M. K. GUPTA
A new practice at the CIC has started when the complainant/appellant is asked to wait at the waiting room and in the meanwhile, Information Commissioner hear the Public Authority and subsequently pass order that the complainant/ appellant was either came late or was not present. The case pertains to the hearing held on 27.4.2009 before ********* *****, Information Commissioner in a case against the All India Radio.
In the second such trauma undergone by the undersigned on 11.6.09, he was present for hearing about 40 minute in advance and therefore was asked to wait in the waiting room by the staff, the IC started hearing the public authority little after the fixed time of 1.40 p.m. without calling the complainant by anyone for hearing.
Though the complainant reached on his own at about 2.00 p.m. during the on going hearing and took part in the hearing. He also marked his attendance earlier but the order issued by the IC says that “The complainant did not appear before the Commission.” The complainant has now asked the Hon’ble Information Commissioner to issue modified order rectifying this mistake about his presence during the hearing. He has also informed about this through a letter to the Hon’ble Chief Information Commissioner. The hearing took place before Hon’ble Information Commissioner, *.* . ******.
The RTI users should be wary of such dubious practices at Central Information Commission. Eventually, some body will have to bell the cat by knocking the door of High Court against such questionable practice.