FIRST APPEAL U/S 19(1) OF Right to Information Act, 2005
Shri Suranjan Pal, OS & Director DECS
First Appellate Authority , DRDO
RTI Cell , Room No. 240/B ,DRDO Bhawan,
Rajaji Marg, New Delhi-110011
Subject: First Appeal under Section 19(1) of RTI Act 2005
Reference: Letter No. DMS/0369/RTI/101/47/Letter_2013 dated 02 September 2013 issued by PIO, DMSRDE, Kanpur
I am distressed by above referred decision of Public Information Officer, DMSRDE , Kanpur. I hereby submit this appeal u/s 19(1) of RTI Act 2005 for your kind consideration & decision.
- Details of appellant:-
|Address||1053/3, Shastri Nagar
- Details of Public Information Officer (PIO):-
|Name & Rank||Shri Sarvesh Kumar , Scientist ‘F ‘|
- Particulars of Decision/Order of PIO against which appeal:-
Decision vide letter No. DMS/0369/RTI/101/47/Letter_2013 dated 02 September 2013 received by appellant on 10 September 2013. Copy enclosed as Enclosure -1.
- Brief facts leading to appeal:-
(a) An application under Section 6(1) of RTI Act 2005 dated 31 July 2013 was submitted to PIO, DMSRDE, Kanpur for providing information regarding “List of Scientists/Officers claiming rebate in Income tax and rent paid by submitting rent receipt to DMSRDE“. Copy of the RTI application dated 31 July 2013 is enclosed as Enclosure-2.
(b) Public Information Officer, DMSRDE, Kanpur rejected the application u/s 24(1) of RTI Act 2005 vide letter No. DMS/0369/RTI/101/47/Letter_2013 dated 02 September 2013 although it was clearly mentioned in RTI application that required information is directly related to the allegations of corruption and not come under Schedule-II.
(c) It was clearly mentioned in RTI application dated 31 July 2013 That “Central Information Commission in its various decisions consistently held that establishment matters relating to the organization notified u/s 24 of the RTI Act come within the purview of the Act and information in this regard thereto are not exempted from disclosure. For examples decision pronounced in F. No. CIC/LS/A/2010/000107 dated 26.4.2010 and in F. No.CIC/SM/C/2008/ 00054/LS dated 29.01.2010“.
(d) In point (3) of reply dated 2 September 2013 , PIO referred the DOPT OM 11/2/2013-IR(Pt.) dated 14 August 2013 in which PIO mentioned some decision of CIC for seeking exemption under section 8(1)(j) of RTI Act 2005. The said OM is having three Para’s but PIO did not read Para (2) and malafidely ignored Para (2) in which Hon’ble Supreme Court Judgment was quoted.
(e) PIO, DMSRDE, Kanpur rejected the RTI application dated 31 July 2013 on invalid, illegal, ultra vires & false reasons with malafide intentions to linger on the process of seeking information with an ulterior motive under direction of Director, DMSRDE, Kanpur (The Public Authority). This act of PIO, DMSRDE , Kanpur attracts action on PIO u/s 20 of RTI Act 2005.
(f) Appellant is intensely upset by the decision of PIO, DMSRDE, Kanpur and this leads to appellant to file an appeal u/s 19(1) of RTI Act 2005.
- Reasons/Grounds for First Appeal:-
First Appeal is submitted to First Appellate Authority on following reasons/grounds.
(a) Under the provisions of section 24(1) of RTI Act 2005 the organisation notified under II Schedule of the Act are exempted from the information except when the information pertained allegations of corruption and human rights violations only.
(b) Appellant submitted an application dated 31 July 2013 under section 6(1) of RTI Act 2005 to PIO, DMSRDE, Kanpur for providing information as mentioned in application dated 31 July 2013 enclosed as Enclosure 2 to this FA.
(c) Information was denied by PIO, DMSRDE, Kanpur on the ground that “DRDO is placed in Second Schedule of RTI Act, 2005 and is exempted from disclosure of Information under Section 24(1) except for information pertaining to the allegations of Corruptions and Human Rights Violations“.
(d) The information sought by the appellant vide his application dated 31 July 2013 does not comes u/s 24(1) of the Act as per consistent views and decisions of Central Information Commission in various cases regarding organisation notified in Schedule II like DRDO as information sought is related to Establishment Matter and allegations of Corruption.
(e) Information was denied on false and illegal grounds with malafide intentions to harass the appellant from getting the information.
