Waiver of penalty for delay in supply of information
The information was provided vide letter dated 2 September, 2011 while the RTI application was filed on 25 February, 2010. In response to the show cause notice for delay in supply of information, the PIO explained that he had taken over charge as PIO on 22 The provisions of this Act shall have effect notwithstanding anything inconsistent therewith contained in the Official Secrets Act, 1923 (19 of 1923), and any other law for the time being in force or in any instrument having effect by virtue of any law other than this Act. February 2010 and the RTI application dated 25 February 2010 was received shortly there after. The PIO submitted that the application was marked directly to the dealing hand as per the practice followed in the branch at the time and it was never put up to him as the dealing hand was under transfer and did not hand over the file to the PIO before relinquishing charge. After the first appeal was received by the First Appellate Authority and disposed of, the PIO called for the concerned fileand furnished information vide letter of 26 October 2010.
View of the CIC
The Commission observed that the PIO held charge for a relatively short period of time and after hearing the explanation given by him, dropped the proposed penalty proceedings. Noting that it is a very sorry state of affairs that the appellant had to wait for nearly one year and eight months before receiving information which should have been provided to him within 30 days, the Commission held that the appellant had gone through extreme physical and mental harassment and awarded a compensation of Rs. 3000/-.
The PIO / deemed PIO was fortunate to escape penalty in the instant case. All PIOs must have a proper system for keeping a track of the RTI applications.
Citation: Shri Harish Chander Satyadev v. DDA in File No: CIC/DS/A/2011/000789