Computation of compensation amount under the second schedule to section 163 A of the Motor Vehicle Act was denied stating that PIO is not expected to answer hypothetical questions - CIC: only material information as available on records can be provided
1. The Appellant through his RTI application dated nil—filed with the Ministry of Law & Justice— made certain queries regarding the computation of the compensation amount under the second schedule to section 163 A of the Motor Vehicle Act.
2. The CPIO, Ministry of Law and Justice vide his letter dated 08.05.2012 transferred this application to the CPIO, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways for response.
3. The CPIO, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways vide his letter dated 20.06.2012 informed the Appellant that the maximum annual income that can be reckoned for computation of compensation under the second schedule to section 163 A of Motor Vehicle Act is Rs. 40,000/and that the amount of compensation in individual cases is worked out by the insurance companies concerned. The CPIO also mentioned that under the RTI Act only factual information can be provided. CPIO is not expected to answer the hypothetical questions under the RTI Act.
4. Aggrieved by the reply of the CPIO, the Appellant filed an appeal before the Appellate Authority on 29.06.2012 which the Appellate Authority decided vide an order dated 01.10.2012 endorsing the CPIO’s reply.
5. The Appellant thereafter filed the present appeal before the Commission, interalia, complaining that he has not been provided with the desired information.
6. During the hearing, the Respondents submit that they are only concerned with administration of the Motor Vehicle Act, 1988 and the Central Motor Vehicle Rules, 1989. They reiterate that maximum annual income that can be reckoned for computation of compensation under second schedule to Section 163 A of Motor Vehicle Act is Rs. 40, 000/and that the amount of compensation in individual cases is worked out by the insurance companies concerned or Motor Accident Claims Tribunal. They also mention that under section 163B of Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, if a person is entitled to claim compensation under section 140 and section 163A, he shall file the claim under either of the said sections and not under both.
7. Having heard the submissions and perused the records, the Commission notes that the queries made by the Appellant in his present RTI application were more in nature of seeking clarification about a particular provision of the Motor Vehicles Act, rather than the request for information as defined in section 2(f) “information” means any material in any form, including records, documents, memos, e-mails, opinions, advices, press releases, circulars, orders, logbooks, contracts, reports, papers, samples, models, data material held in any electronic form and information relating to any private body which can be accessed by a public authority under any other law for the time being in force; of the RTI Act. Under the RTI Act only material information as available on records can be provided. It is not obligatory on the part of the public authorities to interpret or clarify the provisions of the law to the information seeker.
8. In view of the above, the present appeal cannot be allowed and is rejected.
Citation: Shri A.L. Ghavai v. Ministry of Road Transport & Highways in Case No. CIC/SS/A/2013/000176