The information commission during the second appeal hearing said that it is not correct for the PIO to state that no FAA was appointed at the public authority.
The state information commission (SIC) in an order has showcaused a first appellate authority (FAA) on why no disciplinary action should be recommended for not conducting a first appeal hearing and passing an order on the same.
The order was passed by Sunil Porwal, state information commissioner on May 9 based on an application filed by Pravin Gosavi, an employee of Maharashtra Medical Development, who had sought details about his provident fund, salary increment and confidential report among others.
The public information officer (PIO) provided Gosavi with some information, but not all of it. “When I filed the first appeal, they wrote to me saying that no person is in charge of the first appellate authority. Hence, first appeal hearing can’t be conducted,” said Gosavi.
The information commission during the second appeal hearing said that it is not correct for the PIO to state that no FAA was appointed at the public authority. When the applicant protested and said that as per the circular, head of the department is appointed as the first appellate authority, the commission stated that the FAA should conduct a hearing within 15 days of receiving the commission order. It said that if the applicant was not satisfied, he could approach the commission within 90 days. It also showcaused the FAA asking that why no disciplinary action is recommended against him for flouting state government resolution.
“Information commission cannot take direct action on FAA, but recommending disciplinary action to the department is a good thing. This will ensure that FAA takes the act and hearings seriously,” said Bhaskar Prabhu, an RTI activist.