PIO and FAA must keep in mind the spirit of the RTI Act while responding to applications
The appellant filed an application under the Right to Information (RTI) Act with the National Insurance Company Limited seeking information regarding Doctors Indemnity Policy / Doctors Package Policy in respect of her own policy for three years. The Public Information Officer (PIO) provided some information to the appellant.
During the hearing the before Central Information Commission (CIC), the appellant stated that vague and misleading information was provided to her by the PIO and the First Appellate Authority (FAA). Regarding the error in processing her case based on the proposal form by the branch manager, she submitted that the reply of the FAA was not clear and specific. The FAA had informed that the change over from Professional Indemnity (Doctors and medical practitioner) Insurance to Doctor Package Policy is an error of omission or commission at the hands of person doing the job.
View of CIC
The Commission noted that the PIO and the FAA have been extremely vague and at times misleading. The CIC held that such practice in handling RTI applications is in conflict with the letter and spirit of the RTI Act and they must in future desist from taking such an approach. The Commission noted that the language used by the FAA contravenes the RTI Act and is also contrary to the accepted principles of good client relationship which the insurer must maintain with their clients as part of their insurance business. The Commission remanded the matter to the PIO with directions to provide specific, clear and complete information to the appellant against each of the points in her RTI application along with attested photocopy of the complete file in which the proposal submitted by her has been examined and complete calculation of the premium amount. The Commission also advised the Regional Manager of the branch office to investigate the reasons for not having issued policy bond to the appellant for the first two years of the policy when IRDA mandates the issue of policy bond within 15 days, if appellant approaches him with such a complaint.
Citation: Ms. Reena Gupta v. National Insurance Co. Ltd in Appeal: No. CIC/DS/A/2012/001716/B
RTI Citation : RTIFI/2013/CIC/1192
Click here to view original RTI order of Court / Information Commission