In the Central Information Commission at New Delhi File No: CIC/AD/A/2012/000278 Date of Hearing : February 22, 2012 Date of Decision : February 22, 2012 Parties: Applicant Shri. Ashwani J. Sharma C101, 1st Floor Rajesh Nagar Sai Baba Mandir Road Borivalli (W) Mumbai 400 092 The Applicant was present during the hearing. Respondents Ministry of Railways O/o PIO(Confidential) Railway Board Rail Bhavan New Delhi Represented by : None Information Commissioner : Mrs. Annapurna Dixit ___________________________________________________________________ In the Central Information Commission at New Delhi File No: CIC/AD/A/2012/000278 ORDER
1. The Applicant filed an RTI Application dt.15.7.11 with the PIO, Ministry of Railways seeking information against six points. He then filed an appeal dt.18.8.11 with the Appellate Authority commenting on the information provided by the PIO vide his letter dt.5.8.11 (Copy not enclosed).
Shri. M.S.Mehra, Appellate Authority disposed off the appeal vide his order dt.7.9.11 enclosing the information furnished by Shri. V.Rajagopal, Dy. Secretary (Confidential). The information sought and the response furnished in response to the first appeal is given below:
S.No. Information sought Ministry's Response
1. Copies of my APARs considered by the DPC Copies of APARs for the year 2005 (Pt.I & II), leading to notification of panel vide Railway 2006 (Pt.I & ii), 2007, 2008(Pt.I) & 2009(Pt.I&II) Board letter No.E(O)III2011/PM/22 of 29.4.11 which are below bench mark gradings have wherein my name does not appear already been given while considering for empanelment to JAG. Disclosure of other APARs does not serve any public interest or activity. Hence, exempted under section 8(1)(j) of the RTI Act, 2005. However, grading of the APARs for the 5 years (under consideration in JAG) are given below Period Grading 2005(I) Average 2005(II) Very Good 2006(I) Very Good 2006(II) Very Good 2007 Good 2008(I) Very Good 2008(II) Very Good 2009(I) Good 2009(II) Good
2. Copy of proceeding, noting of the DPC leading Copy of noting of the DPC is enclosed (1 page) to JAG/IRTS panel vide Railway Board's letter after applying section 10(1) in regard to No.E(O)III2011/PM/22 of 29.4.11 information on the names of officers etc. that are exempted under 8(1)(j) of the RTI Act.
3. The bench mark granted by the above DPC to In terms of existing instructions officers are my juniors namely Shri Kamlesh Tiwari, Shri. assessed by the DPC either 'fit' or 'unfit' with Rajesh Kumar Pundhir, Shri. Mahesh Kumar reference to benchmark. Shri Ashwani J. Verma, Shri. C.P.Verma Sharma's juniors mentioned have been
4. The bench mark granted to me by DPC assessed 'fit' and Shri. A.J.Sharma has been referred to above assessed 'unfit'.
Being aggrieved with the reply, the Applicant filed a second appeal dt.28.9.11 before CIC seeking the gradings of all the officers who were considered along with him leading to the notification of panel vide Railway Board's letter dt.29.4.11 and full text of the DPC proceedings, including the statements of gradings.
2. In the absence of the Respondents, the matter was decided exparte.
3. The Commission on perusal of the submissions on record and after hearing the Appellant directs that PIO to provide APARs of the Appellant for the period considered by the DPC leading to notification of panel vide Railway Board's letter dt.29.4.11.
3. The PIO to also provide the copy of the panel proceedings as per CIC's decision No.CIC/WB/A/2009/000420, 582 & 602 dt.14.5.10, the relevant portion of which is as follows:
The objective of a DPC decision cannot be to recommend promotions in a clandestine manner or behind a veil. We agree that if such disclosure is made, at a time when the DPC is under process or even when its recommendations have not been finally accepted, such disclosure could conceivably affect the competitive position of third parties. On the other hand, the relative assessment being the key to the decision of the DPC in an activity in which the comparative merits of different candidates for promotion are made with full gravity and reflection, it will surely will be the right of every candidate to know as to how he stands assessed at the time of his consideration, with the understanding that this will enable him to represent on the basis of fact and not conjecture.
In light of the above, we must come to the conclusion that the relative assessment attached with the DPC cannot be held as exempt. This has become inevitable in consequence of the decision of the Supreme Court of India in Dev Dutt vs. U.O.I. (SLP No. 3114 of 2007) in light of which the earlier ruling of this Commission cited by CPIO cannot hold. Copies of the original relative assessment in the present case will, therefore, be provided to appellant
3. The information should reach the Appellant by 23.3.12.
4. The appeal is disposed of with the above directions.
(Annapurna Dixit) Information Commissioner Authenticated true copy (G.Subramanian) Deputy Registrar Cc:
1. Shri. Ashwani J. Sharma C101, 1st Floor Rajesh Nagar Sai Baba Mandir Road Borivalli (W) Mumbai 400 092
2. The Public Information Officer Ministry of Railways O/o PIO(Confidential) Railway Board Rail Bhavan New Delhi
3. Officer in charge, NIC Note: In case, the Commission's above directives have not been complied with by the Respondents, the Appellant/Complainant may file a formal complaint with the Commission under Section 18(1) of the RTIAct, giving (1) copy of RTIapplication, (2) copy of the Commission's decision, and (3) any other documents which he/she considers to be necessary for deciding the complaint. In the prayer, the Appellant/Complainant may indicate, what information has not been provided.