Facts and Background:
On February 12th, 2019, the Appellant filed an RTI Request. The Appellant requested copies of DSR PARA 395 and 396 laws, related actions, instructions, orders, and noting sheets in his application. The Appellant requested the Indian Officials Secrets Act's laws. The Appellant also requested copies of Army Act Sections 42(e), 52(b), 63, 40(c), and 63(a) codes, specific actions, and noting sheets, as well as other related details.
The RTI Application was not responded to by the CPIO. Their response was not made public. The Appellant was disappointed that the CPIO had not responded to his application. As a result, on March 11, 2019, the Appellant lodged a First Appeal. Neither the First Appellate Authority nor the Second Appellate Authority was on the record. The Appellate was unhappy with the FAA, so on May 31, 2019, he lodged a Second Appeal. The CPIO failed to provide the requisite details, according to the Second Appeal.
The Appellant was not present at the hearing. The Respondent's side was represented by Lt. Col. Kamal Kapoor, Col. Ganesh Nagarajan, and CPIO. Over the phone, the respondents were present. The Appellant could not be reached because the phone number mentioned in the file was not working. Even the notice of the hearing sent to the Appellant's address was returned with the comment "insufficient address."
On the 4th of May 2021, the CPIO submitted written submissions demonstrating that the requested information was ambiguous and hypothetical, and therefore could not be given to the Appellant. The CPIO also reported that the Appellant's First Appeal was dismissed on April 18, 2019. According to the CPIO, the Appellant is demanding amplification of the constitution, which is not possible under the RTI Act 2005.
The Commission took note of the CPIO's failure to respond to the Appellant promptly. The Commission also reviewed the CPIO's written submissions. To determine if the requested information is vague and ambiguous, the Commission looked to Section 2(f) of the RTI Act, 2005.
According to the Commission, refusing to provide information under Section 2(f) of the RTI Act was not justified. The Commission went on to say that the CPIO should have at the very least responded to the Appellant's application in a proper, informative, and point-by-point manner. The CPIO was given 10 days from the date of receipt of the order to respond to the RTI Application in a well-defined and pointwise manner.