An application for information was sent to a CPIO. The CPIO, in turn, asked for some details from a subordinate formation in this regard. The PIO of the subordinate formation furnished these details to the CPIO. The CPIO, while furnishing the info to the seeker of info, enclosed a copy of the PIO's communication to the CPIO, to explain the position.
The info seeker made an appeal to the AA of the PIO alleging that the info provided by the PIO is incomplete etc.
Should this be considered as an appeal by the AA? Since the PIO did not furnish any info to the info seeker directly, where is the question of the info seeker appealing to the AA of the PIO? If at all he was aggrieved he should have made the appeal to the AA of the CPIO.
Can this 'appeal' be treated as an application for info by the PIO and dealt with instead of treating it as appeal?
In this case the PIO of the subordinate formation clearly becomes a "deemed" PIO under Section 5(4) and 5(5).
The First Appeal should be to the AA of the CPIO because that is where the application was first given. There is no need for the new AA to get involved since there is no transfer to another PA under Sec 6 (3). It is the same PA.
I had a similar case where deemed PIO is a direct subordinate officer of the PIO. Deemed PIO has misunderstood the query and accordingly refused information citing Sec 7(9). PIO sent the reply of the deemed PIO as it is, without applying his mind.
1) Is the PIO required to ensure that the deemed PIO has provided information only to what was asked in the application and not misunderstood it?
2) Against whom should I file the first appeal? The PIO or the deemed PIO or jointly against both of them?
First Appeal to the FAA of the first PIO (recipient PIO).
Undere the RTI Act, it is ONLY the designated PIO who is responsible for receiving applications, collecting information and providing it to the applicant. He is also responsible for appearing before AA and the SIC/CIC.
Since the PIO cannot be the custodian of all the information held in the PA, the RTI Act provides for Sec 5(4) and 5(5) the concept of "deemed" PIO. The "deemed" PIO is responsible for the correctness of the information provided. If the matter reaches penalty stage, useage of Sec 5(4) and 5(5) will give protection to the recipient PIO.
Sec 5(4) and 5(5) cannot be used by the PIO to designate other PIO's and pass on his complete responsibility to them.