellate Authority(FAA).
As evident from the records, the deponent had been functioning
both as PIO and FAA and instead of raising this question before the Commission,
he should himself explain how he had been functioning both as PIO and FAA.
Under what authority and in what capacity Mr. Prasad had been clearing and
giving a nod to the information to be provided by the APIO during this contentious
period.
23. Under the RTI Act 2005, it is the public authority which is
responsible for effective implementation of the Act ibid and the person heading
the public authority cant escape the responsibility of ensuring that the
information is provided.
Reading of section 2(f) which defines the public authority, section 4
that lists the obligations of the public authority and section 6(3) which states that
where the application is made to a public authority requesting for information,
together makes it abundantly clear that that the public authority is responsible for
ensuring that the information is provided to the citizens and to achieve it a
mechanism is devised u/s 5(1) of the Act which states:
Every public authority shall, within one hundred days of the enactment
of the Act, designate as many officers as the Central Public Information Officers
or State Public Information officers, as the case may be, in all administrative units

Complaint Case No. 172 of 2014

11

or offices under it as may be necessary to provide information to persons


requesting for the information under this Act.
Evidently, the officer heading the public authority had failed to
perform his obligations under the Act. Instead of designating the PIO
immediately after the vacancy is caused or is likely to cause, Mr. Prasad
started himself acting as PIO. In this eventuality, the undersigned
commissioner is left with no choice but to treat him as deemed PIO in the
instant case.
24.

Coming to the RTI application, the complainant had sought two

queries: i) The complainant had urged the PIO to explain whether the new
Oustee Policy was applicable to her too whose joint account land was acquired
before 07.05.2001.
Besides, ii) she had sought Punjabi version of paragraph number
10.11.12 of the Governments Oustee Policy ( Policy related to compensation to
the individuals whose land has been acquired by the government).
Since the query No 1 amounted to interpretation, it is not under
contention in the instant case as mentioned above.
25.

In fact, the query No ii too had not been under contention till the

information was supplied on 19.02.2014. Rather it cropped up only when the


under signed Commissioner took up the issue of delayed furnishing of the
information. Nowhere in the communications to the information seeker or the
Commission the respondent PIO had mentioned that it was not supposed to
provide the said information ie. Punjabi version of paragraph No 10, 11 & 12 of
the New Oustee Policy to the complainant and it had walked an extra mile to help
the information seekers till the information was supplied.

It was raised

subsequently only to cover up the delay in furnishing information.


26.

The deemed PIO had maintained in his affidavit dated 05.08.2014

that the translation of these paragraphs was not available with the deponent.
Since even this was neither covered under the RTI Act nor the obligation of the

Complaint Case No. 172 of 2014

12

department of the deponent, still taking a sympathetic view, the translated copy
of the paragraphs had been supplied to her.
However, this was not communicated to the information seeker
at any stage that the deponent had done a special favour to her on sympathetic
ground. If this was the perception of the respondent deemed PIO, he could have
simply denied the information under RTI and urged her to file a separate request
to the department to get the said information translated to her convenience.
27.

The contention of the deemed PIO is that the Punjabi version of

the policy cant be supplied it is not available. Thus, getting it translated in


Punjabi would be creation of information which is not mandated under RTI Act.
Perhaps, this is the erroneous perception of the meaning of creation of
information as specified in Office Memorandum dated 12.06.2008 of the Ministry
of Personnel ,Public Grievances and Pensions Department of Personnel and
training. The said OM mentions, It is beyond the scope of the Act for a public
authority to create information. Collection of information, parts which are with are
available with different public authorities, would amount to creation of information
which a public authority under the Act is no required to do.

Subsequently,

another OM dated 01.06.20109 had further clarified that the OM dated


12.06.2008 does not propose to say that collection of information per se amounts
to creation of information. The above referred statement has been made to
emphasize that the public authority to whom application is made is not required
to collect information from different public authorities to supp0ly it to the
applicant.
Nowhere, it is mentioned that the translation amounts to creation
of information.
28. The deemed PIO has a skewed perception of the RTI Act and
other Acts when he stated in his affidavit that his department was under no legal
obligation to translate the information in Punjabi. The deemed PIO is advised to
visit The Punjab Language Act (Amendment) 2008, especially its clause 8 D
(1)& (2) that deal with punishment for persistently violating the provisions of the
said Act.

