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Thread: Does this question come within the definition of information?

  1. Does this question come within the definition of information?


    Hello,

    I have filed an application with CPIO, CSIR for information and I get a reply that the information as sought by you does not fall under the definition of information as provided under section 2(f) of the act. It says "Further CIC in its order dated 21.4.2006 in Appeal No. CIC/AT/A/2006/00045 in the case of Dr. D V Rao Vs APIO, Deptt. of legal Affairs, New Delhi has clearly held that the RTI Act does not cast on the Public Authority any obligation to answer the query. Therefore, when the applicatant under RTI attempts to elicit answer to his question with prefix such as why, what, when and whether, the Authority is not obliged to give reply to such query."

    I would like to know from the experienced members of the forum whether the following query can be rejected under the above claim by the CPIO, that too under the false pretext that no policy for safety exists while in fact it does have one but not being implemented.

    PIO, CSIR in response to an earlier application responded thus: “.. no such instructions/document named as ‘Safety Policy’ has been issued by CSIR Headquarters, hence document/information in this regard is not available in CSIR Headquarters.” [Lr. No. 46-2(306)/2006-RTI].

    Is there any document that deals with responsibilities towards safety of employees in CSIR whatever the name of the document? If so provide a copy. Can CSIR deny the right to life guaranteed under the constitution of <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-comhttps://www.rtiindia.org/forum/ /><st...y-region w:st=India</ST1</st1:country-region> for its employees under the pretext that it has no policy? When an employee of CSIR loses life in accident while at work – What rules/regulations/policies/procedures/laws etc apply?



    Thanks,

    baburaok



  2. #2
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    Col NR Kurup (Retd)
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    Re: Does this question come within the definition of information?


    One can seek only the information " Held " by the PA. To me, it appears that you may ask " Is CSIR is in possession of any document that deals with the responsibilities towards the safety of employees in CSIR ". The answer could be "yes" or "No". Your subsequent action commence when you get the repy. If the answeris "No " the matter ends. If it is "Yes" you may ask for its inspection and seek copies of specific documents.

  3. Re: Does this question come within the definition of information?


    Another way to phrase the request is this "Please give me copies of all document dealing with safety of employees of CSIR. If the documents are over this many pages, then I would like to inspect the documents."

  4. #4

    Re: Does this question come within the definition of information?



    Dear Baburaok,
    The views submitted by colnkurup and satish gupta is correct but as per section 4 of RTI act it is duty of organisation to disclose the safety measures used by organisation and total expenditure on security. The proactive discloure is not being made by so many organisations. In addition to above the working of CIC is also not up to mark. As per section 4(1)d any one can ask the reason of adminstrative or quasi judicial action and may ask the reason for non action also. Non of the agency is interested to implement the RTI as enacted.

  5. #5
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    C J Karira
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    Re: Does this question come within the definition of information?


    baburaok,

    No one (PIO or Applicant) can blindly follow some sentence in a CIC order/decision and quote it in another situation without understanding the background and the circumstances of that particular case. Each case is different, each applicant/appellant puts forward his case in a different manner, etc.

    In cases where you want some very very ""particular"" information, it is better to start your application by asking for very general information and slowly (question by question) leading the PIO to the "right" question.

    In this case, you could (my suggestion) have started by asking:

    1. Does CSIR have any policy defined for dealing with Safety for its employees/staff/officers in work places in its laboratories/organisations ?
    2. If yes, is there any internal document that deals with this policy ?
    3. What is the name of this document ?
    4. Please provide me a certified copy of the above mentioned document.
    5. If there is no Safety Policy by CSIR, what is the procedure followed in case an employee loses his life or meets with an accident during work ?
    etc
    etc
    etc
    etc

    This way you are trying to "squeeze" out the information from the PIO, even if he does not want to part with it. In such situations, always start with a few very innocent sounding bits of information....irrespective of what the answer to those will be, the subsequent questions cannot be rejected outright. Can a PIO ever say that the organisation does not have a Safety Policy for its employees ? (as asked in the first question).

  6. #6
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    Re: Does this question come within the definition of information?


    Thank you. With the new tactics like "sqeeze out information" "game of chess", "confront with contradications" etc., we are advancing in the right direction envisaged by the Architects of the RTI Act.

  7. #7

    Re: Does this question come within the definition of information?


    Hi All,

    I have a question regarding definition of information. In Tamil Nadu, 4 new information commissioners were appointed in 2008 (after the first set of 3 commissioners while forming the commission). When I had gone to the Personnel department (which deals with appointment of commissioners) to inspect the files related to the Commissioners' appointment, I saw that there were letters from prospective candidates stating that they were interested in applying for the post of Information Commissioners. But there was no advertisement or announcement made that the department was looking out for commissioners.

    But from the fact that these candidates had sent it letters seeking an opportunity to serve as commissioners, it is obvious that there was some kind of communication from the department in this regard. Hence in another RTI application, I asked them the means through which it was made known that the department was looking for commissioners. My verbatim question was

    "When I had come for inspection of files related to the TN State Information Commission, I had seen letters from interested candidates, expressing interest in being a State Information Commissioner along with their resume. How was the fact that the Tamil Nadu Government was looking for Information Commissioners publicised? Was it through an advertisement? If so please give a copy of the advertisement. If through any other means, please specify the means through which this was done and a copy of the correspondence involved."

    To this I got a reply saying that the information sought is not in file. The first appellate authority has also upheld this decision. I agree that the information is not in file, but still the information I had asked for is not opinion or anything of that sort. It is a material fact that this was somehow publicised (probably through phone to friends). Just that such publicising was not recorded on file. But at least the secretary of the department will definitely know how it was done. Does not this come under the definition of information? Let me know your opinion on this. Also let me know any if there are any relevant precendents for this.

    Thanks.
    Madhav.

  8. #8
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    Col NR Kurup (Retd)
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    Re: Does this question come within the definition of information?


    When the information is NOT HELD nothing could be done unless you can prove in a court of law that the information was held

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