NEW DELHI: The Central Information Commission has issued a show-cause notice to two officers of the postal department for giving evasive replies and being opaque in furnishing information on the departmental examination.
Taking note of the misleading responses, Information Commissioner Uday Mahurkar also said that it is evident that wilful obstruction in the flow of information has been caused which is a grave violation of the RTI Act.
In a stern order, Mahurkar directed the department to furnish answer sheet of the RTI applicant for the LDCE -- AAO examination 2018 conducted by the postal department.
"It is further observed that in relation to this particular exam i.e. LDCE- AAO, 2018, conducted by the respondent, a series of second appeals have been heard by the Commission, wherein, great dissatisfaction is shown by the candidates with respect to the lack of transparency in the mode and method of conducting the examination and the assessment/evaluation of the candidates," Mahurkar said.
He said the candidates in the other similar matters also produced evidences that indicate that the department's attitude is not transparent as the respondent had provided the information sought by the candidates in similar exams previously, but every effort has been made by them to withhold the flow of information in this particular exam by misrepresenting before the Commission and giving evasive replies, he said.
"Due to repeated refusal by the CPIO to implement the Commission's direction in the above-stated matters, the Commission is compelled to bring it to the notice of the Secretary, Department of Posts and the Director-General, Department of Posts that this is a fit case for their intervention in the larger interest of transparency and accountability which are the main objectives of the RTI Act, 2005," he said.
Taking adverse note of the absence of CPIO and misleading responses provided by him, Mahurkar said it is evident that wilful obstruction in the flow of information has been caused, which is a grave violation of the Act.
"The Commission, therefore, issues show-cause notice to the current CPIO Ram and/Kunal, ACAO (the then CPIO), responsible for the deliberate and wilful contravention of the provisions of the RTI Act.
"The concerned notice shall show- cause by furnishing a written submission explaining the reason why penal action u/s 20 (1) of the RTI Act, 2005 should not be initiated against them for the denial in providing information within the aforementioned stipulated time," he said.