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DATE WITH RTI

Only officers of the rank of PIO to attend the hearing before CIC

The appellant filed an application with the UGC and sought to know about the total number of candidate(s) who have taken admission in a particular session of the Jagan Nath University. The PIO, UGC transferred the RTI application under section 6(3) of the RTI Act, 2005 to The Registrar Jagan Nath University, for providing information directly to the appellant. The CIC observed that the transfer of the RTI Application under Section 6(3) of the RTI Act by PIO, UGC to Registrar Jagan Nath University mindlessly without ascertaining the status of the said University vis-à-vis Section 2(h) of the RTI Act was not appropriate. The CIC emphasized that the Appellant had sought for the information from a public authority and not from the Jagan Nath University which is very well as per the letters and spirit of the RTI Act. The PIO, UGC was directed by CIC to provide a statement indicating the total number of candidate(s) who have taken admission in the averred session of the University. The CIC directed the Chairman, UGC to ensure that only officers equivalent to the rank of the PIO are designated to represent the cases before the Commission in future.

Comments

In case the PIO is not able to attend the hearing before the CIC, an officer of the equivalent rank who is well versed with the issue, should be nominated to attend the hearing.

Dr. Anuradha Verma (dranuradhaverma@yahoo.co.in) is an expert on RTI matters and has co-authored the books RIGHT TO INFORMATION - LAW AND PRACTICE and PIO’s guide to RTI. Apart from her weekly article here, her other articles can be read at the website of RTI Foundation of India at the link: www.rtifoundationofindia.com

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