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Compensation to the RTI Applicants


Right to Information Act – Sec. 18

Complaint No. CIC/WB/C/2006/00145
Dated : 16.3.06

Complainant : Smt. Dasharathi
Respondent : Food & Civil Supplies Dept.,Govt. of NCT, Delhi

Facts:Smt. Dasharathi of Lal Gumbad Camp, Panchshil Park, has submitted a complaint on 16.3.06 stating that when she approached the office of the Asstt.
Commissioner (South) in the Food & Civil Supplies Deptt., Delhi, to ask for information regarding her application regarding Kerosene oil she was told that the officer was not present and her application could only be accepted after he returns. After waiting for 2 to 3 hours, she was told that the officer would not return that day. She, therefore, complains that her time was wasted together with Rs. 100/- in travel costs.

The complaint was heard on 10.8.2006. Complainant Smt. Dasharathi is not present. Shri Ashok Kumar also resident of the same neighbourhood, who has appeared in another case heard on the same day, stated that complainant has not received the notice of hearing. On the other hand Shri Nand Lal, Asstt.
Commissioner (South), Food & Civil Supplies Department, Delhi is present. He admitted that he was in fact on leave for 5 days, when the applicant visited his office. On receiving the complaint notice he had made enquiries in the office as to who had refused acceptance of the application from the complainant, since there is a standard procedure for the purpose, but has been told that nobody recalled such an incident. The information has in the meantime been supplied to the complainant, which was also acknowledged by Shri Ashok Kumar, representing her in the hearing.

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As we have held in other cases misbehaviour with applicants approaching public authorities under the R.T.I. is not acceptable and in direction violation of Sec 5 (3). In this case the PIO Shri Nand Lal will invite Smt. Dasharathi to visit his office and identify members of his staff who refused to provide her the information.
Under Sec. 19(8)(b) the Public Authority will pay Rs. 100/- as damages suffered to the applicant Smt. Dasharathi. This may be either directly or through recovery from the erring officials, as deemed appropriate by the PIO.

Notice of this decision be given free of cost to the parties.

(Wajahat Habibullah)
Chief Information Commissioner

Authenticated true copy. Additional copies of orders shall be supplied against application and payment of the charges prescribed under the Act to the CPIO of this Commission:
(L.C. Singhi)
Additional Registrar

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