In my considered opinion, Section7(1) of the RTI ACT requires to be amended to the effect that PIO should provide necessary information to the querist in an AFFIDAVIT , which would prevent or minimise incorrect or incomplete or misleading information from them, as was experienced by us in many cases. This measure would also avoid or reduce our invaluable time which is otherwise needed for preferring an appeal before First Appellate Authority or CIC/SIC.
It does not make any differance. There is already a provision viz.,Section 167 IPC - Public servant framing incorrect document with intend to cause injury .......is liable for punishment upto 3 years with fine or both. False Affidiavit viz., filing a false statement in oath or afirmation also provide the same punishment under 181 IPC..
Further framing false statement and filing false affidavit is a very routine among the PIOs. When this is expossed with documentary evidence nothing happens or rather our bureaucracy does not consider it as an offence. In a particular case when I had reported and even told personally to even the District Collector the reply one get is that it was a mistake. None of them have any answer as to what is the status of information conveyed in the false affidavit. Believe it or not even Sri.Palat Mohandas, the State Chief Information Ciommmissioner of Kerala did not consider a complaint proving with documentary evendence of a false affidavit furnished by the Tahsildar Tellicherry on his own orders.
Do you still feel the necessity of amending Section 7(1) of the RTI Act ?
Yes,I have been given several false informations and declarations by PIO's of my employer.I quote one example:
I was denied the function of cashier despite being senior employee in the category of assistant upon the death of then cashier dt.15.11.2007.There is clear circular that the function was to be given to senior most person. When I raised the matter under RTI Act,the authority at my employer's Jaipur office submitted false information dt.17.01.08that I was duly offered the function,but I myself rejected.The same person declared himself "diciplinary authority" and issued me charge sheets dt.13.02.08.
In reply to my recent RTI application,Central Vigilance Commission has submitted the explanation of my employer's Chief Vigilance Commissioner that as per report of Jaipur Vigilance officer,since my post was different and I was already being issued transfer order (stayed by court,stay continues)there was no question of allotting the job to me,hence my complaint was baseless.
The only feasible solution is the PIOs, FAAs and PAs need to be heavily penalised by CIC/SICs if information is denied, false/incomplete info is supplied under RTI Act-2005. Also if provisions of RTI ACt-2005 are abused, bypassed and ignored by PIOs, FAAs and FAs.
The offices of CIC and SICs need to be provided with adequate infrastructure and/or strengthen the existing one to reduce pendency of appeals. Many PAs are taking advantage of the pendency and denying info as such the cases would be decided after their retirement.
Another solution is that PIOs and FAAs should be form other department who can work without fear or favour. In this case the PIOs would be assertive on PAs.
1.Whenever second appeal file is filed, at the first instant office of the CIC/SIC should acknowledge the receipt of the appeal, allotting docket number or case id number so that the stage of the case can be verified at the later stage by the appellant either from web-site or through SMS, as the case may be. 2. As regards fees, there are different rules of different states viz. in Maharashtra there is fee of first and second appeal, while in A.P. or Central Govt., there is no fee either for first and second appeal. 3. There must also uniform procedure for fees, or prescribed proforma for filing the first or second appeal,so that any citizen from any state can use RTI for getting information from that State following the same procedure without searching for the rules of that respective state. s.p.pataskar, adilabad.