RTI application seeking information related to LTC entitlements
The appellant sought information regarding the entitlements for availing of LTC. The Public Information Officer (PIO) of the DoPT provided the copies of the relevant circulars in respect of majority of the queries and transferred three queries to the Ministry of Civil Aviation who in turn transferred it to the Air India, Mumbai. The Mumbai branch further transferred the application to its Delhi branch for the necessary action. This transferring of the application from one Public Authority to another took several months and no information could be delivered to the appellant for months compelling him to prefer a fresh application with the Air India and the second appeal with the Central Information Commission. The appellant submitted that he had to undergo a lot of harassment and loss on account of the inordinate delay by Air India in providing any information to him on his original RTI application. The respondents representing the Ministry of Civil Aviation and Air India could not come up with any credible explanation for the delay.
View of CIC
The Central Information Commission stated that the details sought by the appellant should have been available in the Ministry itself and even if the application was transferred to the Air India, it should have been transferred to its Delhi branch directly, which was the holder of the desired information. The Commission issued a show cause notice to the PIO of Air India for imposition of penalty under section 20(1) Where the Central Information Commission or the State Information Commission, as the case may be, at the time of deciding any complaint or appeal is of the opinion that the Central Public Information Officer or the State Public Information Officer, as the case may be, has, without any reasonable cause, refused to receive an application for information or has not furnished information within the time specified under sub-section (1) of section 7 or malafidely denied the request for information or knowingly given incorrect, incomplete or misleading information or destroyed information which was the subject of the request or obstructed in any manner in furnishing the information, it shall impose a penalty of two hundred and fifty rupees each day till application is received or information is furnished, so however, the total amount of such penalty shall not exceed twenty-five thousand rupees: Provided that the Central Public Information Officer or the State Public Information Officer, as the case may be, shall be given a reasonable opportunity of being heard before any penalty is imposed on him: Provided further that the burden of proving that he acted reasonably and diligently shall be on the Central Public Information Officer or the State Public Information Officer, as the case may be. of the RTI Act for their failure to act on the RTI application received on transfer and the unexplained delay in providing the information. 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 Commission awarded a compensation of Rs. 2000/- to the appellant for the detriment and loss suffered by him in the process of interminable delay.
Citation: Shri Pawan Kumar Bansal v. Air India Limited in File No.CIC/SM/C/2011/000961
RTI Citation : RTIFI/2012/CIC/210
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