Compensation of Rs. 10,000/- awarded to applicant for financial detriment suffered
The appellant filed an application under the Right to Information (RTI) Act with the North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) seeking the reasons for non - release of his pension benefits despite the charges against him been dropped after the conclusion of the Departmental enquiry. The Public Information Officer (PIO) provided partial information primarily stating that the information was not available.
During the hearing before the Central Information Commission (CIC), the PIO submitted that the concerned file had been wrongly destroyed/ misplaced by the then dealing officer in the Law Department for which misdemeanor, he had been removed from service. The appellant submitted that he had not received his full pension benefits even after five years of retirement nor was he provided with information under the RTI Act.
View of CIC
The Commission observed that there has been a sizeable time gap since the appellant filed the RTI application and no disclosure was made by the PIO in spite of the directions of the first appellate authority (FAA) which has caused him great anguish and financial detriment. 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 CIC directed the public authority to pay compensation of Rs. 10,000/– to the appellant. The Commission also observed that it is the responsibility of every public authority to maintain and preserve their official records and any laxity in this regard cannot be cited as valid reason for denying information to the applicant under the RTI Act. The Commission directed the PIO to provide the requested information to the appellant as held in the Department’s file. The Commission also issued show cause notice to the former PIO to show reasons for the delay in providing the information.
Citation: Mr. R.S. Mehta v. North Delhi Municipal Corporation in Appeal: No. CIC/DS/A/2012/001898
RTI Citation : RTIFI/2013/CIC/986
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