Tuesday, July 03, 2018

PMO official told to appear before CIC

The Tribune: Faridabad: Tuesday, July 03, 2018.
The Central Information Commission (CIC) has directed the Chief Public Information Officer (CPIO) of the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) to attend a hearing before the Commission on July 23 regarding an RTI application submitted by a local resident.
Kailash Sharma, the applicant, had sought information about the measures taken by the Union Government to curb the menace of commercialisation of education in the country since the public address of the Prime Minister on November 20, 2016, at an election rally in Agra.
“The honorable PM had announced in the rally that his government was going to take measures to curb the commercialisation of education as the common man was finding it hard to get his children admitted in private schools and a majority of the schools sought capitation fee or other charges,” said Sharma, adding that this announcement had made him file the application under the RTI Act to know the action taken by the government to resolve such an important issue.
The office of the CIC in its letter dated May 7, 2018 has informed the applicant that a notice for hearing his appeal had been issued in which both the applicant and the respondent has been asked to present their case in person or through his or her duly authorised representative. The letter received by the applicant on June 30, 2018, says that the CPIO or PIO (Public Information Officer) of the PMO should personally attend the hearing and if for a compelling reason, he or she was unable to be present, the respondent has to give reasons for the same and ensure to authorise an officer not below the rank of the CPIO or PIO, fully acquainted with the facts, and present complete files or documents concerning the RTI request on the given date.
Earlier, dissatisfied with the response of the PMO regarding his first application filed with the PMO office on June 29, 2017, Sharma submitted another application with the First Appellate Authority on November 2, 2017. With both authorities replying in negative, claiming that the sought information did not come under purview of the information, he filed an application before the CIC on November 17, 2017.
Though I got confirmation about the admittance within 10 days, the CIC informed me about the latest order on June 30, said the applicant.