Follow the guiding principles of good governance as enshrined in the preamble of the RTI Act
The appellant’s son who was an employee of the Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) had gone missing in 1999 and that subsequently they had filed police complaint and received not traceable letter from the Department. The appellant claimed that she also kept the Corporation informed regarding the matter. Subsequently through a court decree in 2008, a certificate of presumption of death was issued. The appellant later filed an application under the Right to Information (RTI) Act with the LIC seeking information pertaining to release of gratuity and death benefits, arrears of pay, encashment of privilege leave and term allowance and GSIL benefits etc. in respect of her deceased son. The Public Information Officer (PIO) informed the appellant that the matter had been referred to the Central office by the Zonal office and that information would be provided after receiving the same from Zonal office.
During the hearing before the Central Information Commission (CIC), the PIO explained that the LIC had settled the terminal benefits of the employee by treating the case as removed from the services of the Corporation. The PIO also stated that there was a matter of misappropriation and allegations of fraud against the missing employee (son of the appellant). The appellant submitted that she had never been informed of such a case against her son. The PIO further clarified that a circular had been issued covering the matter of benefits to missing persons and that there were no instructions in this regard.
View of CIC
The Commission directed the PIO to provide a copy of the rules that were applied in the case of the appellant’s son, with reference to benefits due to him along with all file notings and calculations. The CIC also directed the PIO to provide copies of all file notings pertaining to the allegation of misappropriation/ fraud against the late son of the appellant up to the point of final decision in the matter. Under section 25(5) of the RTI Act, the Commission drew the attention of the CMD of the LIC of India and the Head of the Personnel Department of the Corporation to the ideals enshrined in the preamble of the RTI Act, 2005 which highlights the true intent of this legislation to be "to hold governments and their instrumentalities accountable to the governed". The CIC held that the public authority should keep in mind this guiding principle of good governance and not only provide the information expeditiously to the appellant but also make sincere efforts to finalise the tragic matter which has been kept pending since several years thereby causing further anguish to the unfortunate mother who is the appellant in this case. Citation: Mrs. Chaluvadi Savitri v. LIC of India in Appeal: No. CIC/DS/A/2012/001470
RTI Citation : RTIFI/2013/CIC/1061
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