The CPIO had claimed that the statistics section of the Chief Labour Commissioner's office did not have the said information.
The Central Information Commission (CIC) has said the Central Public Information Officer (CPIO) has handled the right to information (RTI) application by an applicant seeking information about migrant workers stranded in different parts of the country in a very callous and casual manner.
The complainant through his RTI application had raised an important issue related to the stranded migrant workers, seeking information in relation to a letter dated April 8 issued by the Chief Labour Commissioner to all Regional Heads asking them to enumerate all migrant workers stranded at different places around the country.
In a response to the RTI query, the CPIO had claimed that the statistics section of the Chief Labour Commissioner's office did not have the said information.
"The Commission is not convinced with the fact that when a D.O. letter is issued by the Chief Labour Commissioner during the time when the whole country is under the grip of a pandemic which has seriously affected the migrant workers and the D.O. letter was sent to all Regional heads to collect the data related to migrant workers, then how is it possible that no action, whatsoever, was taken on this D.O," the CIC said.
The CIC said that while it might be possible that the desired information was not available with the answering official, but the information by nature being sensitive and important, it was incumbent upon the CPIO either to transfer the RTI application to different regional heads who were to act upon the letter or to seek assistance from them so that whatever information was supplied to the CPIO could have been forwarded to the complainant. "...that may even have been part information at that point of time as the data was to be collected from across the whole country."
The commission said that to its utmost surprize, the CPIO gave a cursory, flimsy and inappropriate reply to the complainant. while totally ignoring the seriousness of the issue raised by the complainant.
"The Commission records its severe admonition against the CPIO for such negligent handling of the RTI application concerning an issue of such wide implications," the commission said.Follow our full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak here