This INTERIM FIRST APPEAL is filed against the reply of the CPIO Shri V.P. Singh, Consultant S.O., in request no. CICOM/R/E/22/00471/1 on the following grounds which are set out distinctly and without prejudice to each other.



Considering the gross illegalities manifest in the reply which betray a complete lack of record maintenance which is mandatory u/s 4(1)(a) of the RTI Act 2005, and also the deliberate obstruction of the CPIO to provide specific information to expose the rampant corruption in the Central Information Commission, I am requesting for a personal hearing in this matter before any adverse order is passed against my cause. I am also requesting for a personal hearing because the present First Appellate Authority is disposing of first appeals in a formulaic manner by ignoring the grounds of the appeal, which reeks of corruption in the Commission.



1. Because the purported CPIO is not a regular and permanent officer of the Commission provided by the Central Government vide section 13(6) of the RTI Act, but is a retired officer category consultant. As such consultancy is a temporary (non-official) contractual appointment which can be cancelled at any time without any reason, Shri V.P.Singh was not eligible to be appointed as a CPIO and his reply is invalid..


2. Because Shri V.P.Singh was superseded as CPIO by Shri V.B Hariharan, (another Consultant SO illegally appointed as CPIO), the dealing hand for all matters relating to Legal Consultants, vide Office Order 27.09.2021. Hence Shri VP Singh had no business replying to me, as he did not have access to the information requested and is not a designated CPIO as on date of reply.


3. Because it has become a practice in the Commission, which is now a den of corruption, to designate the temporary short term contractual staff as CPIOs and compel them to obstruct and evade information disclosure which shall expose the corruption in Commission. Such temporary appointees will go to any length to mindlessly deny information simply to keep and renew their contracts. Accordingly, the Commission, as nodal authority for RTI, may kindly strictly follow the recommendations of the 2nd ARC that CPIO may be of at least Deputy Secretary / Director level rank, so that the information I requested may be properly accessed and provided to me.


4. Because the record keeping and maintenance system in the Commission is in a shambolic state with the section 4(1)(a) suo moto disclosure being in a complete mess despite the Commission having received and squandered tens of crore rupees from central public funds already for this purpose. As the 2nd ARC had observed, without proper record keeping the RTI Act cannot be implemented. From the impugned reply, it seems that nobody in the Commission is following the strict norms detailed in Manual of Office Procedure 13th edition for record keeping concerning the information I requested.  I am further given to understand that the Commission's nodal RTI officer for section 4 disclosure is, strangely, the very same present First Appellate Authority, which clearly indicates there is a deliberate and systematic attempt by the Commission to suppress important information disclosure to the citizens which they are entitled to have promptly, free of cost without payments and in an indexed and catalogued manner.


5. Because the  CPIO has mischievously / malafidely confined himself to the present Legal Consultants retained in the Commission, whereas I had specified by name the Legal Consultant whose appointment letter etc. I had requested. As per the CVs of the said Shibani Ghosh, accessible at many internet sites, she claims to have been a Legal Consultant in the Commission attached to Shri Shailesh Gandhi's office between May 2009 and July 2010. A copy of the CV being circulated by Ms. Ghosh as downloaded from Harvard University URL is attached in support of my assertion. It is noteworthy and incredible that Ms. Ghosh, purportedly an enrolled advocate and A-o-R of Supreme Court, specifically claims herein to be drafting the orders of the Commission during this period and providing legal advice to the Commissioner, and despite that Prof K.K. Nigam was the designated Legal Advisor to the Commission during this entire period and was the first Legal Consultant of the Commission vide Commission’s minutes of meeting dated 28/11/2006, and the retainer fees for Prof. Nigam and subsequent Legal Consultants appointed were set by the Commission.

Accordingly either,

a) Direct the CPIO to locate and provide me the copy of all requested information at points 1-7 pertaining to Ms.Ghosh's appointment as Legal Consultant, incl. by any other similar designation then being used, or else

b) Specifically confirm to me in orders that Ms. Shibani Ghosh was never engaged by the Commission, received no remuneration from the Commission, and was never functioning as legal consultant to the Commission in the office of Shri Shailesh Gandhi, Central Information Commissioner.

NB: I am already entitled to all the above information for points 1-7 as part of the Commission's section 4 suo moto disclosure, but am compelled to approach in section 6 process solely due to the Commission's poor record keeping and deliberate / corrupt failures to properly catalogue, index and maintain its records and render them accessible over the internet to facilitate my right to information.


6.   Because information points no. 8 and 9 shall be found in the CIC official records relating to former Information Commissioner Shri Shailesh Gandhi. The CPIO may also be directed to consult the agenda and records of the minutes of the public meeting of the Central Information Commission held at the ISTM Conference Hall No. 2 on 19.February.2010 to properly provide me the requested information. Because Shri Shailesh Gandhi's office records are available in both paper form as well as digital form in the Commission, there is no excuse for the concerned CPIO to evade information disclosure to me for these 2 points, and considering that Shri Shailesh Gandhi has made private, and illegal, electronic copies of his entire CIC records and is uploading them to foreign websites of unfriendly nations, whereas the Commission is yet to upload his records. 