Complaint Case No. 172 of 2014

13

Under the RTI Act itself, the public authority must provide the
information in the states official language. Section 4 of the RTI Act lists the
obligation of the public authorities states:
4(1) Every public authority shall (a) maintain its records duly
catalogued and indexed in a manner and the form which facilitate the right to
information under the Act
Obviously, the records are to be maintained in the official language
which in case of Punjab is Punjabi.
Also, section 4(4) corroborates it further, It states, All material
shall be disseminated taking into consideration the cost effectiveness, local
language and most effective mode of communication in that local areas.
29.The undersigned Commissioner is of considered opinion that
mere translation of a government policy in the official language of the state does
not amount to creation of information.

If the government fails to provide

information in the official language of the state to it people on the pretext that it is
not available, it would defeat the very objective of the act as overwhelming
majority of people in the country dont understand English despite it being the link
language or having in official use since the colonial days.
30. Also, under RTI Act, the information has to be supplied in the
form in which it is sought. Section 7(9) ibid clearly states: An information shall
ordinarily be provided in the form in which is sought unless it would
disproportionately divert the resources of the public authority or would be
detrimental to the safety or preservation of the record in question
Evidently, a translation of 150 odd words of a document from
English to Punjab would not have disproportionately diverted the resources of the
state. One can understand the odds of the concerned department if the
information seeker had sought information in Spanish or Latin.
The information seeker was not demanding a moon but a mere
translation of three paragraphs and it did not entail a rocket science but required
simple translation skill which almost every government officer is expected to
have in Punjab.

Complaint Case No. 172 of 2014

14

31. Moreover, the facts related to getting the translation are equally
startling. Instead of ensuring that the said paragraphs are translated at earliest if
not immediately on receipt of request on 23.09.2013, the respondent department
sent the paragraphs for translation to Language Department, Punjab Civil
Secretariat on 22.10.2013, on the last day of stipulated period of 30 days for
providing information.
Subsequently, the Language department, Punjab sent the
translated versions of the New Oustee policy on 06.11.2013 as per the affidavit
dated 25.03.2014 filed by the APIO Mr. Sood.
However, the department of Housing and Urban Development took
another month to send the same to the Chief Administrator, GMADA to get it
scrutinized, corrected, verified and authenticated to rule out creeping in of any
inadvertent mistake since it was a policy applicable to all oustees.
The deemed PIO has not mentioned when the GMADA returned the
corrected and authenticated version. Moreover, the respondent deemed PIO has
failed to mention his efforts to ensure that the GMADA does the job assigned to
it at earliest. In fact, no communication between the GMADA and the department
of Housing and Urban Development had been placed on record. Moreover, the
GMADA too is under the control of the department of Housing and Urban
Development. Apparently, the respondent PIO had washed his hands off the RTI
application after directing the GMADA to translate the New Oustee Policy.
However, when the State Information Commission issued notice of
hearing on 05.02.2014 after receiving the complaint u/s 18 of the RTI act , the
deemed respondent PIO swung into action and provided the information to the
complainant on 19.02.2014 albeit belatedly by over 100 days over and above the
mandated period of 30 days.
Therefore, the argument of the deemed PIO that the delay, if any, had
taken place only in processing the work of translation with the language
department and the translation policy scrutinized etc does not hold water. Firstly,

Complaint Case No. 172 of 2014

15

the department send the same to the Language Department after a month of
receipt of the RTI application and then took another month (from 06.11.2013 to
04.12.2013) to send the same to the GMADA for verification and authentication
of the translation. Evidently, the delay in furnishing information is on the part of
the deemed PIO.
32. In the instant case, the respondent deemed PIO who is also heading
the public authority and department of Housing and Urban Development has
erred on many accounts
33. In the light of the above, the under signed commissioner is of
considered opinion that the deemed PIO had a mala fide in withholding the
information for over 100 days and denied it to the information seeker

and

provided the same after receiving the notice of the commission. But when asked
to explain the inordinate delay, more startling facts emerged like that there had
been no PIO in the public authority for six months; obligations under the section 4
of the RTI Act were not adhered to; questioned the credential of the information
seeker without any basis; questioning the provisions of the Act while stating that
there was no requirement of PIO if the information is provided by the APIO; and
taking up a stance that the translation of a document amounts to creation of
information his department was not legally obliged to and host of other issues to
cover up his original delay-all suggests that the deemed PIO had little regard for
the RTI Act and looks down upon information seekers with disdain and contempt.
All these issues have been discussed in detail in the preceding paragraphs.
And hence, the the deemed PIO attracts the penal provisions u/s
20(1) and the Commission is constrained to impose a penalty @ of Rs. 250/each days which amount to Rs. 25,000/-.

