Guide For The Central Public Information Officers
Appeals and Complaints
If an applicant is not supplied information within the prescribed time limit, or is not satisfied with the information furnished to him, he may prefer an appeal to the first appellate authority who is an officer senior in rank to the CPIO. Such an appeal can be made within a period of 30 days from the date on which time limit for apply of information expires or the decision of the CPIO is received. The appellate authority of the public authority is expected to dispose of the appeal within a period of thirty days or in exceptional cases within 35 days of the receipt of the appeal. If the first appellate authority fails to pass an order on the appeal within the prescribed period or if the appellant is not satisfied with the order of the prescribed period or if the appellant is not satisfied with the order of the first appellate authority, he may prefer a second appeal with the Central Information Commission within ninety days from the date on which the decision should have been made by the first appellate authority or was actually received by the appellant.
If any persons is unable to submit a request to a Central Public Information Officer either by reason that such an officer has not been appointed by the concerned public authority; or the Central Assistant Center Public Information Officer has refused to accept his or her application or appeal for forwarding the same to the Central Public Information Officer or the appellate authority, as the case may be; or he has been refused access to any information requested by him under the RTI Act; or he has not been given a response to a request for information within the time limit specified in the Act; or he has been required to pay an amount of fee which he considers unreasonable; or he believes that the been give incomplete, misleading or false information, he can make a complaint to the Central Information Commission.
Imposition of Penalty
As pointed out above, an applicant under the Act has a right to appeal to the Central Information Commission and also to make complaint to the Commission. Where the Central Information Commission at the time of deciding any complaint or appeal is of the opinion that the Central Public Information Officer has without any reasonable cause, refused to receive an application for information or has not furnished information within the time specified or malafidely denied the request for information or knowingly given incorrect, incomplete or misleading information or destroyed information which was the subject of the request or obstructed in any manner in furnishing the information, it shall impose a penalty of two hundred and fifty rupees each day till application is received or information is furnished subject to the condition that the total amount of such penalty shall not exceed twenty-five thousand rupees. The Central Public Information Officer shall, however, be given a reasonable opportunity of being herd before any penalty is imposed on him. The burden of proving that he acted reasonable and diligently and in case of denial of a request that such denial was justified shall be on the Central Public Information Officer.