Demand of Rs. 5000/- by the PIO to locate 15 year old document
The appellant sought information regarding a bank guarantee, the provisions for charging commission on guarantees, how the Bank arrived at the amount of Commission chargeable, expenditure incurred by the bank on the litigation etc. The PIO provided some information while observing that the Branch inspection report had already been destroyed as per bank norms being more than 10 years old. The FAA endorsed the decision of PIO.
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As the appellant refuted the Bank’s contention regarding the destruction of the Branch inspection report, the Commission directed the PIO to give an affidavit that the Branch Inspection Report has been destroyed. The Commission noted that the PIO had demanded an illegal charge of Rs. 5000/- to locate 15 year old documents and Rs.70/- for the photocopies. The Commission held that the demand for Rs. 5000/- by the PIO is illegal and extortionist as additional fees can be demanded only as per the Central Rules and no arbitrary demand for money cannot be made. The Commission observed that the First appellate Authority has not applied his mind and asked the appellant to pay Rs. 5070/-. The Commission warned that it will take note of such illegal demands and if PIO’s resort to such demands, the Commission will take strict actions against them. A compensation of Rs.2000/- was awarded 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 to the Appellant for the unnecessary harassment suffered by him in pursing this appeal and the loss and detriment suffered by him in getting the information late.
Taking note of the submission of the appellant that the inspection of the relevant records have not been provided to him, the Commission directed the PIO to facilitate an inspection of the relevant records by the Appellant.
Citation: Rajendra Mannalal Khandelwal v. Oriental Bank of Commerce in file no. CIC/SG/A/2011/003041
RTI Citation : RTIFI/2012/CIC/64
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