Place: Chandigarh.
Dated: 18th November, 2014

Sd/(Surinder Awasthi)
State Information Commissioner

Complaint Case No. 172 of 2014

16

STATE INFORMATION COMMISSION, PUNJAB


SCO No.32-34, Sector 17-C, CHANDIGARH
(www.infocommpunjab.com)
Mrs.Naib Kaur,
C/O Sh. Gurbaksh Singh,
# 802, Village: Matour,
Tehsil & Distt: S.A.S.Nagar (Mohali).

Appellant.

Versus
The Public Information Officer,
Office of the Housing & Urban Development Department,
Punjab (Housing-I Branch),
Mini Secretariat, Sector: 9, Chandigarh.
Respondent.
Complaint Case No. 172 of 2014
Present:

None on behalf of the appellant.


None on behalf of the respondent.

ORDER:
Smt. Naib Kaur, the appellant, has filed an appeal dated
30-12-2013 which was diarised in this Commission on 1.1.2014, against the
APIO of Housing & Urban Development Department, Punjab. This appeal case
has been listed as Complaint Case no. 172 of 2014. The contents of the appeal
filed in Punjabi language are as under:-

" p/Bsh j? fe w?A ;[govzNFewF;jkfJe b'e ;{uBK nc;o, wekB


T[;koh s/ ;fjoh ftek; ftGkr, gzikp, wekB T[;kohF1 ;kyk,
fwzBh ;eZso/s, gzikp, ;?eNoF9, uzvhrVQ s'A nkgD/ gZso
fwsh 23F9F2013 (ekgh BZEh) okjhA fJj ;{uBk wzrh ;h fe w?
B{z BthA ikoh ehsh n"?;Nh gkb;h d/ g?ok Bzpo 10, 11 ns/
12 dh nzro/ih Gk;k dk nB[tkd gzikph Gk;k ftu eoe/ T[;dh
ekgh G'ih ikt/. ;jkfJe b'e ;{uBk nc;o B/ w?B{z nkgD? fgZm
nzeD Bzpo 14-57F16 6 w TF1(11282)F2 fwsh 22H10H2013
(ekgh BZEh) okjh ;{fus ehsk ;h fe n"''';Nh

gkfb;h B{z

Complaint Case No. 172 of 2014

17

gzikph ftu NoK;b/N eotfJnk ik fojk j? ns/ NoK;b/N j'D T[gozs


T[;dh ekgh w?B{z G/ih ikt/ .
The appellant in her appeal has stated that she had filed RTI
request with the APIO (Superintendent), Housing & Urban Development
Department, Punjab vide her letter dated 23-9-2013. The appellant vide RTI
request had sought information as under:-

";oeko tb'A BthA ikoh ehsh n";Nh gkfb;h nzro/ih


Gk;k ftu j? go w?A nBgVQ jK. fJ; bJh w?A fJ; BthA gkfb;h
dhnK ;osK B{z ;wM BjhA ;edh.
;kvh ;KM/ yks/ dh seohpB gzi J/eV iwhB fwsh
7F5F2001 s'A gfjbK d/ ;w/A d"okB netkfJo j'Jh ;h go ni/ sZe
fe;/ B{z e'Jh gbkN Bjh fwfbnk. fJ; bJh w?B{z e/tb fJj ;{uBk
fdZsh ikt/ fe fJj BthA n";Nh gkfb;h ns/ fJ; dh e'Jh ;os ;kv/ Tgo
bkr{ j[zdh j? iK BjhA. fJ; s'A fJbktk w?B{z fJ; BthA gkfb;h d/
g?ok Bzpo 10, 11 ns/ 12 dh nzro/ih Gk;k dk gzikph Gk;k ftu
nB[tkd eoe/ T[;dh ekgh G/ih ikt/ ".
Notice of hearing regarding the appeal was issued to the PIO,
Housing & Urban Development Department, Punjab (Housing-I Branch),
Sector-9, Chandigarh on 5-2-2014 and the case was fixed for hearing on
5-3-2014 before the bench of Shri Surinder Awasthi, Honble State Information
Commissioner. Subsequently, the case was heard by the above bench on
26-3-2014, 23-4-2014, 21-5-2014, 4-6-2014, 1-7-2014, 10-7-2014, 7-8-2014 and
20-8-2014. After hearing of this case on 10-7-2014, the above bench passed an
order dated 10-7-2014, the main operating part of which is reproduced as under:-

