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  1. #9
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    Re: Is Signature of PIO/CPIO a must on the reply...


    CIC decision in Complaint No. CIC/WB/C/2007/00113 dated 19-3-2007 Capt. A.S. Bhardwaj v/s DC North West. It is the duty of the PIO to obtain such information u/s 5 (4) so that it be provided to an applicant.

    This answers the clause of Section 5(4) & 5(5).

    Earlier I had filed an RTI Application with the Min of Law & Justice seeking clarification on a similar case. The application was transferred and replied by the DoP&T. The reply clearly stated that a CPIO can be appointed by the PA under Section 4. The same CPIO cannot appoint his subordinate officers as CPIOs under Section 5(4) & 5(5). All information received from such officers have to be replied by the original CPIO.

    Manoj


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  2. #10
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    Re: Is Signature of PIO/CPIO a must on the reply...


    Karira sir,

    It is an excellent job.

    rakatkam.

  3. #11
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    Re: Is Signature of PIO/CPIO a must on the reply...


    Here is another decision by the CIC which is contradictory.
    As per this, anyone who's assistance is sought by the CPIO (I think this means "deemed" CPIO), can sign the reply to the applicant:

    http://cic.gov.in/CIC-Orders/Decision_15022008_03.pdf

    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.

  4. #12
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    Re: Is Signature of PIO/CPIO a must on the reply...



    I still feel that no one has categorically stated "Yes" or "No". However Section 6(3) clarify the issue. If the PIO consider that the information is held by "another public authority" (please note that it does not use the term PIO) , the public authority to which such application is made shall transfer the application to that other public authority etc. Please note that the transferred application has reached the public authority and not a PIO. Naturally the reply will be furnished by the appropriate official of the new public authority using his designation. It may l not be a PIO and there is no provision stating that reply in such cases should bbe furnished only by a PIO.
    In nutshell when a PIO intimate the applicant (signing as PIO) within 5 days that the appliction has been forwarded to another public authority and the application get the information under the signature of a responsible public authority, I don't think that the RTI Act has any provision that the reply should be furnished by the PIO of the new public authority.

  5. #13
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    Re: Is Signature of PIO/CPIO a must on the reply...


    Quote Originally Posted by colnrkurup View Post
    I still feel that no one has categorically stated "Yes" or "No". However Section 6(3) clarify the issue. If the PIO consider that the information is held by "another public authority" (please note that it does not use the term PIO) , the public authority to which such application is made shall transfer the application to that other public authority etc. Please note that the transferred application has reached the public authority and not a PIO. Naturally the reply will be furnished by the appropriate official of the new public authority using his designation. It may l not be a PIO and there is no provision stating that reply in such cases should bbe furnished only by a PIO.
    In nutshell when a PIO intimate the applicant (signing as PIO) within 5 days that the appliction has been forwarded to another public authority and the application get the information under the signature of a responsible public authority, I don't think that the RTI Act has any provision that the reply should be furnished by the PIO of the new public authority.
    There are two basic issues here:

    1. Who will be liable for penalty, if any, under Section 20 ?
    Will it be the PIO or the person signing the letter giving information ?
    2. Suppose the application was transferred under Sec 6(3), it was transferred to the PIO of the other PA. Hence, in this case also, the new PIO should sign the reply.

  6. #14
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    Re: Is Signature of PIO/CPIO a must on the reply...


    I had received many replies signed by the new PIO, in case of those applications transferred under Sec 6(3). To me this procedure was correct. But what should be the role of APIO ? Is he or she entitled to send reply under his/her signature in stead of that of PIO ? Yesterday I received one order of 1st appeal , in which AA did not sign , copy of his order was attested by the SAPIO and sent to me . Will it be the AA only to sign the order ?

  7. #15
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    Re: Is Signature of PIO/CPIO a must on the reply...


    Quote Originally Posted by abhijeet View Post
    I had received many replies signed by the new PIO, in case of those applications transferred under Sec 6(3). To me this procedure was correct. But what should be the role of APIO ? Is he or she entitled to send reply under his/her signature in stead of that of PIO ? Yesterday I received one order of 1st appeal , in which AA did not sign , copy of his order was attested by the SAPIO and sent to me . Will it be the AA only to sign the order ?
    The First Appeal order has to be signed by the AA or he has to give a "spoken" order (this also implies that he has given the order/decision).

    http://cic.gov.in/CIC-Orders/Decision_02112006_3.pdf

    In terms of RTI Act, it is the responsibility of the designated PIO/CPIO to deal with applications under the Act and any decision on the same has to be taken by the said CPIO. In terms of Section 20(1), he can also be penalized for knowingly furnishing incorrect, incomplete, misleading information etc,. and therefore, every decision has to be conveyed under the signature of the designated CPIO. Likewise, comments on the appeal also has to be sent under his signature as he has to justify the decision taken by him. Therefore, the CPMG may advise all the CPIOs under her control to ensure that all the RTI applications are disposed of under their own signatures and that normal office procedure to convey decisions, is not applicable in communicating decisions under the RTI Act.

  8. #16
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    Re: Is Signature of PIO/CPIO a must on the reply...


    No. The Act does not say that it should be transferred to the PIO of the public authority. It need to be transferred only to a public authority.The transferred application not necessrily reach a PIO of the new public authority. But there is a provision in Section 5(5) stating that "...such other officer shall be treated as a PIO" I don't think that this is strong enough to imposs a penalty or to enforce the duties of PIO to a departmental officer of a public authority who receive the transferreed application. Hypothetically speaking the officer of the new public authority is to be deemed as PIO. But who and how the repsonsibility of PIO can be enforced to an officer who is not a PIO especially when there is another PIO in that office? This is little tricky. I am not finding any solid provision clarifying these facts.

    When the CIC/SICs are not very particular in impossing penalty I don.t visualise a clear cut clarification. In the present set up,so long as the applicant is provided the information nothing more is likely to happen.

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