(f) PIO is not aware of recent views and decisions of CIC regarding DRDO(notified organisation under Schedule II), thereby he misused section 24(1) of the Act for denial of Information.
(g) PIO is unable to understand the RTI Act 2005 and have not gone through the provisions of section 8(1)(j) of Act, definition of personal information, definition of public interest and various CIC decision in this matter. Misinterpretation of law leads to malafide intention and promotion to corruption by PIO. PIO is working under control and direction of Director (Public Authority).
(h) It appears that PIO does know the meaning of Establishment Matter, thereby he is claiming the information sought as personal information.
(i) Appellant is deeply distressed by invalid decision of PIO, DMSRDE, Kanpur, hence the First Appeal u/s 19(1) of RTI Act 2005 before FAA.
- Prayer /relief sought for:-
- Information sought vides RTI Application dated 31 July 2013 by appellant has been denied on false and invalid reasons by PIO, DMSRDE, Kanpur. Therefore, appellant kindly prays to FAA, DRDO to allow this appeal and issue instructions/orders to PIO, DMSRDE, Kanpur to provide the information sought as seek by appellant vide his RTI Application dated 31 July 2013.
- Direction may kindly be issued to PIO, DMSRDE, Kanpur to work as per provisions of RTI Act 2005 and guidelines established in CIC decisions as PIO is for helping the appellant(information seeker) not for harassing the appellant as per sprit and provisions of RTI Act 2005.
- Direction may please be issued to PIO to go through provisions of RTI Act 2005 before denial of information.
- Grounds for prayer/relief sought for:-
- CIC decisions on notified organizations under Schedule II of
RTI Act 2005 like DRDO
(i) CIC in its various decisions consistently held that Establishment Matters relating to the organization notified u/s 24 of the RTI Act come within the purview of the Act and information in this regard thereto are not exempted from disclosure.
(ii) CIC in its various decisions clarified that the exemption u/s 24(1) for DRDO (notified organisation under Schedule II) is only for Scientific/Technical/Strategic/national security information and not for the information of General nature/Estt. Matters/ Routine Correspondence/ all other information for which exemptions u/s 24(1) are not allowed.
(iii) These decisions of CIC are binding on all notified organisation under Schedule II, as these decisions of CIC has not been challenged till date in any court.
(iv) Information sought in RTI Application dated 31 July 2013 was pertaining to Establishment Matter
(v) In this regard following decisions of CIC are listed for your kind information and consideration.
- CIC/LS/A/2012/002612 dated 22.03.2013 (Dr. Neelam Bhalla Vs DRDO)
- CIC/LS/A/2009/001073 dated 17.2.2010 (Navin Praksh Gupta Vs DRDO)
- CIC/LS/A/2012/002487 dated 31.12.2012 ( Ms. Savitha Vs DRDO)
- CIC/LS/A/2010/000107 dated 26.4.2010 (Ms. K. Surya Kumari Vs DRDO)
- CIC/SM/C/2008/00054/LS dated 29.01.2010 (Shri Prabhat Vs DRDO)
- CIC/LS/A/2010/001277 dated 2.3.2010 (Ram Manohar Singh Vs. DRDO)
- CIC/LS/A/2012/002599 & CIC/LS/A/2012/002146 dated 01.11.2012 (Virender Kumar Vs DRDO)
- CIC/LS/C/2012/001204 dated 9.8.2012 (Rajiv Chauhan Vs DRDO)
- CIC/SM/A/2009/001014/LS dated 09.11.2009 (Navin Prakash Gupta Vs DRDO)
- CIC/LS/A/2009/001073 dated 17 Feb 2010 (Navin Prakash Gupta Vs DRDO)
- CIC/SM/C/2009/00794, CIC/LS/A/2010/00015, CIC/LS/C/2010/000076 dated 18 June 2010 (Navin Prakash Gupta Vs DRDO)
(vi) In these decisions CIC decided that “Immunity granted u/s 24(1) is only for scientific & strategic Information only. All other information should be provided by all organisation notified under second schedule of the Act“.
- Nature of information sought is not related to strategic/national security/scientific /technical matters
Information sought is related to ” List of Scientists/Officers claiming rebate in Income tax an rent paid by submitting rent receipt to DMSRDE“. This type of information has already been allowed by CIC as information sought is not pertaining to strategic/national security/scientific/technical matters.
- Information sought is related to Estt. Matter/General Routine nature/ Routine correspondence and permissible / allowed by CIC, even after the fact “DRDO is notified organisation under Schedule II”, in various decisions against DRDO.