Complaint Case No. 172 of 2014

18

Thus, Secretary of the department of Housing and


Urban Development Mr. A.Venu Prasad is deemed to be PIO and
responsible for delay and denying the information within stipulated
period and commission is constrained to issue show cause notice
to him.
The Mr. A. Venu Parshad, IAS, Secretary Housing
& Urban Development to Local Government Punjab., is hereby
issued show cause notice under Section 20(1) of RTI Act, 2005 as
to why penalty @ Rs. 250/- per day subject to a maximum of Rs.
25,000/- be not imposed on him till the information is actually
furnished.
The respondent PIO is directed to submit his reply
in the form of affidavit giving reasons for delaying and denying the
supply of requisite information to the applicant before the next date
of hearing.
In addition to the written reply, the PIO is also hereby
given an opportunity u/s 20(1) proviso thereto for a personal
hearing before the

imposition of such penalty on the next date of

hearing. He may take note that in case he does not file his written
reply and does not avail

himself of the opportunity of personal

hearing on the date fixed, it will be presumed that he has nothing to


say and the Commission shall proceed to take further proceedings
against him/her ex-parte.
The respondent-PIO is further directed to file the
reply of show cause notice before the next date of hearing.

Complaint Case No. 172 of 2014

19

During hearing of this case by the above Bench on 7.8.2014 the


respondent has filed his written submission the main contents of which are as
under:
That at the outset, the deponent humbly submits that
the deponent and the officials subordinate to the deponent hold this
Honble Commission and the orders passed by it in the highest
esteem can never imagine of defying the same in any manner or to
any extent.
That in the present case, the complainant had
submitted the application dated 2.9.2013. A perusal of the
application would reveal that the complainant had not sought any
information simplicitor but had posed three questions clarifications
in the Oustees Policies dated 26.9.1994 and 25.5.2011 formulated
in the light of the judgment dated 1.10.2010 passed by the Honble
Punjab and Haryana High Court in CWP No. 2575 of 2009 Jarnail
Singh and Ors. The deponent most humbly submits that to the
humble knowledge and understanding of the deponent, neither
furnishing such clarifications was included in the aims and
objectives of the RTI Act, 2005 nor is there any specific provision
under which PIO of the department of the deponent is duty bound
to furnish such clarification. The PIO also cannot commit in one
way or the other without fully understanding and appreciating the
correct import of the policies to avoid being mis-quoted by any such
information seeker.
That in the given facts and circumstances what at
best could be done was to provide a copy of the policy dated
25.5.2011

which

had

been

provided

vide

letter

No.14/57/13/6HI/2909 dated 12.9.2013 i.e. within 10 days from the


receipt of the application, though even that was not necessary
since the complainant had already attached a copy of the same

Complaint Case No. 172 of 2014

20

with her application dated 2.9.2013. Vide the said letter, the
complainant had also been informed that there is no provision in
the Act for answering questions. It is pertinent to mention that there
is no delay or denial in supplying the information as it was available
and permissible under the RTI Act.
That in response to the letter dated 12.9.2013, vide
her letter dated 23.9.2013, the complainant demanded that new
oustee policy issued by the Government is in English language. But
she is illiterate. Therefore, she cannot understand the conditions of
the new policy. She further went on to state that about five acres of
their joint khata land had been acquired prior to the period of
7.5.2001 but till date none has been allotted a plot. Therefore, she
might be provided this information as to whether the new policy or
any of its conditions is applicable to them or not. Apart from this
after translating paras 10, 11 and 12 of the new policy in English
language its copy be forwarded to her.
That the deponent once again humbly submits that to
the humble understanding of the deponent, no provision of the RTI
Act enjoins upon the PIO to get the provisions of any policy
translated only for the convenience of the complainant. One is
constrained to imagine that if the complainant is really that illiterate,
how is she so minutely knowledgeable about the provisions of the
two Oustee Policies, the judgment of the Honble High Court and
the provisions of the RTI Act. There will be no wonder that some
such persons as the complainant may just be acting as pawns in
the hands of some unscrupulous property dealers. Also it is a well
known fact that some of the information seekers are all out to
misuse the provisions of the RTI Act as a means of arm-twisting of
the concerned department/its officials to settle some other personal

