Another Consumer Forum upholds complaint by an RTI applicant
An application was filed with the Public Relations Officer, Tamil Nadu Electricity Board Vigilance Office, Chennai, under the Right to Information (RTI) Act seeking to get some information. The reply to the application had information related to only a few of the queries raised by the applicant while three of his questions remained unanswered.
Dissatisfied with the reply, the applicant filed a complaint with the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum seeking to get a compensation of Rs. 50,000 for the mental agony suffered by him due to poor services under RTI.
The PRO of TNEB Vigilance Office contended in the hearing that the matter did not come under the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act as a court fee of Rs. 10 cannot be termed as service charge and because the applicant can file appeal with the appellate authorities.
However, the forum disagreed with the PRO and held that the complainant had sought services under RTI by paying the service charge and he has every right to demand compensation for deficiency in services. The forum cited a Supreme Court ruling stating that arbitration is not the only remedy available to the consumers. He has option of choosing between the arbitration and filing complaint under the Consumer Protection Act. The consumer forum ruled that though compensation would not be awarded to the complainant in the present case as he had received some information, he would be entitled to get Rs. 1,000 as the cost of the proceedings which would be paid by the PIO.
N.R.Mohanraam has informed us the details of the case with a request to publih them. The details are given below. - Editor
Case filed on: 31/10/2012.
Case Disposed on: 18/04/2013.
DISTRICT CONSUMER DISPUTES REDRESSAL FORUM TUTICORIN.
Present: Thiru.M.Ramachandran, B.Sc., B.L., President.
Thiru.Dr.S.Leonard Vasanth, M.A., LL.B., Ph.D., Member I.
Tmt.K.Rosy Anne Florence, M.A., M.Phil, B.Ed., Member II.
(Thursday the 18th day of April 2013)
Anti Corruption Mass Movement,
1/98, Kollangkinnaru (Post),
Ottanatham Via, Ottapidaram,
Tuticorin District ………………. Complainant.
The Public Information Officer,
Integrated Child Development Programme,
Ottapidaram, Tuticorin District ………….… Opposite party.