CIC: BSNL to give correct rule position in the matter which was prevalent at the time of treatment of the appellant’s wife - CIC: The CMD, BSNL advised to look into the entire matter related to medical treatment/reimbursement of the BSNL employees
1. The appellant filed RTI application dated 18.09.2015 seeking BSNL orders on rate of refund of medical claim in Jabalpur region if treatment is done with prior approval of BSNL in a Bhopal hospital.
2. The CPIO responded on 05.11.2015. The appellant filed first appeal dated 21.11.2015 with First Appellate Authority (FAA). The FAA responded on 20.01.2016. The appellant filed second appeal on 31.03.2016 before the Commission on the ground that information should be provided to him.
3. The appellant participated in the hearing through VC. The respondent Sh. R.P. Ahmad, AD (RTI) participated in the hearing through VC.
4. The appellant referred to his RTI application dated 18.09.2015 and stated that correct information has not been furnished to him by the respondent.
5. The appellant stated that in the year 2013, his wife had to undergo a surgical treatment from a CGHS empanelled hospital in Bhopal. He stated that prior permission had been taken from the department for the said purpose. He was also given an advance for treatment as per estimates given by Bhopal hospital. The appellant stated that when he presented his bill of approx. Rs. 28000/- to the department for reimbursement/adjustment then to his utter shock, the department took the stand that rates of Jabalpur region shall be applicable and only an amount of Rs.5,000-6,000/- was adjusted from advance and the rest was recovered.
6. The appellant stated that he had filed RTI application to know the rule position/policy in the matter but the respondent has given wrong information which is not applicable to his case. The appellant stated that when the respondent had themselves given the permission for treatment in Bhopal then there is no logic in considering the rate in the bill as per Jabalpur region.
7. The respondent stated that vide their reply dated 05.11.2015, they have furnished a copy of letter dated 24.11.2006 of their Corporate Office to the appellant in which it is mentioned that “taking treatment from outside the state jurisdiction even in the cases where such medical facilities are available in the particular state, if the beneficiary/patient wants to avail the medical facility in the hospital empanelled by a BSNL unit outside the circle subject to the condition that no TA/DA will be paid to the official/patient and the claim will be restricted as per the approved rates of CHGS for the station/state in which the official is posted or the actual charged by the hospital as per the agreement, whichever is higher”.
8. The respondent stated that after receiving of the second appeal from the Commission, they have again furnished the relevant circular/letter dated 03.02.2016 of CGM vide which it is informed that medical reimbursement should be at the rate of Jabalpur region. The respondent stated that only the employees posted at Bhopal region can be reimbursed as per the Bhopal rates.
9. The appellant stated that the respondent had given the rule as issued in the year 2016, but his wife underwent the surgery in the year 2013. The respondent had not given any rule position/letter/circular which was prevalent in the year 2013. The appellant stated that both the letters as mentioned above by the respondent are not applicable to his case. The appellant stated that he was physically and mentally harassed by the department.
10. The Commission observed that the respondent has not given correct information to the appellant on his RTI application dated 18.09.2015, as both the letters dated 24.11.2006 and 03.02.2016 are not applicable to the appellant’s case, as one letter pertains to the patients/beneficiary who want to get treatment from outside the state and the other letter does not match with the facts of the appellant.
11. The Commission further observed that the BSNL is treating their employees in different ways, which is wrong. The Commission is of the view that if any patient/beneficiary gets medical treatment from any other city (other than the home area or place of posting where treatment is not available) then the rates to be charged should be as per that particular city where treatment has been undertaken.
12. The respondent is directed to give correct information/rule position in the matter which was prevalent at the time of treatment of the appellant’s wife i.e. in 2013, within 15 days from the date of receipt of this order.
13. The CMD, BSNL and CGM, BSNL are advised to look into the entire matter related to the letter/circular issued for the purpose of medical treatment/reimbursement of the BSNL employees.
14. The Deputy Registrar is directed to send complete file to the CMD, BSNL and CGM, BSNL along with this order.
15. The Deputy Registrar is directed to fix a hearing in the matter for compliance after 15 days.
Copy of the order be given to the parties free of cost.
Sd/- (Radha Krishna Mathur)
Chief Information Commissioner
Citation: Sh. Mohammad Fariduddin v. BSNL in Appeal No. CIC/BS/A/2016/001080, Dated of Decision: 09.06.2017