Complaint Case No. 172 of 2014

21

scores which is sometimes too obvious from their tone and tanner
by which they try to dictate their terms as if they are the paymasters of officials of the department.
That in spite of the above-stated position, though not
legally obliged, the office of the deponent, vide their letter
No.14/57/13/6HI/111282/I dated 22.10.2013, forwarded a copy of
the oustee policy to the Assistant Director, Language Department,
Punjab Civil Secretariat-2, with a request to translate the same at
the earliest into English language and return since the information
was to be supplied to the complainant, as there is no translation
expert in the office of the deponent nor was it a part of their duty.
Being policy matter it could not have been taken lightly by getting it
translated from/through a person not trained for the job. It is also
pertinent to mention that a copy of letter dated 22.10.2014 had also
been endorsed to the complainant which could be treated as
interim reply so far as supplying translated paras 10,11 and 12 of
the policy are concerned since the requisite information had
already been supplied vide letter dated 12.9.2013.
That a hand written translated copy of the policy had
been received from the language department vide their letter dated
6.11.2013. After perusing the same, being a policy, it had been
forwarded to the Chief Administrator, GMADA, SAS Nagar vide
Memo

No.14/57/13/6H1/132096/I

dated

4.12.2013

with

the

instructions to scrutinize the policy and forward a copy to the


Government within one week after correcting the mistakes and
verifying the same. It had also been instructed that a copy of the
translated policy be also uploaded on the website of PUDA.

Complaint Case No. 172 of 2014

22

That in spite of the fact that the complainant had been


intimated vide letter dated 22.10.2013 that the oustee policy is
shortly being got translated in Punjabi by the Government and on
being translated its copy shall be immediately sent to her, the
complainant, instead of bearing with the department of the
deponent, filed an appeal dated 30-12-2013 before this Honble
Commission for which the PIO of the department of the deponent
received the Notice of Hearing for 5-3-2014. A perusal of the
contents of the appeal would reveal that, inter-alia, the complainant
has alleged that she had asked for the translation of Para No.10, 11
and 12 only and not the entire policy. She alleged that this is only
an excuse for not supplying the information. Approximately three
months time has lapsed but she has not received the demanded
information till date. The deponent humbly submits that in view of
the details mentioned in the preceding paras, such allegation is
absolutely unwarranted and uncalled for.
That after the policy had been scrutinized by

the

policy branch of GMADA and short comings in its translation in


Punjabi language had been rectified, on receipt in the office of the
deponent, a copy of the same had been forwarded to the
complainant

vide

Memo

No.14/57/2013/6HGI/164326

dated

19.2.2014. This Honble Commission had also been apprised of the


same by the Superintendent-cum-APIO through the Deputy
Registrar

of

this

Honble

Commission

vide

Memo.No.14/57/2013/6HGI/166201 dated 20.2.2014. From the


above, it is absolutely clear that there is no deliberate or intentional
delay or any negligence on the part of the department of the
deponent. The delay if deemed to be any, is merely procedural
which, the deponent humbly submits, is not covered under the
provisions of the RTI Act. However, though the then APIO had

Complaint Case No. 172 of 2014

23

tendered his unconditional apology for the deemed delay, the


deponent

also

tenders

his

unconditional

apology

for

any

inconvenience caused to this Honble Commission on that count.


That so far as the question of there being no PIO
from 17.10.2013 to 17.3.2014 is concerned, the deponent humbly
submits that vide the Department of Information Technology
(Administrative Reforms Branch) Memo No. 2/17/2005-IAR/538
dated 15.9.2005 the guidelines had been issued according to which
the concerned Under Secretary, Deputy Secretary and Joint
Secretaries were to be appointed as APIOs, Additional Secretary or
Special Secretary or the Secretary of the department concerned
were

to

be

appointed

as

PIOs

and

the

Administrative

Secretary/Principal Secretary/Financial Commissioners were to be


appointed as Appellate Authorities. On an inquiry by the office of
the deponent, the Department of Information Technology vide there
I.D.Letter

No.4/28/2014-4ARI/25520/I

dated

30.6.2014

has

intimated that according to the record available in that department,


no further instructions have been issued by the Government in this
connection after the aforementioned letters/instructions. The
deponent had only tried to implement these instructions issued by
the Government regarding the appointment of PIOs and APIOs.
That whenever an officer of the rank of Additional
Secretary or Special Secretary had been available in the
department of the deponent, he/she had been appointed as the
PIO. In the eventuality of non-availability of an officer of that rank,
though designated and appointed as APIO, the incumbent so
appointed had been fully and satisfactorily discharging the duties,
otherwise required to be discharged by the PIO. To the humble
understanding of the deponent, it should make no difference to any

