CIC asks Cabinet Secretariat to discuss conformity to Sections 4(1)(a), (b) & (c)
In a recent decision, CIC has asked the Cabinet Secretariat to discuss with it ways and means to bring all records of Cabinet Decisions in conformity with Sections 4(1)(a), (b) & (c) of the RTI Act subject to Section 8(1)(i).
It is interesting to point out that at one place, applicant had also pointed out to CIC that it was the APIO who has signed the response. CIC held that this is a valid practice arguing:
In his prayer both in his 1st appeal and in the second before us appellant Shri Raj has questioned the validity of APIO’s response in view of Sec 7 sub-sections (1) and (8). He has averred that in the former it is the CPIO who must respond and in the latter, the inadequacy cited in his 1st appeal, assigned to “inadvertence’ by the appellate authority. Attention of appellant Shri Raj Vats is drawn to Sec 5 (4) whereby the CPIO “may seek the assistance of any other officer as he or she considers it necessary for the proper discharge of his or her duties”. This Commission has held that this will include reply to RTI applications by officers other than the CPIO. In the case of failure to adhere to Sec 7(8) (ii), this stands acknowledged by first appellate authority in his letter of 15.12.07, and although we would expect that such faults will be eliminated from responses provided by the Cabinet Secretariat hitherto, this cannot be held to void the entire response. Thus, neither objection is sustainable.
The full decision of the CIC is attached herewith.