Missing files no excuse for denying information under RTI Act: CIC
"Unless proved the record was destroyed as per the prescribed rules of destruction/retention policy, it is deemed that record continues to be held by the public authority".
Information Commissioners usually ask PIOs to lodge an FIR in the police station in case a file goes missing. In one case under the RTI, the CIC asked the PIO to ‘reconstruct’ the missing file to facilitate justice to a doctor allegedly involved in a criminal case
Loss of records that are required to be maintained permanently, if considered as an evidence in a case, then its missing should invite criminal complaint against officials under sections 201 of IPC (punishable with imprisonment which is directly proportional to seriousness of offence charged from 7 years to 10 years.
Applicant Can seek information older than 20 years? A public authority is obliged to provide information which is more than 20 years old subject only to the provisions of clauses (a), (c) and (i) of Section 8(1) of the RTI Act.