Complaint Case No. 172 of 2014

24

applicant as to whether the application submitted by him/her has


been dealt with by a PIO or an APIO so long as the information
sought by him/her is provided. The deponent further humbly
submits that when an officer of the rank to be appointed as PIO
had been available, even the same functionary had been
discharging the duties as APIO and had been doing the same job.
That the deponent still further humbly submits that the
posting/transfer of any officer of the Punjab Government, including
the deponent himself, is beyond the competence and jurisdiction of
the deponent. It is further humbly submitted that the posting of any
officer of the Punjab Government as a Special/Additional Secretary
in the Department of Housing and Urban Development is not under
the control and jurisdiction of the deponent but is under the
competence

of

the

Personnel

Department

of

the

Punjab

Government, for which the deponent has already made personal


efforts by requesting the Chief Secretary as well as Secretary,
Department of Personnel from time to time so trhat the said officer
may discharge the duties of a Public Information Officer and also
for functioning of the Department in general. Even a written request
in this regard has been made to the Secretary Personnel on
26.6.2014 followed by a DO letter dated 4.8.2014 copies of which
are annexed herewith.
That the deviation from the Government instructions
dated 15.9.2005 referred to in para 11 above had not been to the
knowledge of the deponent till specifically pointed out by this
Honble Commission for which the deponent expresses his
gratitude to this Honble Commission and the officials of the rank of
Superintendent have been appointed as PIOs and the officials of
the rank of Senior Assistants have been appointed as APIOs.

Complaint Case No. 172 of 2014

That

25

perusal

of

the

communication

dated

30.12.2013 forwarded to this Honble Commission by the


complainant would show that the same has been filed as an appeal
before this Honble Commission though it appears to have been
treated as a complaint by this Honble Commission. As per the
provisions of the RTI Act, if the complainant did not feel satisfied
with the information provided by the APIO, the complainant was
required to file an appeal before the First Appellate Authority i.e. the
Deponent before approaching this Honble Commission by way of
filing second appeal if she was not satisfied with the information
supplied even at the level of First Appellate Authority. A perusal of
the orders passed by this Honble Commission would further show
that the complainant has never come present on even one of the
hearing dates till date. It only indicates that the complainant is
satisfied with the information supplied to her and does not wish to
further pursue the matter.
That this Honble Commission has been pleased to
observe in the order dated 10.7.2014 that since the deponent had
been

clearing

the

information

to

be

provided

to

the

complaints/appellants by the APIO during the period when no


regular PIO had been appointed, the deponent had arrogated the
role of the PIO to himself and as such the deponent himself had
been the PIO (though he was not formally declared as PIO). This
Honble Commission has been further pleased to observe at page
4 of the order that the deponent is deemed to be PIO and
responsible for delay and denying the information within stipulated
period. The deponent humbly submits that since the deponent had
been appointed the Appellate Authority vide order dated 17.4.2013,
the deponent cannot be deemed to be discharging the functions of

Complaint Case No. 172 of 2014

26

PIO and the First Appellate Authority simultaneously. The APIO had
been getting the information cleared from the deponent not in his
capacity as PIO or FAA but as an Administrative Secretary/Head of
the Department which appears to have been wrongly construed by
this Honble Commission. As is absolutely clear from the facts
stated in the preceding paras, the information had neither been
delayed nor denied to the complainant as, to start with, the
complainant had not sought any information covered under Section
2(f) of RTI Act, 2005 but had merely sought clarifications in the
implementation of the Oustee Policies of 1994 and 2011 in the light
of the judgment passed by the Honble High Court in CWP No.2575
of 2009 which is beyond the scope of the RTI Act, 2005. Still a copy
of the Oustee Policy dated 25.5.2011 had been supplied to the
complainant within 10 days of the receipt of the application. The
complainant then demanded a copy of paras 10, 11 and 12 of the
2011 policy translated in Punjabi which was not available with the
department of the deponent. Since even this was neither covered
under the RTI Act nor the obligation of the department of the
deponent, still taking a sympathetic view, the translated copy of the
requisite paras had been supplied to her. There has been no delay
either at the end of the department of the deponent, the delay if
any, has taken place only in processing the work of translation with
the languages department and getting the translated policy
scrutinized, corrected, verified and authenticated so as to rule out
creeping in of any inadvertent mistake since it was a policy
applicable to all the Oustees. There is no provision in law or
procedure under which only paras 10, 11 and 12 of the policy could
have been got translated and forwarded to the complainant posthaste as demanded by the complainant.

Complaint Case No. 172 of 2014

27

The deponent, therefore, humbly prays that in view of


the facts and circumstances as detailed in the preceding paras, the
show cause notice issued to the deponent under Section 20(1) of
the RTI Act may kindly be filed and the present complaint case may
kindly be closed, in the interest of justice.
The written submission was taken on record and the case was
adjourned by the above Bench to 20.8.2014 and then again on 20.8.2014 the
case was adjourned.

