A BPL category candidate applied for the scholarship to complete his B.Ed qualification - CIC expressed displeasure at PIO’s double standards and non responsive attitude - CIC: Compensation of Rs.70,000/- granted; show cause notice to PIO for penalty
2. The Appellant through his RTI application dated 23.04.2013 had sought to know whether his application for Post Matric scholarship for 2012-13 was accepted or not. Having received no reply within the prescribed period, the appellant preferred First Appeal. FAA by his Order dated 28.11.2013 stated that the information sought by the appellant had been already furnished to him vide letter dated 20.05.2013, which was again sent to the appellant. Being unsatisfied with the information furnished, the appellant has approached the Commission in Second Appeal.
3. Both the parties made their submissions. The appellant, Mr. Raj Kumar student of Guru Ramdas College of Education, Sahadra, Delhi affiliated to Indra Prastha University, submitted that he belonged to BPL category and he required financial scholarship support to complete his B.Ed qualification. He applied for the scholarship to the Respondent authority for the academic year 2012-13. He was informed that his form was in the select list and it was given a number 2191. But he did not get the scholarship. He sought information through this RTI application on 23.4.2013 on the action taken on his application for the scholarship. There was no response within 30 days. He filed First Appeal. Then on 19.11.2013 the First Appellate Authority stated that answer was already given on 20th May 2013and same may be given again. The appellant claimed that the reply of CPIO was handed over to him along with the order of First Appellate Authority in which he alleged that he was made to wait for one and half hour and was abused beside denying information. On his request for information he was advised to see the office website. Then on 21.11.2013 Mr Surender Kumar, Assistant Director (plg) wrote to him that his application was not considered because he had not submitted 3rd year marksheet of BA.
4. He personally went to office where he was denied information. He went again to office on 23.9.2013 and on the advise of office he has submitted application again alongwith copies of marksheet of BA program and Aadhar card.
5. During hearing respondent officer submitted that the appellant’s application for scholarship was not considered as he has not enclosed the Metric certificate, which is the basic qualification. The appellant has shown that he has attached the required copy of certificate. The Commission asked the Respondent authority whether there was any scope to consider his application for scholarship at this point of time. The office of the Respondent authority said no.
6. The Commission observed that PIO Mr Surender Kumar who was Asst Director (Plg) wrongly represented the FAA that he has replied on 20th May 2013, which was not sent to appellant, but was given only along with order of First Appellate Authority with date 19.11.2013. Then as an afterthought he sends in his official capacity, a letter to appellant saying he did not attach the copy of markshseet of BA third year.
7. The Commission is not happy because of the CPIO’s double standards and non responsive attitude. He neither answered in his official capacity nor as PIO of Public Authority. He falsely claimed that appellant did not attach marksheet, and also misrepresented that he has replied without doing so. It is clear that the PIO and Asst Director Surender Kumar was irresponsible in his official duties and nonresponsive as PIO. This gives rise to doubts that because of prevailing corruption the appellant was denied scholarship he deserves as per advertisement.
8. The appellant, who is a poor man, trying to complete his B.Ed with some financial support, was deprived of his scholarship on the false ground that he had not enclosed the document of Metric certificate, which appellant proved wrong. When the Commission queried the respondent officer whether he had intimated the said deficiency to the appellant, so that he would have fulfilled the same, the offer Mr Ganeshan, representing respondent authority admitted they have not intimated the same to him in time.
9. The Commission is of the view that there had been delay in furnishing the required information, as the reply sought by the appellant was furnished to him after the statutory prescribed period of 30 days. In the present case, the reply of PIO was furnished to the appellant alongwith the FAA Order. The Commission considers it is a fit case to award compensation to the appellant and hence directs the Public Authority Under Sec 19(8)(b) In its decision, the Central Information Commission or State Information Commission, as the case may be, has the power to require the public authority to compensate the complainant for any loss or other detriment suffered; of RTI Act to pay compensation of Rs.70,000/ within one month from the date of receipt of this order.
10. The Commission also directs Mr Surender Kumar PIO to show cause why maximum penalty cannot be imposed against him for not responding to appellant and misleading the FAA. His explanation should reach within 21 days from the date of receipt of this order.
11. The appeal is concluded and the penalty proceedings and compliance proceedings will continue as mentioned above. The Commission orders accordingly.
(M. Sridhar Acharyulu)
Citation: Sh. Rajkumar v. Directorate of Higher Education, GNCTD in File No.CIC/SA/A/2014/000583