Right to Information Act, 2005 — Section 20(2) — Liability of Public Information Officer —

June 22nd, 2013

Right to Information Act, 2005 — Section 20(2) — Liability of Public Information Officer — Non-response of applicant to letter by Department — Order of State Information Commission without recording reason, effect — Appellant/then Public Information Officer received an application for certain information which was so general and vague in nature that the information sought could not be provided — Appellant forwarded the application to the concerned Department for collecting the information — On non-receipt of information on time, respondent No.2 filed an appeal — Appellant/Public Information Officer was alleged to have shown negligence while performing his duty, therefore, the disciplinary proceedings initiated — High Court dismissed the writ petition — Held, Commission, erred in not recording definite finding — Appellant had taken steps to facilitate the providing of information by writing letters — May be the letter was not written within the period of 30 days requiring respondent No.2 to furnish details of the period for which such information was required but the fact remained that such letter was written and respondent No.2 did not even bother to respond to the said enquiry — He just kept on filing appeal after appeal — After transfer to Akola, appellant was not responsible for the acts of omissions and/or commission of the office at Nanded — Appellant had shown that the default, if any on his part, was not without reasonable cause or result of a persistent default on his part — On the contrary, he had taken steps within his power and authority to provide information to respondent No.2 — It was for the department concerned to react and provide the information asked for — Some default itself is attributable to respondent No.2 who did not even care to respond to the letter of the department — Therefore, we are unable to sustain the order passed by the State Information Commission and the judgment of the High Court under appeal and same are set aside — Appeal is allowed.

(Para 28 & 30)

Manohar Manikrao Anchule v. State of Maharashtra[Bench Strength 2], Civil Appeal No. 9095/2012 (Arising out of SLP (C) No. 7529/2009)(13/12/2012), 2012(12) SCALE 601: 2012(9) SLT 661: 2013(1) JT 175: 2013 AIR(SC) 681 [Swatanter Kumar, J.: Madan B. Lokur, J.]

Entry Filed under: Right to Information

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