This case was transferred to the Bench comprising of Shri


Narinderjit Singh, Shri Surinder Awasthi and Shri Harinder Pal Singh Mann, State
Information Commissioners as per orders of the Chief Information Commissioner,
Punjab dated 19.8.2014. This case was heard by this Bench on 1.10.2014 and
after hearing the arguments of the parties present, the order was kept reserved.

After considering the written submissions and oral averments made


on behalf of the respondent we observe that:

i)

Smt. Naib Kaur C/O Sh. Gurbax Singh has filed an appeal with this
Commission wherein it has been stated that she has asked for
Punjabi translation of Paras 10,11 and 12 of the New Oustee Policy
from the Superintendent- APIO, Housing and Urban Development
Department, Punjab, Chandigarh vide letter dated 23.9.2013. The
appellant has mentioned that she was informed by the APIO vide
his letter dated 22.10.2013 that the Punjabi Translation of the policy
would be got done and after translation she would be supplied a
copy of the same. The appellant has mentioned that she has asked

Complaint Case No. 172 of 2014

28

for Punjabi translation of paras 10, 11 and 12 and not of the entire
policy and has requested that she may be provided the same. The
perusal of the request of the appellant- Smt. Naib Kaur dated
23.9.2013 indicates that the first part of her letter is in the shape of
question that whether certain conditions of the policy are applicable
to the land acquired from their common account before 7.5.2001 or
not. In the second part of the letter dated 23.9.2013, Smt. Naib
Kaur has mentioned that Punjabi translation of Paras 10, 11 and 12
may be provided to her after getting the same translated. Clearly
the appellant made a request for translation of certain Paras of the
policy of the Housing & Urban Development Department and the
contents of the letter clearly indicate that she was well aware that
the translation had to be got done. The APIO has provided
response vide his letter dated 22.10.2013 within the stipulated time
and in his response he has mentioned that the translation of the
policy in Punjabi language was being arranged and a copy of the
same would be provided to her after the translation. In her appeal
to

this

Commission

dated

30.12.2013,

the

appellant

has

acknowledged the receipt of the above letter. Therefore, the RTI


application stands disposed of by the APIO within the stipulated
time and therefore, the appeal filed with this Commission is
infructuous. There has been a serious error of judgment in the
order dated 10.7.2014 in making the Secretary of the Housing and
Urban Development Department as deemed PIO and holding him
responsible for delay and denying the information and issuance of
the show cause notice to him. Firstly, there has been no delay in
providing response to the RTI appellant by the respondent. The RTI
appellant has asked for translation of certain Paras of the policy
from English to Punjabi language. Clearly she was aware that the
policy exists in English language but she made a request for
translation of certain Paras of the policy. The request is beyond the

Complaint Case No. 172 of 2014

29

ambit of information of Section 2(f) of the Right to Information Act,


2005 as the Act prescribes that "information" means any material
in any form, including records, documents, memos, e-mails,
opinions, advices, press releases, circulars, orders, logbooks,
contracts, reports, papers, samples, models, data material held in
any electronic form and information relating to any private body
which can be accessed by a public authority under any other law
for the time being in force. The policy of the Government was
available in English language only with the public authority at the
time of filing of RTI application by the appellant and she has asked
for translation of certain paras of the same in Punjabi language.
The perusal of the application of the RTI applicant, the extract of
which has been reproduced above, clearly establish that, in fact,
she has not sought any information as defined under Section 2(f) of
the RTI Act, 2005. Since the information sought by her relates
neither to records nor documents available with the public authority,
the information sought by the appellant is not covered under the
provisions of Section 2(f); the PIO was not under any legal
obligation to provide the information sought by her. She had merely
sought a clarification as to whether in the light of the decision dated
01.10.2010 of the Honble High Court in CWP No. 2575 of 2009, all
the oustees of a joint khata have become eligible for getting
separate plots in lieu of the land acquired of their respective shares;
on which oustees, the policy dated 26.09.1994 is applicable and on
which oustees, the policy dated 25.05.2011 issued by the
government after the decision of the Honble High Court is
applicable. That as per the provisions of the RTI Act, no information
is required to be created/manufactured/altered/changed only for the
sake of providing the same to any applicant but the information
available in the record only is to be provided. The respondent has

