PIO (Kolkata) wrote to Khetri office for information – information faxed but according to Kolkata office, it never reached them – on reminder, information was sent – delay caused partly because of improper arrangement – compensation of Rs. 5000 awarded
Show cause had been issued for imposing penalty by the CIC – the information seeker was located in Khetri – PIO located in Kolkata received the RTI application on 18 April 2011 and wrote to the Khetri for the information – information faxed a couple of weeks later but according to the Kolkata office, it never reached them – on further reminder, the information was sent in July of that year – delay in the case was caused partly because of the lapse on the part of the officers concerned but also because of the arrangement made by the company – compensation of Rs. 5000 awarded by CIC under section 19(8) (b)
1. In our order dated 24 January and 1 April 2013, we had directed the CPIO concerned or the official holding the information to appear before us and show cause why we should not impose penalty on him for not providing the information in time. Today, the officer concerned appeared and made his submissions.
2. In the Hindustan Copper Ltd, there is only one CPIO located in Kolkata head office. RTI applications are ordinarily addressed to him. Thereafter, he collects the information from wherever it is available and provides to the information seeker. In the present case, the information seeker was located in Khetri Copper Complex and the information was also held there. The CPIO located in Kolkata received the RTI application on 18 April 2011 and wrote to the Khetri Copper Complex for the information. The officer responsible for the information faxed the information a couple of weeks later but according to the Kolkata office, it never reached them. Much later, on further reminder, the information was sent of the CPIO who forwarded it to the Appellant sometime in July of that year.
3. From the above account, it is clear that the delay in the case was caused partly because of the lapse on the part of the officers concerned but also because of the arrangement made by the company. Since the information seeker himself was located at the place where the information was held, namely, at Khetri, it could have been delivered to him right there instead of routing it through the Kolkata office. It is obvious that in the process, the Appellant had to suffer a lot of detriment and harassment waiting endlessly for the information. He deserves to be compensated for this. Therefore, in exercise of the powers vested in the CIC 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 Right to Information (RTI) Act, we direct that the Hindustan Copper Ltd pays him a compensation of Rs. 5000 for this. The CPIO is directed to ensure that this amount of compensation is remitted to the Appellant within 15 working days of receiving this order.
Chief Information Commissioner
Citation: Mr. R N Sharma v. Hindustan Copper Limited in File No. CIC/SS/A/2012/000427SM