No response to an application by the PIO and the FAA
The Complainant wanted to know if the marks/ scores awarded to the candidates in various examinations/ tests conducted by the SSC in the recruitment of clerks 1994 were still available and, if so, in what form. She received no response from the PIO or the FAA.
View of the CIC
The Respondent could offer no plausible explanation about the failure of the PIO in responding to the RTI request except to say that he might have taken a lot of time in consulting various divisions/ offices of the SSC. It was informed that in terms of the retention schedule followed by the SSC, the 1994 examination related records would have been destroyed two years after the completion of the said examination and, therefore, no record would be available in this regard. The Commission observed that if it was so, all that the PIO needed to do was to inform the Complainant accordingly which he did not do. The Commission held that by not providing the information to the Complainant in time, the PIO has rendered himself liable for imposition of penalty in terms of Section 20(1) Where the Central Information Commission or the State Information Commission, as the case may be, at the time of deciding any complaint or appeal is of the opinion that the Central Public Information Officer or the State Public Information Officer, as the case may be, has, without any reasonable cause, refused to receive an application for information or has not furnished information within the time specified under sub-section (1) of section 7 or malafidely denied the request for information or knowingly given incorrect, incomplete or misleading information or destroyed information which was the subject of the request or obstructed in any manner in furnishing the information, it shall impose a penalty of two hundred and fifty rupees each day till application is received or information is furnished, so however, the total amount of such penalty shall not exceed twenty-five thousand rupees: Provided that the Central Public Information Officer or the State Public Information Officer, as the case may be, shall be given a reasonable opportunity of being heard before any penalty is imposed on him: Provided further that the burden of proving that he acted reasonably and diligently shall be on the Central Public Information Officer or the State Public Information Officer, as the case may be. of the RTI Act and issued a show cause notice to the PIO to hear his version. Holding that the Complainant has suffered a lot of detriment and harassment because of the complete failure on the part of the PIO, the Commission granted a compensation of Rs 5000/- to her under Section 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 the RTI Act.
Citation: Ms. Kabita Sahoo v. Staff Selection Commission in File No.CIC/WB/C/2010/000029SM