- Information sought is also related to allegations of corruption as already mentioned in RTI application dated 31 July 2013 and having angle of vigilance as per CVC Act. Under the provisions of Section 24(1) of the Act, the information should be pertaining to allegations of corruption only. No evidences or proofs of corruption are required for seeking information related to corruption as per RTI Act 2005. Instead the onus is on PIO to establish that information sought is not having vigilance angle and pertaining to allegation of corruption.It is alleged that along with Mr.AK, Scientist ‘D’ and Dr. Vineeta Nigam, Scientist ‘D’ , several officers and employees of DMSRDE are claiming Income Tax rebate on HRA and rent paid by submitting fake and forge rent receipt prepared by themselves while they are living on different address. Dr. AK Saxena, Director, DMSRDE is promoting this immoral act which is punishable under IPC and CCS(Conducts) Rules 1964 , based on casteism as Mr.AK, Dr. Vineeta Nigam , Dr. Anurag Srivastava and Dr. AK Saxena belongs to same cast Kayastha.
- Information sought is related to “List of Scientists/Officers claiming rebate in Income tax an rent paid by submitting rent receipt to DMSRDE“. This information is not a personal information u/s 8(1) (j) of RTI Act and comes under Establishment Matters.
- The information related to rent receipt submitted for the purpose of seeking income tax rebateandForm 16 giving details of salary and house rent paid and rebate in income tax is not personal information u/s 8(1)(j) as this information has been allowed by Hon’ble CIC in decision No. CIC/AD/A/2010/001464 dated 24 November 2010 by Information Commissioner Mrs. Annapurna Dixit.
- Information Sought is neither personal information nor covered u/s 8(1)(j) of RTI Act 2005
- In reply dated 02 September 2013, PIO DMSRDE quoted in Para(3) – DOPT OM No. 11/2/2013-IR dated 14 August 2013.
- The said OM is having three(03) Para with one enclosure (CIC Decision in F No. CIC/SM/A/2013/000058 dated 26.06.2013 Manoj Arya Vs. Cabinet Secretariat).
- In Para (1) of DOPT OM quoted by PIO, it has been mentioned ‘The Central Information Commission in one of its decisions (copy enclosed) has held that information about the complaints made against an officer of the Government and any possible action the authorities might have taken on those complaints, qualifies as personal information within the meaning of provision of section 8 (1) (j) of the RTI Act, 2005′.
- In Para(2) of DOPT OM quoted by PIO, It has been mentioned ‘The Central Information Commission while deciding the said case has cited the decision of Supreme Court of India in the matter of Girish R. Deshpande vs. CIC and others (SLP (C) no. 27734/2012) in which it was held as under:- “The performance of an employee/Officer in an organisation is primarily a matter between the employee and the employer and normally those aspects are governed by the service rules which fall under the expression ‘personal information’, the disclosure of which has no relationship to any public activity or public interest. On the other hand, the disclosure of which could cause unwarranted invasion of the privacy of that individual.”The Supreme Court further held that such information could be disclosed only if it would serve a larger public interest.
- The information sought in RTI Application dated 31 July 2013 is neither related to any complaint made against any Government servant nor related to the performance of an employee/officer in an organisation, as demanded in DOPT OM dated 14 August 2013.
- Thereby PIO is seeking illegal and malafide shelter of the said OM of DOPT because information sought is not personal information, rather this type of information has already been allowed in CIC decision F No. CIC/AD/A/2010/001464 dated 24 November 2010.
- Hence the information sought is neither personal information nor covered u/s 8(1)(j) of RTI Act 2005.
- Information sought is related to larger public interest and public activity
- As per the provisions of section 8(1)(j) of RTI Act 2005larger public interest justifies the disclosure of such information.
- As per the evidences available with appellant , about 500 officials are working in DMSRDE, out of which at least 10% officials are claiming income tax rebate on HRA by submitting fake & forge rent receipt. Fraudulently preparing forge & fake rent receipt is violation of CCS(Conducts) Rules 1964 and is a crime under IT Act & IPC.
