Information was provided with a delay of one & a half year - CIC awarded a token compensation of Rs. 2000/ to the Appellant - CIC directed the public authority to put in place a system to ensure proper accounting of & timely action on the RTI applications
This matter pertains to an RTI application dated 6.11.2013 filed by the Appellant, seeking information on five points regarding Recruitment Rules for recruitment of Monument Attendants and related issues. Not satisfied with the response of the Respondents, he filed second appeal dated 30.4.2014 to the CIC, which was received by the Commission on 12.5.2014.
2. The Appellant stated that the information was sent to him around a week ago and he is satisfied with it, except that in response to point No. 3, he has been advised to consult the website of the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions to obtain a copy of the orders desired by him. However, the information was provided with a delay of around a year and a half, which has resulted in harassment to him and action should be taken against the Respondents. The Respondents were unable to give us a satisfactory reply regarding the delay in responding to the above RTI application. They stated that it was not received in their office and they came to know of it on getting the Commission’s notice for the hearing and provided the information to the Appellant. The Appellant stated that the application was sent by speed post and he has the postal record concerning its dispatch.
3. Taking into account the submissions made before us, we see no ground to interfere with the response of the Respondents to point No. 3 of the RTI application. The very purpose of putting a good deal of information on the websites of public authorities would be defeated, if the same information has to be provided by Respondents in hard copy. Further, based on the submissions made during the hearing, there is reason to believe that the Respondents do not have a system to properly account for the RTI applications received by them. The considerable delay in responding to the RTI application has caused harassment to the Appellant, which cannot be quantified. However, by virtue of the power vested in us under Section 19 (8) (b) of the RTI Act, we direct the Respondents to pay a token compensation of Rs. 2000/ (Rs. Two thousand only) to the Appellant. The CPIO is directed to ensure that this amount is paid to the Appellant, within ten days of the receipt of this order, under intimation to the Commission. Further, by virtue of the power vested in us under Section 19 (8) of the RTI Act, we direct the public authority to put in place a system to ensure proper accounting of and timely action on the RTI applications received by them. The CPIO is directed to put up a copy of this order, immediately on its receipt, to the Director General of Archaeological Survey of India.
4. With the above directions and observations, the appeal is disposed of.
5. Copies of this order be given free of cost to the parties.
Citation: Shri L. R. Sudheendra Rao v. Archaeological Survey of India in File No. CIC/SH/A/2014/001286