"2191 2 Partha Saha"
WEST BENGAL INFORMATION COMMISSION Bhabani Bhaban, 2nd Floor, Alipore Kolkata-700 027 Telefax (033)2479-1966 Website: www.wbic.gov.in E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Appeal/Complaint No. 1455-WBIC/RTI/175/11 Right to Information Act, 2005 Date of hearing 19.08.2011 Shri Partha Saha Vs. Land and Land Reforms Department (i) Present: 1. Shri Partha Saha ……….Appellant 2. Md. Ehia Ali Mollah … Deputy Secretary & SPIO , Land & Land Reforms 3. Department Background 1. Shri Saha submitted an RTI application dtd. 25.06.2010 to the Deputy Secretary and SPIO, Land and Land Reforms Department seeking 3 point information relating to a “Return A” under the Calcutta Thika Tenancy (Acquisition & Regulation) Act, 1981. 2. Without getting any information from the SPIO of Land & Land Reforms Department, he preferred 1st appeal on 27.07.2010 before the 1st Appellate Authority. Having received no information, he preferred 2nd appeal to the Commission on 10.09.2010 3. The Commission requested the SPIO to furnish the action taken report on the matter vide Memo No. 733-WBIC/RTI/175/11 dtd. 04.04.2011 but the Commission received no report from SPIO, Land & Land Reforms Department. 4. The Commission decided to hear the matter on 19.08.2011. Decision 5. During the hearing Shri Saha stated that he approached both SPIO of the Land & Land Reforms Department and the Controller, Thika Tenancy, Kolkata but he received no information from any of them in spite of several requests from his end. 6. The SPIO, Land & Land Reforms Department submitted that after receiving the RTI application from Shri Saha he on his part requested the Controller, Thika Tenancy, Kolkata to supply the information directly to the petitioner within the scheduled time as per RTI Act by forwarding the RTI application dtd. 25.06.2010 vide his Memo No. 5340- Estt./IC-Kol.-20/10 dtd. 09.07.2010. He also submitted copy of Memo No. 6221-Estt. dtd. 05.08.2010 issued by the Joint Secretary & Appellate Authority, Land & Land Reforms Department to Shri Partha Saha in response to the 1st appeal informing the appellant that his RTI application has been transferred to the Controller, Thika Tenancy, Kolkata as the information is lying with that Public Authority. He also requested the appellant to get in touch with that office. 7. The Commission observes that the action taken by the SPIO and the Appellate Authority being part of the same Public Authority, namely Land and Land Reforms Department, is not in accordance with the provisions of the RTI Act. The SPIO in this case justified in taking the assistance of the Controller, Thika Tenancy working under the control of the same Public Authority. However, he should have taken steps to obtain the information from the Controller, Thika Tenancy and furnish to the applicant. The Appellate Authority should have considered the appellant passed specific order since the matter relates to the same Department. 8. The Commission after considering the submissions and documents, directs Md. Ehia Ali Mollah, Deputy Secretary & SPIO of Land & Land Reforms Department to take necessary action for obtaining the information from the Controller, Thika Tenancy, Kolkata and supply authenticated copy of the same to Shri Partha Saha within 15 days from the date of hearing. 9. The Controller, Thika Tenancy, Kolkata, Survey Building, (2nd Floor), 35, Gopal Nagar Road, Alipore, Kolkata-27, is also directed to supply the information as sought for by Shri Partha Saha through his RTI application dtd. 25.06.2010 to the Deputy Secretary & SPIO, Land & Land Reforms Department to enable him to furnish the same to the appellant in accordance with the above order. 10. The Controller, Thika Tenancy, Kolkata whose assistance had been sought by the SPIO and Deputy Secretary, Land and Land Reforms Department has neither furnished the information to the appellant direct nor transmitted any information to the SPIO. He, as a deemed SPIO, has failed to act in accordance with the provisions of the RTI Act. The Commission, prima facie finds him liable for penalty under Section 20 of the RTI Act, 2005. 11. The Commission therefore directs the Controller, Thika Tenancy, Kolkata to show cause as to why penal measures as per Section 20 of the RTI Act, 2005 will not be imposed on him. The reply to the show cause notice shall reach the Commission within 15 (fifteen) days from the date of receipt of this order 12. Thereafter, the SPIO of Land & Land Reforms Department shall furnish the copy of the information to this Commission as a mark of compliance. Sd/- Date: 19.08.2011 ( K. John Koshy ) State Information Commissioner, W.B. No. 2191 (2)-(Order)-WBIC/RTI/ 175/11 Date: 05.09.2011 Authenticated true copy forwarded to: 1. Shri Partha Saha, 9/2E, Raja Bagan Lane, P.S. Sinthee, Kolkata – 700 030 2. The Joint Secretary & Appellate Authority, Land and Land Reforms Department, Writers’ Buildings, Kolkata – 700 001 3. The Deputy Secretary & State Public Information Officer, Land and Land Reforms Department, Writers’ Buildings, Kolkata – 700 001 4. The Controller, Thika Tenancy, Kolkata, Survey Buildings (2nd Floor), 35, Gopal Nagar Road, Kolkata – 700 027 Deputy Secretary & Additional Registrar West Bengal Information Commission