- AK, Scientist ‘D’ and Dr. Vineeta Nigam, Scientist ‘D’ are submitting forge & fake rent receipt of Rs. 10500/- pm and Rs. 12000/- pm. However both are not living on the address which has been mentioned in the rent receipt submitted by them. In FY 2012-2013 (AY 2013-2014) Mr.AK claimed rebate of approx 70000/- on HRA and thus he is involved in income tax evasion of Rs. 21000/-. Mr.AK, Scientist ‘D’ prepared forge rent receipt by himself and submitted to DMSRDE for claiming IT rebate on HRA on the basis of forge rent receipt. Hence Mr.AK prepared forge documents and submitted to DMSRDE During FY 2012-2013. Mr.AK was not living on the address which was mentioned in the rent receipt. Similar is the case with Dr. Vineeta Nigam, Scientist ‘D’, she is involved in income tax evasion of approx. Rs. 40000/- per year.
- In totality a racket is active in DMSRDE for Income Tax evasion by submitting forge rent receipt under protection and guidance of Dr. A.K. Saxena, Director, DMSRDE. Mr.AK, Scientist ‘D’ , Dr. Vineeta Nigam , Scientist ‘D’ and other henchman of Dr. Saxena are claiming IT rebate on HRA on the basis of fake rent receipt. The total amount of income tax evasion by these officials is approx. Rs. 10,00000/- (Rupees Ten lakh).
- Therefore loss of more than Rs. 10,00000/- in terms of income tax (Public Money) has been evaded by these officials from Govt. of India. Therefore the information sought is having larger public interest, as the disclosure of information will expose the fraudulent and dishonest officials at DMSRDE. Disclosure of information will help in getting Rs. 1000000/- in account of Govt. of India in form of income tax.
- As public money, public servants, integrity of public servants, integrity of Public Authority and Public offices are involved in the matter, therefore larger public interest is involved and public activity is involved in the disclosure of information.
- These officials involved in fraudulent claim of rebate on income tax, thereby their integrity is doubtful and these are not suitable for Government Service. They should be terminated by DGR&D, DRDO for submitting forge & fake rent receipt to DMSRDE. The existence of such kind of officials having fraudulent nature & activity, is not suitable for DRDO as they can harm the reputation of DRDO. This involves public activity as public money and public office are involved.
viii. As a principle , public interest includes “Disclosure of information that leads towards greater transparency and accountability in working of a public authority”. Thereby public interest is involved in seeking information as it will brought transparency in DMSRDE and contain the corruption as per preamble of RTI Act 2005.
- To provide reasons when information denied u/s 8(1)(j)
- PIO, DMSRDE is not aware of CIC decision in case No. CIC/OK/A/2006/00163 dated 07.07.2006 . Decision pronounced is “Through this Order the Commission now wants to send the message loud and clear that quoting provisions of Section 8 of the RTI Act ad libitum to deny the information requested for, by CPIOs/Appellate Authorities without giving any justification or grounds as to how these provisions are applicable is simply unacceptable and clearly amounts to malafide denial of legitimate information attracting penalties under section 20(1) of the Act“.
- PIO has not given any reasons as to how he arrived to the conclusion that information sought is personal information u/s 8(1)(j). PIO also not mentioned the grounds on which he rejected the RTI application under section 8(1)(j) of the Act. Thereby he violated the CIC decisions and provisions of RTI Act. To use the shadow of section 8(1)(j) by PIO for rejection of RTI application is illegal , prejudice and malafide.
- Provisions of Section 8(1)(j) of RTI Act 2005
- PIO is reluctant to perform his duties as per provisions of RTI Act 2005. It appears that he has not gone under any training programme on RTI sponsored by DOPT. Even though he is not taking pain for mere reading of RTI Act. PIO, DMSRDE either has not gone through the provisions of section 8(1)(j) or he is unable to understand the meaning of provisions of section 8(1)(j).
- Appellant would like to draw kind attention of FAA, DRDO on the provisions of Section 8(1)(j) of RTI Act 2005 “Provided that the information which can not be denied to the Parliament or a State Legislature shall not be denied to any person“.
- The information sought by appellant regarding ” List of Scientists/Officers claiming rebate in Income tax an rent paid by submitting rent receipt to DMSRDE” has to be provided to Parliament by DMSRDE/DRDO in case Parliament seek such information as sought in RTI Application dated 31 July 2013, thereby the information sought should be provided to appellant under the said provisions of section 8(1)(j) of RTI Act. Therefore the information sought is not personal information.
