Compensation for loss of RTI application
The applicant sought information about the scheduled and actual arrival of the Vikramshila Express since March 2010 to May 2010 of the destination stations as New Delhi & Bhagalpur from the Northern Railways. The PIO did not reply to the query. The applicant filed an appeal with the Appellate Authority reiterating his request for the information. During the hearing before the CIC, the PIO admitted that the application was forwarded to the PIO Delhi Division and the receipt has been also given for the same. It was further admitted that the application has been lost. The CIC directed the PIO, DRM Office, Northern Railways to furnish the details within 5 days of the order. 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, the CIC directed the Public Authority to compensate the Appellant with a sum of Rs.1000/- for the detriment suffered by him in terms of loss of time and money in filing his second appeal, because of the casual attitude of the office concerned, who lost the appeal.
The There have been many instances of loss of application or documents by the public authority. Orders such as this one would hopefully put a brake on such instances. Further, an unscrupulous PIO may use it as an alibi for non-reply to an RTI application.