The Central Information Commission (CIC) has directed the public information officer (PIO), Cabinet Secretariat, to transfer the RTI query to various public authorities, instead of making an applicant file them in each department.
Mumbai-based appellant Chetan Kothari filed an RTI application with the PIO of the Lok Sabha Secretariat on September 21, 2010, seeking details of petrol and diesel consumption by state and cabinet ministers, leaders of opposition, the number of cars they own and staff provided to them by the central government since the last 10 years.
On September 27, the PIO, Lok Sabha Secretariat transferred the RTI application to the PIO, Cabinet Secretariat and PIO, Leader of Opposition. Both departments failed to provide the information. The PIO, Cabinet Secretariat, stated that the applicant should file separate applications with the PIOs of each department or ministry, since the information is scattered among large number of public authorities, including those from Central government ministries.
The CIC Information Commissioner Shailesh Gandhi issued an order stating: “There are instances where RTI applications have been transferred by one public authority to another and none of them appears to know where the information is.”
The commission told the appellant that seeking 10 years of information would disproportionately divert the resources of public authorities. He has agreed that information could be furnished to him for the last two years.
The PIO, Cabinet Secretariat has been directed to transfer the RTI application to public authorities before 25 June.