- Denial of Information to promote Casteism in DMSRDE
- A.K. Saxena, Director, DMSRDE, Mr. Sarvesh Kumar, PIO, Dr. Anurag Srivastava, Dr. Vineeta Nigam, Mr.AK and some other official of DMSRDE are working as a gang based on casteism in DMSRDE. Integrity of these officers is doubtful and it can be established if proper enquiry will be conducted at DMSRDE by CVC/CBI. Promotion to casteism is violation of Constitution of India and CCS (conducts) Rules.
- A.K. Saxena, Director, DMSRDE, Mr. Sarvesh Kumar, PIO, Dr. Anurag Srivastava, Dr. Vineeta Nigam, Mr.AK all are belongs to the cast known as Kayastha.
- A.K. Saxena and Mr. Sarvesh Kumar are protecting the corrupt officials belonging to his cast on the basis of false ground and malafidely misusing the provisions of RTI Act. Some other official also belonging to cast Kayastha have been protected by them by illegal denial of information.
I hereby state that the information and particulars given above are true to the best of my knowledge and belief.
Meerut (U.P.) – 250005
Date: 25 September, 2013
(1) Letter from PIO, DMSRDE dated 02 September 2013
(2) RTI Application dated 31 July 2013.
Shri Sarvesh Kumar, Scientist ‘F’
DMSRDE, GT Road , Kanpur-208013
Sub: Application /Request under Right to Information Act 2005
Kindly provide the following information under RTI Act 2005.
- Provide list of Scientists/Officers claiming rebate in Income Tax on rent paid by submitting rent receipt to DMSRDE, Kanpur in the following format for-
(i) FY 2010-2011 (ii) FY 2011-2012 (ii) FY 2012-2013
|S.N.||Name of Scientist & Rank||Financial Year||Rent claimed per month as per rent receipt||Total rebate on rent paid in Income Tax|
- Provide the addresses for which the Scientists/Officers submitted rent receipt in following format
|S.N.||Name of Scientist & Rank||Financial Year||Address in rent receipt||Rent claimed per month|
- Provide the copies of Form 16 issued by Director, DMSRDE, Kanpur for AY 2012-2013 and AY 2013-2014 in respect of ShriAK, Scientist ‘D’.
- Provide copies of verified rent receipt submitted by ShriAK, Scientist ‘D’ to get income tax rebate on house rent paid for the AY years 2012-2013 & 2013-2014 ( Financial Year 2011-2012 & 2012-2013).
- Provide the copy of the undertaking given by ShriAK , Scientist ‘D’ to Director, DMSDRE in respect to that ‘He will liable to pay Income Tax and Penalty on Income Tax in case it was found that his claim for both HBA interest and rent paid was found illegal’.
- Provide Copy of Income Tax Rules on ground of which ShriAK was allowed to get rebates in income tax both on rent paid and on HBA interest by Director, DMSRDE , Kanpur.
- Copy of Declaration in Form No. 10BA under Rule 11 (B) of IT Act by ShriAK, Scientist ‘D’ during FY 2011-12, 2012-2013.
- Provide copy of salary slips for the months June 2013 and July 2013.
- Provide Owner name and address of house for which the rent receipts were submitted by ShriAK, Scientist ‘D’.
- Provide Copy of the Performa submitted by ShriAK to finance division for claiming rebates and informing saving details duly verified by Administration Division after confirming the present address from his personal case.
- The date on which ShriAK, Scientist ‘D’ left the Government Accommodation . Provide copy of vacation report/certificate issued by MES to Estate Division in respect of ShriAK, Scientist ‘D’.
- The date from which ShriAK is submitting rent receipt in order to claim/get rebate in rent paid in Income Tax.
- Whether any Vigilance Committee/other Committee was constituted by Director, DMSRDE to verify that the concerned Scientist/Officer claiming rebate on basis of rent paid is living on the address claimed and not submitting fake/forge receipt for house rent? (Yes/No)
- If Yes then provide the copy of the letter by which the said Vigilance Committee/Other Committee for this purpose was constituted.
This is to inform that Central Information Commission in its various decisions consistently held that establishment matters relating to the organization notified u/s 24 of the RTI Act come within the purview of the Act and information in this regard thereto are not exempted from disclosure. For examples decision pronounced in F. No. CIC/LS/A/2010/000107 dated 26.4.2010 and in F. No.CIC/SM/C/2008/ 00054/LS dated 29.01.2010.
Besides this the information sought is pertaining to allegations of corruption and as such not exempted u/s 24 of RTI Act 2005. An IPO of Rs. 10/- as application fee is enclosed.
Date: 31 July, 2013
Enc : IPO of Rs. 10/- , with IPO No 16F 964390