Is Personal Hearing of Appellant mandatory in First Appeal under RTI?
In case we do not receive the decision of the Central Public Information Officer (CPIO) or the State Public Information Officer (SPIO), as the case may be, within the time specified, or are aggrieved at the decision of the CPIO or SPIO, we may submit first appeal to the First Appellate Authority (FAA) in the concerned public authority within thirty days from the expiry of such period or from the receipt of such a decision. First Appeal is important opportunity for applicant to get the information by making personal presence and justifying his demand for information. However, after receiving First Appeal, many a times FAA passes orders without hearing or sending hearing notice to the appellant, causing the appellant to loose opportunity to justify himself. Hence the question “is Personal Hearing of Appellant mandatory in First Appeal under RTI?”.
In the matter of Mr. R. K. Jain vs. Department of Legal Affairs Government of India, registered under File No. File No.CIC/SA/A/2014/000254, the Central Information Commission observed the following: