Action taken against delay in issuance of Identity Cards by election office
Through separate applications, five appellants had enquired about the status of their applications which they filed with the election office for issuance of Identity Cards to them. They also wanted to know what action the public authority will take against the officers who are responsible for delaying the issuance of Identity Cards to them. On appeal against the information provided by the PIO, the Appellate Authority asked the PIO to give point wise proper reply along with specific documents as per applications to the appellants. He also directed the PIO to allow the inspection of relevant records to the Appellants and provide them with photocopies of documents, if they want. The Appellate Authority also advised the appellants to visit the website of the public authority wherein most of the information is available.
View of the CIC
The respondents informed the Central Information Commission that they had referred the matter to the Assistant Commissioner of Police for verification of the particulars of the appellants. But despite several more than 26 reminders, they have not received any response on account of which they are unable to process the case of the Appellants. The respondents also mentioned the instruction received from the Additional Commissioner of Police (ACP) advising them to take proper precautions while issuing the identity cards. The Commission directed the PIO of the election office to transfer the RTI application to the Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) with whom the appellants’ case for verification is pending. The election office was directed to take appropriate action based within 2 weeks of the receipt of the verification report. The ACP was also directed by the Commission to inform the action taken on the applications that were forwarded to him along with the reasons for delay in verification, as available on record. The Commission directed both the public authorities to complete this exercise by 10th March, 2012. The Commission observed that the appellants have suffered unwarranted detriment as well as mental agony on account of non supply of desired information, forcing the appellants to approach the Commission. The appellants submitted that they had to borrow money from friends and relatives to travel to the Commission for the hearing. Therefore, the Commission directed that the public authority to pay an amount of Rs. 200/- as token compensation to each appellant under Section 19(8) (b) of the RTI Act.
This order of the Commission for affirmative action would help expediting transparency in the working of the public authorities and help the citizens in obtaining ‘information’ as per the explicit mandate of the RTI Act.
Citation: Ms. Sahana and others v. District Election Officer in file no. CIC/AD/A/2012/000022, CIC/AD/A/2012/000023, CIC/AD/A/2012/000025, CIC/AD/A/2012/000026, CIC/AD/A/2012/000024
RTI Citation : RTIFI/2012/CIC/83
Click here to view original RTI order of Court / Information Commission