Appellant’s application under ‘Ladlee Yojana Scheme’ was not considered as the 3 years residential proof was not enclosed - CIC: the appellant was deprived of the benefit because of non furnishing of information in time; compensation of Rs. 5000/- awarded
2. The appellant submitted that he had applied to the department of women and child development, Delhi on 22.08.2008 for accessing benefits under the Ladli Yojna Scheme for his daughter Indu. The department had asked him to submit a fresh application and in pursuance, of which he had submitted a fresh application, duly completed on 29.10.2009. As per the appellant the department had accepted the application for the Ladli Yojna after checking the accompanying documents and provided him a receipt no. 1307872 dated 29.10.2009. At the time of submitting the application in 2009, his daughter had been admitted to class 12th, thereby making her eligible for the LadliYojna. Despite the repeated visits made by him to the office of the WCD department, they did not inform him the outcome of the application.
3. The appellant filed an RTI application on 25.02.2013 seeking details about the status of his application made under the LadliYojna and the action taken by the department on his application etc. Having received no reply within the prescribed period, the appellant filed First Appeal on 15.04.2013.
Having received no reply, he filed Second Appeal on 18.07.2013. The appellant submitted that after he had filed the second appeal and had sent a copy of the Second appeal to the department, the department called him on phone to come the office of the WCD in August 2013. At the office in Jal Vihar, Lajpat Nagar, he was orally informed that his application had been rejected as the birth certificate of his daughter did not bear her name.
4. The appellant alleged during the hearing on 06.08.2014, that the PIO misrepresented facts and provided false and misleading information. Appellant explained:
a) PIO stated that the department never received my application for the LadliYojna dated 29.10.2009 bearing receipt No. 1307872 as the receipt does not bear the stamp of the department. However, a close inspection of the receipt dated 29.10.2009 bearing receipt No.1307872 shows that the stamp of the department is clearly visible. It is a round stamp bearing the words “DWCD” and “South District”. This is the same stamp which is visible in the application made by me to the department on 22082008 which the department admits that it received.
b) The PIO stated that the department had sent the response to RTI request. However, she was unable to produce the speed post receipt of the same.
c) If the department never received my application dated 29.10.2009, a claim made by the department during the hearing, then how the department could be aware of any deficiency in RTI application for Ladli Yojna, which the department pointed out when he was called to their office in August 2013. These facts clearly show that the department is manipulating the facts in effort to mislead the commission.
5. The appellant also prayed before the Commission that compensation should be awarded to him for the loss because of non furnishing of the essential information within the time. The appellant further stated that: Section 4 (1) (d) of the RTI Act “Provide reasons for its administrative or quasijudicial
decisions to affected persons.” The Citizen charter of the WCD states that a decision on each application made under the Ladli Yojna will be taken within 90 days from the date of application.
6. The appellant submitted that under Sec 4 (1) (d), the WCD was obligated to suomotu inform him about the decision taken on his application for the LadliYojna for his daughter. Once the department received his application for LadliYojna on 29.10.2009 (as is evident from their stamp on the application) and took the administrative decision to reject my application, presumably within 90 days, it should have informed him about the reasons for the rejection. This information would have enabled him to rectify the deficiency, if any, in my original application to enable his daughter to access benefits under the LadliYojna.
7. The Appellant also submitted that Sec 19(8) (b) of the Act which states: “(8) In its decision, the Central Information Commission or State Information Commission, as the case may be, has the power to—
(b) require the public authority to compensate the complainant for any loss or other detriment suffered;” From the moment the department took a decision to reject his application for benefits under the Ladli Yojna, it was obligated under Sec 4 (1)(d) of the RTI Act to inform him about the decisions and the reasons thereof. Had the department met its obligations under the RTI Act. He could have easily corrected any deficiency which caused his application to be rejected. Further the obligation to take a decision in a timely manner and inform him about the same is also enshrined in the citizen charter of the WCD department and the manual of office procedures.
Computation of the Compensation
8. The appellant therefore prayed that the department should provide him a compensation of Rs 7500. The amount is arrived in by the following calculation:
a) Amount to be given at the time of the applying while the admission in Class 12 – Rs. 5000
b) Amount that would have accrued as interest on the said amount of Rs 5000 between 2009 and 2014. At 8 % per annum, this amount would come to Rs 2500(approx)
9. The appellant also stated that till date he had not received any information in response to his RTI request. While in the hearing the PIO stated that in 2013 a response to his RTI request had been sent, but she was not unable to produce any proof of having dispatched the response. Further the department did not provide him a copy of the response when he went to their department after they telephonically contacted him when he filed the second appeal. Even at the hearing, a copy of this response was not provided to him. Further the PIO tried to misrepresent facts and provide false and incorrect information during the second appeal hearing on 06.08.2014, in a bid to mislead the commission. The PIO claimed that my LadliYojna application dated 29.10.2009 had never been received by the department as it had incorrectly been submitted by me to the MCD councilor. However, a close inspection of the said receipt clearly shows that the stamp of the department and therefore the claim of the department that they never received my application is completely untrue and false.
10. The Commission observes that the respondent/PIO did not respond to the RTI application within the prescribed time. The appellant’s application under ‘Ladlee Yojana Scheme’ was not considered by the respondent authority as he did not enclose the 3years residential proof for availing the same. The appellant was deprived of this benefit because of non furnishing of this information in time.
11. The Commission directs the respondent authority in order to compensate the losses incurred by the appellant an amount of Rs. 5,000/ along with simple interest on Rs.5,000/ from the date of due to the date of payment, in addition an amount of Rs.2,500/as compensation, shall be paid to him for non furnishing of the information within the prescribed period. This will not deprive the appellant of his right to secure complete compensation under tortuous liability after proving the actual loss.
12. The Commission also directs the PIO, Ms. Abha Singh to show cause why maximum penalty cannot be imposed for not responding to the RTI application and for not informing the appellant about the need to produce 3 years residential proof for availing the benefit of ‘Ladlee Yojana Scheme’.
13. The Commission orders accordingly.
(M. Sridhar Acharyulu)
Citation: Mr. Surendra Singh v. Dept of Women and Child Development, GNCTD, Delhi in File No.CIC/DS/A/2013/001447SA