Rules regarding provision of a scribe for specially-abled person during the Combined Graduate Level Examination - RTI application was misplaced in the office - compensation of Rs. 5000/- awarded to appellant - show cause issued to PIO for delay
1. The Appellant had, it seems, sent some application on 9 April 2012 requesting the SSC to provide him with a scribe during the Combined Graduate Level Examination 2012 since he was a person with ataxic cerebral palsy. In his RTI application, he wanted to know about the action taken on that application. Besides, he also wanted to know about the rules regarding the provision of scribe for such candidates like him as against those who were visually challenged. However, the CPIO did not respond to his RTI application. Thereafter, he directly approached the CIC with a complaint.
2. During the hearing, the Respondent submitted that the original RTI application never reached the CPIO as it was displaced in the office and remained buried inside some dak bags. However, she submitted that she as the Appellate Authority had written to the Appellant and informed him why no scribe could have been provided to him.
3. We find the explanation given by the Appellate Authority not acceptable at all. That the RTI application was lying unattended in some bagful of letters does not speak well of the SSC as an organisation. Whether due to any systemic problem or the cause of any lapse on the part of the CPIO, the Appellant has been deprived of his rightful information. In the process, he has suffered considerable detriment and harassment for which he deserves to be compensated. Therefore, in exercise of the powers vested in the CIC in 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 the SSC to pay a
compensation of Rs. 5000 to the Appellant. We direct the CPIO to ensure that this amount of compensation is sent to the Appellant within 15 working days of receiving this order.
4. As far as the CPIO is concerned, he deserves to be penalised as per the provisions of subsection 1 of section 20 of the Right to Information (RTI) Act for not responding to the Appellant within the stipulated period and not providing any information. Therefore, we direct the officer concerned who was the CPIO at the relevant time to appear before us and show cause why we should not impose the maximum penalty of Rs. 25,000 on him for not providing the information to the Appellant. We direct that officer (Ashok K Vijay) to appear before us on 14 August 2013 at 11.45 a.m. and offer his explanation.
5. The appeal is disposed off accordingly.
Chief Information Commissioner
Citation: Sh. Sunil Sajwan v. Staff Selection Commission in File No. CIC/SM/C/2013/000036