Complaint Case No. 172 of 2014

30

submitted that vide office memo no. 2909 dated 12.09.2013 a copy
of the Oustee policy dated 25.05.2011 had been provided to the
appellant within 10 days of the receipt of the application, which was
well within the time frame stipulated under the RTI Act. The plea of
the respondent that the definition of information and right to
information makes it clear that a citizen has a right to get the
material, inspect the material, take notes from the material, take
extracts or certified copies of the material, take samples of the
material, take the material in the form of diskettes etc. has to be
accepted. The Act does not require the Public Information Officer to
deduce some conclusion from the material and supply the
conclusion so deducted to the applicant. The PIO is required to
supply the material in the form as held by the public authority and
is not required to do research on behalf of the citizen to deduce
anything from the material and then supply it to him or her.
ii)

Further, the respondent has also submitted that after obtaining


translation of the policy in Punjabi language from the Language
Department, a copy of the same was provided to the complainant
through registered post on 19.2.2014. This effort of the respondent
is required to be appreciated. We observe that u/s 2(f) of the RTI
Act, the information can only be provided as available in the
records and that there is no provision of translating the information
and providing the translated version to the Applicant in the RTI Act.

iii)

It has been observed that public authority has not appointed PIO for
a certain period of time. However, the APIO has responded within
the stipulated time and therefore, the absence of the PIO did not
result in any delay in the disposal of the RTI request of the

Complaint Case No. 172 of 2014

31

appellant. However, the Secretary of the Department is advised to


ensure that in future the post of PIO should not remain vacant.
iv)

During various hearings of this case the appellant remained


absent. At the last date of hearing, the appellant was again absent
however; Sh. Gurbax Singh S/O Sh. Karora Singh, GPA of the
appellant- Mrs. Naib Kaur attended the hearing. Sh. Gurbax Singh
has not filed any written submission on behalf of the appellant.

v)

As per section 2 (m) of the Right to Information Act, 2005 the


"State Public Information Officer" means the State Public
Information Officer designated under Sub-section (1) and includes
a State Assistant Public Information Officer designated as such
under Sub-section (2) of Section 5. Further as per Section 5 (5) any
officer, whose assistance has been sought under Sub-section (4),
shall render all assistance to the Central Public Information Officer
or State Public Information Officer, as the case may be, seeking his
or her assistance and for the purposes of any contravention of the
provisions of this Act, such other officer shall be treated as a
Central Public Information Officer or State Public Information
Officer, as the case may be. Clearly Shri A.Venu Parsad, the
Secretary of the Department cannot be considered as PIO.

vi)

Section 20(1) of the Right to Information Act, 2005 states that


where the Central Information Commission or the State Information
Commission, as the case may be, at the time of deciding any
complaint or appeal is of the opinion that the Central Public
Information Officer or the State Public Information Officer, as the
case may be, has, without any reasonable cause, refused to
receive an application for information or has not furnished
information within the time specified under Sub-section (1) of

Complaint Case No. 172 of 2014

32

section 7 or malafidely denied the request for information or


knowingly given incorrect, incomplete or misleading information or
destroyed information which was the subject of the request or
obstructed in any manner in furnishing the information, it shall
impose a penalty of two hundred and fifty rupees each day till
application is received or information is furnished, so however, the
total amount of such penalty shall not exceed twenty-five thousand
rupees. As supply of information has not been denied or delayed
there can be no case for imposition of penalty against the Secretary
of the Department.
vii)

There is no provision in the Act to impose fines or take action against


the First Appellate Authority (FAA). Though FAA is the senior
official, the RTI Act allows the State Information Commission to take
action only against the PIO, who is the subordinate officer.

viii)

We have had the privilege of reading the decision of our esteemed


colleague Shri Surinder Awasthi, State Information Commissioner.
With utmost respect, we are unable to agree with the view taken by
him.
In view of the above observations and considering the written

submissions and oral averments made on behalf of the respondents we observe


that there has been no delay in furnishing of response relating to the information
sought by the appellant and therefore, the show cause notice issued to Shri
A.Venu Parsad is dropped. The case is accordingly disposed of and closed.

This case was fixed for 18.11.2014 for pronouncement of the order.
However, the complainant and respondent have not turned up. Hence this

Complaint Case No. 172 of 2014

33

judgment is pronounced in the open chamber, in the absence of the parties.


Copies of the order be dispatched to both the complainant and the respondent. A
copy of the order shall also be displayed on the website of the Commission, as
per the practice in vogue.

(HARINDER PAL SINGH MANN)


State Information Commissioner
Dated: 18th November, 2014

(NARINDERJIT SINGH)
State Information Commissioner