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The Act has surely limited the APIO's rule only to receiving applications for information and appeals and transmitting the same to their proper destination. His responsibilities are not coextensive with the P.I.O.S. However, this action of the APIO should not create as special disability for the requester in exercising his rights under the Act.

In the normal course an applicant for information has a right to receive the reply from the PIO and the PIO only. We, however, see no legal difficulty in the PIO using the services of an APIO to transmit the former’s decision on the application for information through the APIO.

In our understanding, this will not lead to any miscarriage of justice or place undue restriction on an information seeker’s rights under the RTI Act.

We, however, like to caution that any order issued by a APIO on behalf of PIO must clearly state that the former was only transmitting the orders of latter and should also state the name and the designation of the PIO on whose behalf the APIO might be acting. This will enable the information seeker to bring against the PIO any charge of delay etc. if that happens to be the case.

In this instant case, the order was, no doubt, signed by the Assistant PIO, Shri Ramesh Chand Sapra, but the order very clearly stated that this was from the “Office of the Public Information Officer-cum-Dy. Commissioner of Police: West Delhi” Quite obviously, therefore, the appellant was not handicapped in knowing the identity of PIO handling his case, even though the reply was signed by the APIO.
CIC/AT/A/2006/00059-5 May,2006.

APIO
It is only a PIO who is required to provide information to the requesters. When arequest is received by an APIO he is required only to forward the same forthwith to a PIO of the public authority.— 10/01/2005 - CIC - 25 February,2006.

PIO
Under the Act, the CPIO may take the assistance of any other officer from his department. Therefore, the documents signed on his behalf by any other officer designated by him should be acceptable to the appellant. 111/IC(A)/2006 – 13 July,2006.


PIO- Multiple PIOs:
If multiple number of PIOs are appointed in the same public authority there is no scope to either ask the citizen to approach another PIO within the same public authority or send the request to another PIO within the same P.A. Only in a case where the information sought is held by another P.A. other than the one which has designated her as PIO, she can transfer the request to that P.A. for furnishing information to the applicant directly. ICPB/C1/CIC/2006 - 6 March, 2006.

Other officers
PIO, who has received the request form the requester is under obligation to seek information form his colleague and provide it to the requester. His colleague who was to provide the information as per s.5(5) would become deemed PIO and expected to provide the - PIO, who received the original request - the required information. CIC/AT/A/2006/00015 - 1 March ,2006.




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