Delhi Police rapped for obstructing information on RTI query

    By IANS,

    New Delhi : The Central Information Commission has slapped Delhi Police officials with show-cause notices for obstructing the “supply of information” to a Right to Information (RTI) petitioner, a statement said Friday.

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    Petitioner Subhash Chandra Agrawal had asked 14 questions to Delhi Police in his RTI query filed on Aug 19, 2011, regarding activist Anna Hazare’s agitation for Jan Lokpal bill in Delhi.

    However, the assistant public information officer (PIO) at the police headquarters (PHQ) Aug 26 transferred the application to six different PIOs – namely crime, west district, east district, north-west district and north district.

    A letter dated Aug 29 by Mangesh Kashyap, the then central PIO at the Police HQ, informed Agarwal of the transfer which led to Agarwal filing a petition before the CIC complaining that police had only answered four of the 14 questions.

    During the hearing, the PIOs of the six departments informed the commission that questions one to three and eight to fourteen pertained to the PHQ and that they were taken aback by the transfer of the RTI query to them.

    After hearing the submission and perusal of records, the commission observed that the CPIO of the PHQ had “obstructed the supply of information to the appellant by transferring the whole RTI application to the PIOs, who were not concerned with the subject matter of the queries”.

    “It appears from records that the CPIO, PHQ, had avoided to answer the RTI application of the appellant and had simply transferred the same to the PIOs… the CPIO had not even bothered to read the contents of the RTI application,” said the CIC.

    Criticising the present CPIO at the PHQ, K.K. Vyas for failing to appear for hearing, the commission directed him to answer all the remaining queries within three weeks.

    The CIC has issued notices to Kashyap as well as Vyas asking them to show cause why penalty under section 20(1) of the RTI Act should not be imposed upon them.

    “The habit of CPIOs, PHQ, of routinely transferring RTI applications to the district units when queries clearly are to be answered by them is a serious malady of the RTI set-up in Delhi Police headquarters,” observed the CIC.