Two years and no reply, CIC awards Rs 5000 compensation to RTI applicant

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The Central Information Commission awards Rs 5000 compensation to RTI applicant, who was made to wait for 2 long years for the information.

The CIC’s Information Commissioner Divya Prakash Sinha hearing the complaint filed by RTI applicant Aabid Hussain awarded a compensation of Rs 5,000 to be paid by Cantonment Board, Jabalpur, which kept him waiting for 2 long years when he sought copies of some General Land Record survey numbers 127, 127/1 and 127/2.

RTI applicant required the information to place it before a civil court in his land case which was pending before a court. The RTI application was filed on August 31, 2015. Thereafter, the first appeal was scheduled for October 5, 2015, followed by the second appeal on November 24, 2015.

Whereas, the information was provided to him in October 2017, when he approached the CIC and a notice of hearing was issued to CPIO, Cantonment Board, but it was too late by then.

RTI applicant in his complaint requested the Central Information Commission to award of compensation in view of the “gross detriment” suffered by him for the unreasonable delay of two years.

The applicant in his complaint also said he feels harassed waiting for the information all this while.

CPIO in her defence submitted that her predecessor CPIO & Office Superintendent, A.K Pathak was responsible for replying to the RTI application, who retired in January, 2016. She further submitted that she has assumed office only in February, 2016 and has provided information to the applicant on 13.10.2017.

CIC officer Divya Prakash said, “It is mandatory upon the present CPIO to deal with all such pending RTI Applications and not wait for the CIC to issue a notice of hearing to provide a reply to RTI Applicants.”

The CIC in its order stated “Commission directs the public authority through its Chief Executive Officer to compensate the Appellant by an amount of Rs.5000/- for the inconvenience and detriment caused to him. The CPIO should ensure that this amount is remitted to the Appellant by demand draft/pay order within 30 days from the date of receipt of this order.”

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