Outcome of a representation in respect of 1984 riots
The appellant sought certain information about the processing and the outcome of his representations along with copies of file notings and other correspondences, which he had filed with the public authority with regard to award of compensation to him for the detriment suffered by him during 1984 riots. The PIO informed that his request for information is related to the Divisional Commissioner Branch. Being unhappy with this reply, the Appellant filed his first appeal with the Appellate Authority. The FAA directed to PIO to provide fresh and clear reply to the appellant.
The PIO again sent a reply to the Appellant informing him that his representations have been sent to the Deputy Commissioner (East) and that, therefore, he should approach the said officer for response. The Appellant, thereafter, filed the present petition before the Commission complaining that the information given to him by the Respondents is wrong and misleading.
View of CIC
During the hearing, the respondents informed that they also had also transferred the Appellant’s RTI application to the PIO, Office of Deputy Commissioner (East) for him to directly respond to the Appellant. They also mentioned that a payment of Rs. 14 lakh has already been made to the Appellant after considering his grievance, which he had put forth through his above representations - the subject matter of the present RTI application. The Commission observed that the PIO has not given any response to the Appellant, corresponding to his present RTI application. The Commission directed him to furnish the requested information to the Appellant while issuing a show cause for imposition of penalty under 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.
While a public authority may take steps to solve the grievances raised through an application / complaint,that is not an excuse for not replying to an RTI application. Each application should be responded under the RTI Act.
Citation: Shri Hukam Singh v. Department of Revenue in File No. CIC/AD/A/2011/002254