Delay due to circuitous route of application and huge work load
The Commission had issued Show Cause Notice dated 1 September 2011 and 20 October 2011, to the respondent PIO to appear before the Commission for personal hearing why penalty should not be imposed for delay. The respondent stated that the RTI application dated 14 October 2009 was received by their Allahabad office and was forwarded to the SBI branch at Khera Khurd through the Delhi office on 13 November 2009. The Branch Manager, SBI, Khera Khurd forwarded the same within five days of receipt i.e on 18 November 2009 to the CPPC, Chandini Chowk, Delhi who in turn provided information to the appellant on 29 March 2010. The respondent states that on receiving the application they took immediate action to redress the grievance of the pensioner appellant. The delay was explained to be on account of the fact that this office is handling pensions of 4.5 lakh pensioners and all these accounts and to be serviced as a consequence of the Sixth Pay Commission which was a huge task. The appellant stated that he had been put to great inconvenience and mental and physical harassment due to the delay in receiving response to his RTI application.
View of CIC
The Commission noted that the RTI application had taken a very circuitous route before finally arriving at CPPC, Chandini Chowk, New Delhi. From the records, it was verified that the appellant was informed at each stage when his RTI application was forwarded to the next office. The Commission accepted the explanation of the manager, CPPC as credible and dropped the proposed penalty proceedings. The Commission further held that the appellant had to run from pillar to post in pursuit of the information sought through his RTI application causing great mental and physical hardship. Therefore, the Commission awarded a compensation of Rs. 3000/- to the appellant under the provisions of section 19 (8) (b) of the Act.
Citation: Sh. Rohtash Mann v. State Bank of India in Adjunct to Appeal: No. CIC/AT/A/2010/001184DS