Compensation awarded due to delay in getting information already available on website
The appellant filed an application under the Right to Information (RTI) Act with Department of Social Welfare (DSW) seeking information related to the pension being given to disabled people, widows and senior citizens in a given format. The Public Information Officer (PIO) informed the appellant that the records were available as per the constituency and not colony wise.
During the hearing before the Central Information Commission (CIC), the respondent submitted that most of the information being sought by the appellant was already available in public domain at two websites and details of beneficiaries could be identified from the addresses against beneficiary that have already been uploaded. The respondent also stated that the details on the site did not contain the Phone Nos. sought by the appellant and that compiling the same will disproportionately divert the resources of the Public Authority. The appellant argued that if the PIO had informed about the availability of information on the website he would not have taken the trouble to file the first and second appeals and wait for a year to get the information.
View of CIC
The Commission advised the appellant to refer to the two websites for the information required by him. The Commission also observed that the PIO did not inform the appellant about the fact that the information is available on the website and has thus caused financial detriment to the appellant as well as considerable amount of mental harassment to him as he had to file the first and second appeals. 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, the Commission awarded a compensation of Rs. 3000/- to the appellant.
Citation: Mr. Farhan v. Department of Social Welfare in File No: CIC/AD/A/2012/1915
RTI Citation : RTIFI/2012/CIC/722
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