7. Because the CPIO has deliberately lied to me for point no.10 that no information is available. Actually, I had discussed telephonically with Shri V.B Hariharan, the dealing officer, in first week of May 2022 and it was Shri Hariharan who kindly assisted me under RTI by conveying to me that the Legal Consultants are being engaged due to the inability of Central Government to provide officers u/s 13(6) RTI Act, and also that the Commission's engagements have the approval / permission / budgetary sanctions of Central Government. It was also Shri Hariharan who requested me to apply for the copy/s in RTI as otherwise he could not disclose / confirm it. Accordingly, the reasons for Shri VP Singh replying to me in place of the designated CPIO, may be formally enquired into as this reeks of corruption.


8. Because for points no. 11 and 12, it is highly improper for the CPIO to evade information disclosure by stating information is not compiled.

Firstly, I have never asked for information to be provided in any specific format,
Secondly I have never asked for CPIO to compile or to create any information for providing it to me, as that is not part of the CPIO's duties or functions. It is trite to say the CPIO is only to provide the copy of such information which already exists and is accessible under the RTI Act. It is relevant to mention here that the information I requested should automatically find its place in not only the Annual Report/s of the Commission but also in the Commission's suo-moto disclosures under section 4 of the Act, but which for some strange reasons are not found over there. If these mandatory disclosures have not been done, it is incumbent on the nodal RTI Officer of the Commission and/or Transparency Officer of CIC, whoever they may be, to get the same "compiled" (ie catalogued / indexed / maintained) forthwith for providing to not only myself under this request but also to Parliament and to all citizens suo-moto to obviate the filing of section 6 RTI requests and thus wasting the time / resources of the Commission. It belies belief that any citizen would apply for information u/s 6 against payment if the same has already been disseminated under section 4(4) at great cost to the exchequer.

Thirdly, my RTI request points are very specific and for specific purposes of ensuring accountability and transparency in the working of this Commission and for exposing the corruption and contempt for the superior courts I see everywhere nowadays in CIC, and so I desire to have it in larger public interest.


9. Because for point no.13 it is absurd for any officer to claim that there are no budgetary provisions made for these numerous legal consultants and legal services being regularly engaged by the Commission. Starting from the time of Prof K.K. Nigam's appointment as Legal Consultant / Legal Advisor in 2006, the payments have been primarily made under the “Professional Services” heading in the demand for grants, and of which about 50% on average is used for engaging full time Legal Consultants and most of the balance for engaging the services of advocates who appear for the Commission in various Court matters. At the present time it seems the payments on account of the full time legal consultants well exceeds a crore or two of rupees each year so it is entirely false for the deemed CPIO Shri S.K..Rabbani to state that no such budgetary provision exists. It seems the deemed CPIO Shri Rabbani is also a conspirator in the deliberately false and evasive suo moto disclosure by the Commission's nodal RTI officer for the section 4(1)(b)(xi) suo moto disclosure. iethe budget allocated to each of its agency, indicating the particulars of all plans, proposed expenditures and reports on disbursement made, for which Shri S.K.Rabbani and the Nodal RTI Officer deserve to be either collectively departmentally prosecuted or investigated for corruption. Lastly, the information can be very easily collected from the Central Government to provide to me if it is strangely unavailable to the Commission, or especially to the JS(P&B), as is being claimed by the deemed CPIO Shri S.K. Rabbani..

10. Because it is quite strange that the Secretary of the Commission is not taking proper steps to implement the RTI Act properly in the Commission, especially on the aspects of record management and suo-moto disclosures which were to be done as far back as October 2005.

11. Because the feeble excuses by the CPIO viz. that information does not exist, or has not been compiled etc. is no justification for denial of information to the applicant. By law such information is required to exist and consequently to be maintained and networked in a manner to facilitate my right to information. By virtue of section 5(4) r/w 12(4) of the RTI Act, the CPIO always has the option of requesting the assistance of the Chief Information Commissioner as deemed CPIO so that I may receive information

12. Because the information requested does not fall under section 8 or 9 of the RTI Act.


13. Because there is no accountability over the Legal Consultants, to the extent that the JS(Law) of CIC has strangely been bypassed in the matters of their appointments and supervision, which indicates serious corruption in the working of the Commission.




 1) That after granting me a personal hearing, the impugned reply may be struck down by a reasoned speaking order traversing all my grounds, and my RTI request be immediately reassigned to some proper and sufficiently senior permanent officer of the Commission to ensure the requested information is either provided to me by 25/06/2022 against the payment of prescribed fees or free of cost thereafter; or in the alternative

2) The CPIO may be directed to seek the assistance of Central Chief Information Commissioner u./s 5(4) r/w 12(4) of the RTI Act so that I receive timely information.