The Central Information Commission (CIC) has directed the office of the Delhi chief minister to file a sworn affidavit affirming it does not have copies of correspondences related to the Commonwealth Games.
The direction to the Public Information Officer came while hearing a complaint made by Delhi-based activist advocate Vivek Garg over denial of information, including
copies of letters written by chief minister Sheila Dikshit to various Central ministers, in connection with the mega sporting event.
Garg sought copies of various correspondences or letters between the chief minister and Delhi's lieutenant governor and between the finance minister and sports ministry.
Besides, he also requested copies of the minutes of the meetings, internal notes, decision or approval taken during a meet of Committee of Secretaries on May 5, 2006 and in the core Group of Ministers meet on January 18, 2006 in connection with the mega sporting event.
Not satisfied with the reply to his application, Garg approached the transparency watchdog. During the hearing, the respondents stated that they did not have any information corresponding to the present RTI application. "It is impossible as to how the CM's office would not have copies of letters written by Delhi chief minister to central government ministers," the Appellant said, countering the contestations made by the respondents.
After hearing the arguments from both sides, the CIC held that "no disclosure obligation" can be cast on the respondents as they do not hold any information in respect to the present RTI application.
"However, considering the appellant's case here, it is directed that the PIO, office of the chief minister, Delhi, should file a sworn affidavit (duly notarised, stamped, witnessed) before the Commission affirming the fact that they do not hold the information corresponding to the RTI application (point-wise)," Information Commissioner Annapurna Dixit said in the order.
The affidavit should be submitted to the Commission and appellant by June 20, it said. The CIC also directed the PIO to examine the RTI query in the interest of the appellant" and then transfer it to the departments concerned to send the desired information within a month's time.