CENTRAL INFORMATION COMMISSION
Room No. 308, B-Wing, August Kranti Bhawan,
Bhikaji Cama Place, New Delhi-110066
File No.CIC/LS/A/2008/00041 File No.CIC/WB/A/2008/01107/LS
Appellant : Ms Gita Dewan Verma
Public Authority : Delhi Development Authority
Date of Hearing : 18.11.2009
Date of Decision : 18.11.2009
As the subject matter of the above cited two cases is almost identical, it has been decided to dispose them of through a common order.
2. By her letter of 28.4.2008, the appellant had referred to the news item appearing in the Times of India of 25.4.2008 regarding the waiver of misuse charges for having shifted to a commercial activity other than the one registered in the lease document. She had specifically sought information on the following 03 paras:-
- Please inform particulars of the material basis (eg, direction/order, recommendation, monitoring/evaluation finding, representation/application).
- Please inform particulars of dealing department(s)/officer(s) – in form of step-by-step procedure/channels of supervision and accountability in decision making process for this or such matters.
- Please additionally arrange for inspection of files in due course.”
3. Ms Nimo Dhar, Director (PR) had responded to it vide letter dated 21.5.2008 stating that the Land Disposal Department was handling this matter and a proposal had indeed been made but it was yet to be formalised in the form of the circular. She had also mentioned that the copy of the circular would be sent to the appelalnt as and when issued.
4. Dissatisfied with the information provided to her, vide letter dated 25.2.2008, she had filed first appeal before Shri B.M. Bansal, Secretary, DDA wherein she has raised the following plea:-
“a. On point no. 1 – ie, “particulars of the material basis (eg. Direction/order, recommendation monitoring/evaluation finding, representation/application)” of the proposal – the exemption invoked under section 8 (1) of the RTI Act be specified, with confirmation of consideration and decision in terms of sections 8 (2) and 10 (1) of the RTI Act.
b. On point no. 3 – ie. “inspection of files in due cours” – PIO/Officer who will be intimating about inspection be specified.”
5. As she did not receive any response from Shri Bansal she has filed the present appeal.
6. Heard on 18.11.2009. Appellant present. The public authority is represented by the following officers:-
- Shri Shashi Kant, Jt. Director (Plg) (Narela Project)
- Shri R.K. Sharma, Dy. Director (CL);
- Shri Rajan Mehrotra, AO (RL);
- Shri M.S. Bhana, Dy. CLA;
- Shri K. Srirangan, Dy. Director (Plg)I/MPPR;
- Shri Durganand Minz, Asst. Director (Plg)/WK;
- Shri Anil Barai, OSD (Plg);
- Shri R.K. Jain, Director (Plg);
- Smt M. Bawa, Director (Plg);
- Shri H.S. Dhillon, Jt. Director (Plg);
- Shri S.P. Pathak, Director (Plg), Dwarka; &
- Ms Suman Sharma, AD (Plg), Narela Project.
7. During the hearing, the appellant would submit that in the DDA website Shri B.M. Bansal, Secretary, DDA, has been shown as the Appellate Authority for Smt. Nimo Dhar and for this reason, she had filed first appeal before Shir Bansal but she has received no response from him. She has also drawn my attention to letter dated 5.6.2008 of Smt Nimo Dhar wherein she had directed Sr. RO (RTI) to send a letter to the appellant duly signed by the Appellate Authority without mentioning who the Appellate Authority was. She would also point out that vide letter dated 2.7.2008 sent to her, Smt. Nimo Dhar had, for the first time, mentioned that Commissioner (LD) was the Appellate Authority and the PIOs were Director (Land) and Director (Land Costing).
8. From the above narration, I am constrained to observe that the matter in hand has not been dealt with by the concerned officers of DDA in the true sprit of the RTI Act. There appears to have been attempt on the part of the concerned officers to shift the burden from one to another and the result is that the requisite information has not been provided to the appellant so far. Nor has it been denied. It has been reported to me that the PIO in this matter is Smt. Nimo Dhar, Director (PR) and the Appellate Authority is Commissioner (LD), the present incumbent being Shri Manoj Kumar Aggarwal.
9. In view of this, notices may be issued to Smt Nimo Dhar, Director (PR) and Shri Manoj Kumar Aggarwal, Commissioner (Land) to show-cause why penalty of Rs. 25000/- should not be imposed on them for not providing requested information to the appellant. Notices are returnable in 04 weeks time. They are required to file their written submission two days before the date of hearing.
10. Meanwhile, the requisite information may be provided to the appellant.
11. The matter will come up for hearing on 22.12.2009 at 1030 hrs.
Sd/ (M.L. Sharma)
Central Information Commissioner
Authenticated true copy. Additional copies of orders shall be supplied against application and payment of the charges, prescribed under the Act, to the CPIO of this Commission.
Address of parties:-
- Shri Manoj Kumar Agarwal
Delhi Development Authority,
Vikas Sadan, INA,
- Smt Nimo Dhar Director (PR),
Delhi Development Authority,
Vikas Sadan, INA,
- Ms Gita Dewan Verma
1356, D-1, Vasant Kunj,