Intimate retention period in case information sought has been weeded out under Record Retention Schedule/Preservation of Records Rules. It would also be advisable to enclose copy of relevant rules or the extract of rules under which weeding of records has been done.
This is the extract of the departmental circulation I have received from the Ministry. You can see that under the above circular, you must approach for the First Appeal asking for:
Retention period of record.
Rule under which the record has been destroyed, if it is?
If the record is untraceable, who are the Officials responsible for not maintaining it.
Why the above details were not given to me while supplying the information by PIO.
I have received information from PIO that "Records are not traceable" is this is the justified answer, what should be done in such case.
All documents are public property. Action has to be taken against missing documents. In an appeal No. 49:APL:2006 dtd.31/8/2006 between B.H. Veeresha & Chief Engineer Bangalore Mahanagara Palike, Bangalore, the Karnataka State Information Commission had directed the Public Authorities to file a Police Complaint wherever public records were reported to have been lost. I am sorry I dont have a copy of this decision, but it should be availabe with the Karnataka SIC.
Further the Central Information Commission, New Delhi has also ruled in several cases (Ms. Misha Singh v/s MEF; Mrs. Prem Vati v/s MCD etc) directing the Public Authority to file FIR with the Police for missing files, documents and cupboards.
I believe that is not a very good step.
The action taken against the erring officer after inquiry should be the primary recourse.
What results are achieved by filling FIR. There are millions of FIR pending in the police stations.
It will give one excuse to the babus to file and FIR and deny the information.
I wont be surprised if some one file another RTI to find out the number of FIR pending in police stations.
The objective of RTI to make government transparent not shift blame or generate unproductive work.
May be a penalty of digitizing the records in a given time period should be awarded to the CPIO with direction to govt to make available required fund.
If a past mistake can ensure that the future mistakes are avoided, its a lesson well learned.