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Thread: Let Us Know The Act - Does 19(1) Bar Complaint under 18(1)(c) ?

  1. #9
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    Col NR Kurup (Retd)
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    Re: Let Us Know The Act - Does 19(1) Bar Complaint under 18(1)(c) ?


    Thank you Mr.Karira. When all these decisions of the CIC is clubbed, the issue is loud and clear. Firstly, a First Appeal does not bar a complaint under Section 18(1). The decision of the Kerala SIC on the contrary only expose his ignorance of the Act. Secondly it is always advisable to exhaust the provisions of 19(1) before bothering the Commission.



  2. #10

    Re: Let Us Know The Act - Does 19(1) Bar Complaint under 18(1)(c) ?


    It is interesting to see that the Act (in Sec 18) does not provide any powers to the CIC to give directions or pass orders after inquiring into the 'Complaint'. It only provides for inquiry. May be after inquiry the CIC can record his findings. At best he can make some 'recommendation' by reading Sec 18 with Sec 25(5) of the Act.

  3. #11
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    Re: Let Us Know The Act - Does 19(1) Bar Complaint under 18(1)(c) ?


    Section 18 should be read in conjunction with Section 20 which states that "Where the CIC or SIC at the time of deciding any COMPLAINT or appeal is of the opinion that the CPIO or the SPIO has without any reasonable cause .....etc" . I feel that the powers of Section 20 can be exercised in the case of Complaint also.

  4. Re: Let Us Know The Act - Does 19(1) Bar Complaint under 18(1)(c) ?



    Certainly, it is clear from section 20 read with section 18 that SIC/CIC has power of imposing penalty ,if he thinks so. But stastitics will reveal that neither SIC nor CIC has any intention to impose penalty in most of the cases. That is why PIOs are not that much sincere to furnish proper information and are very much reluctant to provide information in time.Exception is there and will also be there.

  5. #13

    Re: Let Us Know The Act - Does 19(1) Bar Complaint under 18(1)(c) ?


    Thank you for correcting me. Sec 18 should be read with Sec 20 obviously!

  6. Re: Let Us Know The Act - Does 19(1) Bar Complaint under 18(1)(c) ?


    colnurkurp ji,

    Your post at 3 is really wonderful and it will be guiding the RTI Activists. It explain how to take the best benefit out of RTI Act, appeals.

    thank you colnurkurp ji.

    rakatkam.

  7. #15
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    Re: Let Us Know The Act - Does 19(1) Bar Complaint under 18(1)(c) ?


    Recently, CIC has explained as to why the applicant should exhaust First Appeal under Sec 19 before lodging a "complaint" under Sec 18:

    https://cic.gov.in/CIC-Orders/Decision_22022008_09.pdf

    It is noted that that information requested by the appellant has been provided to him by the two SPIOs. The appellant has some reservations about the quality and the range of information provided to him. Rather than agitate that matter before the Commission as a complaint, it would be better if the petitioner approaches the first Appellate Authority for a decision. Although Section 18 of the RTI Act accords to a petitioner the right to approach the Commission directly in a complaint, it would be wholly inappropriate to take up such matters as complaints when the substance of the petitions is about the quality and the extent of the information furnished. Such matters are appropriately the subject-matter of first appeal under Section 19(1) and should be first taken up with the first Appellate Authority before been brought to the Commission either as the second-appeal or as complaint or both.

    8. The initial few words of Section 18 are significant. These read as “Subject to the provisions of this Act…...”. Constructively interpreted, these would imply that Section 18 should be invoked provided other provisions of this Act, relevant to the subject of the petition, have been earlier invoked, or, if there are grounds to hold that the petitioner was prevented from invoking those provisions to seek appropriate relief. That is to say, where the avenue of first-appeal under Section 19(1) is available to a petitioner, he should not be encouraged to skip that level and reach the Commission in complaint under Section 18, especially when the relief sought by him could be best provided through the appellate process. Section 18 cannot be allowed to be used as a substitute for Section 19 of the Act.
    9. In consideration of the above, petitioner is directed to file his first-appeal before the Appellate Authority and should he still be dissatisfied with the orders of the AA, he may approach the Commission in second-appeal / complaint.

    The full decision is attached herewith.
    Attached Files Attached Files

  8. #16
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    Re: Let Us Know The Act - Does 19(1) Bar Complaint under 18(1)(c) ?


    Now the CIC has started sending back matters to the First Appellate Authority once again, in spite of the applicant going through the First Appeal stage already and then only filing his Second Appeal with CIC.
    The words being used are:

    Because the 1st appellate authority has not addressed
    the question of appellant, which is of direct concern to his public authority and
    because appellant has pleaded no ground for making a direct complaint to us u/s 18 (1) (e), the Commission has decided to remand this appeal to......

    I fail to understand how matter can be remanded back to the FAA when he has already heard the First Appeal. What was the FAA doing till now ? What else can he do now ? This is a classic case of passing the buck.
    Twitter: @cjkarira

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