If both the PIOs are from the same Public Authority then, the first PIO cannot transfer your RTI application to the second PIO.
Kindly file a first appeal with the First Appellate Authority of the first PIO on the following grounds:
Ground of First Appeal:
I would hereby like to draw your Hon’ble Authority’s kind attention to the provision of section 5(4) read with section 5(5) of the RTI Act, 2005, whereby:
- As per section 5(4), if the information is not available with the PIO’s Office, nevertheless, it is available within his Public Authority then, the PIO is supposed to seek assistance of other officer as he or she considers necessary for proper discharge of his duties and thereby access the information from that other Office and provide it to a RTI applicant, and
- As per section 5(5), for the purpose of any contraventions of the provisions of RTI Act, such other Officer shall be treated as the PIO.
Therefore, given the provision of section 5(4) read with section 5(5) the PIO was supposed to have sought assistance of the Officer in whose custody the information vide this RTI application, was available.
In this regard, please also find the decision of Hon’ble Delhi High Court in CPIO Supreme Court v/s. Subhash Chandra Agarwal & Anr., the relevant except of which has been quoted below and is self explanatory:
Para 23. In view of this, the question of transferring an application under Section 6(3) of the Right to Information Act by the CPIO of the Supreme Court cannot arise. It is the duty of the CPIO to obtain the information that is held by or available with the public authority. Each of the sections or department of a public Authority cannot be treated as a separate or distinct public authority. If any information is available with one section or the department, it shall be deemed to be available with the Public Authority as one single entity CPIO cannot take a view contrary to this.
Thus, the PIO has disposed of the RTI application in violation of section 5(4) read with section 5(5) of the RTI Act.