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Thread: SIC, Kerala's Orders accepting Questionnire under 2(f)

  1. #1
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    Col NR Kurup (Retd)
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    SIC, Kerala's Orders accepting Questionnire under 2(f)


    On seeing that the PIOs are approaching High Court to get stay on penalties imposed by the SIC, I suspected that there might be chances that the expenditure involved in the litigation might have incurred by the government, as obtaining stay orders involving high expenditure against penalty of Rs.14,750/- in that particular ase may not be economically viable. I had therefore sought the required information from the same PIO and Additional Secretary to government who has been punished and obtained the stay from High Court.

    The PIO denied the informtion on a plea that the information sought for in the form of "Questionnaire" does not come under Section 2(f) of the RTI Act.. In my First Appel I had pleaded that I had sought the information in a particular form as stipulated in Section 7(9), the meaning of the word "Form" are "Method used to convey the contents", " the way it is said" etc and the meaning of the word "Questionnaire" are "a Form containing a set of questions as a way of gathering information" etc. etc. The AA and Additional Chief Secretary repeated the same reply given by PIO in first Appeal. In Second Appeal to the SIC, following are the relevent portion of SIC, Kerala's Order AP No.594(4)SIC/2008 dated 27-5-2008

    "The Commission pointedly asked the SPIO to explain as to how the information sought would not come under " Information " u/s 2(f) of the RTI Act just because it was put in a questionnaire format. After hearing the PIO the Commission clarified to her that the information as the appellant had sought would very well come under the "Information" as defined in Section 2(f) of the RTI Act and therefore it had to be provided. Accordingly the Commission directed the SPIO to provide the information etc., ..... within 7 days free of cost.

    It seems to be an important decision concrning information sought in the form of a questionnaire



  2. Re: SIC, Kerala's Orders accepting Questionnire under 2(f)


    but even if the PIO manages a stay from the court temporarily, the court will also refer the section of RTI act and will order accordingly

  3. #3
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    Re: SIC, Kerala's Orders accepting Questionnire under 2(f)


    That was not the issue. I uspected that the PIOs of powerfull Offices like Government Secretariate etc., might be using the services of Govt.Public Prosecutor and government expenses to obtain a stay or fight the case at government expenses proceeding to the Court on duty. I had asked very tricky questions like "Was the PIO was on duty or leave on the date of hearing at the High Court for stay etc. This information is readily available in the Attendance Register. If the government is fighting against the Orders of SIC, the issue is serious. The more opposition to furnish the information more doubts arose in my mind. Had the things been straight, the information I had sought is too simple which no one find it worth denying.

  4. #4

    Re: SIC, Kerala's Orders accepting Questionnire under 2(f)



    Hello Col,

    It's a very good decision. Can be referred before other state commissions.

    Many of us routinely seek information in Questionnaire from and the PIOs refuse to provide answer.

    Can you share this decision with us?

    Sidharth

  5. #5
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    Re: SIC, Kerala's Orders accepting Questionnire under 2(f)


    Defenitely. But I do not know how to post copy of my second appeal and the full decision in this forum without breaching its policy. In this case I had thrown Section 19(5) on SIC refusing to attend hearing telling him that whatever I had to say has been given in my appeal. I had also wrote to him that in case he summon me, it is for the interest of the SIC or government and naturally I am entitled to get my actual expenses . He had admitted my stand.

  6. #6

    Re: SIC, Kerala's Orders accepting Questionnire under 2(f)


    Defenitely. But I do not know how to post copy of my second appeal and the full decision in this forum without breaching its policy.
    Col,
    You can use the attach button (in shape of paper clip) while replying this post.

    I was not aware that such a policy is there in this forum.

    If that is the case please send it to me through email. This decision is important enough for me.

    Sidharth

  7. Re: SIC, Kerala's Orders accepting Questionnire under 2(f)


    Colonel sir,
    Please use the option "Go Advanced" and not the post quick reply. There, besides the font and size, you fill find a miniature jem clip mentioned by sidmis. When you click that option, it will allow you to upload the file from your computer.
    Defeat is not final when you fall down. It is final when you refuse to get up.

  8. #8
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    C J Karira
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    Re: SIC, Kerala's Orders accepting Questionnire under 2(f)


    colnrkurup,

    Besides the point about "questionnaire" and Sec 2(f), I am interested in this case on another important aspect.

    My understanding is that the imposition of penalty on the PIO under Sec 20(1), is on a "personal" basis. It is, after all, deducted from his personal salary. Therefore, why should he use taxpayers money to challenge the imposition of penalty in the High Court and also go to the court on "official duty" probably using "official transport" or "transport allowance" ? Is this line of argument correct ?

    I don't know if you have access to the DIRECTORY segment of the forum, which is still in "beta" testing mode. When it is final and access is open to all members, anyone can upload:

    - Initial RTI application
    - The reply from PIO
    - First Appeal
    - Reply from FAA
    - Second Appeal
    - Order from SIC/CIC
    - Anything else related to the case

    Any member can access the open Directory, post his comments on each of the above documents, discuss them with other posters, suggest changes , etc.... It will be like a repository of different RTI applications on all possible subjects, made by members themselves and accessible to any other member.
    The link is available on the top right side of this page.

    Till then , you can attach it to your post as per procedure/suggestions of Ganpat.

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