RTI Judgement Series
RTI Judgement Series: Appellant given Rs2,000 compensation for unnecessary harassment

Despite order from the FAA, the PIO did not provide any information for 10 months. This made the appellant file his second appeal before the CIC, which directed the PIO to pay compensation. This is the 110th in a series of important judgements given by former Central Information Commissioner Shailesh Gandhi that can be used or quoted in an RTI application

The Central Information Commission (CIC), while allowing an appeal, directed the Public Information Officer (PIO) and chief manager of Delhi State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation (DSIIDC), to compensate and facilitate inspection of relevant records by the appellant.


While giving this judgement on 10 August 2010, Shailesh Gandhi, the then Central Information Commissioner said, “It is very clear that the First Appellate Authority (FAA) had also ordered the information to the provided in 10 days and yet the appellant has been unnecessary harassed by having to file a second appeal with the Commission and coming for the hearing. In view of this the Commission awards a compensation of Rs2,000 to the appellant for the loss and detriment suffered as per Section 19(8)(b) of the Right to Information (RTI) Act.”


Delhi resident Rakesh Kumar Gupta, on 11 April 2009, sought information about a policy for allotment of plots in the New Industrial Area from the Public Information Officer (PIO) of the DSIIDC. Here is the information he sought under the RTI Act...


1. Inspection of the new policy in consideration for allotment of plots in the new industrial area. This includes units already registered with the Commissioner of Industries under relocation units whether plots were allotted (and cancelled due to non payment as per schedule) or not allotted at all.

2. List of the file number and records name related to all the points under Query no. 1 and whose custody records are kept with name, designations, phone number, email address, address, etc.

3. The inspection of WP(C) 4677/1985, IT IA NO 1206 IN WP(C)  4677/ 1985, 1A NO 22, 1204-5, 1224 IN WP(C) 4677/ 1985, WP(C) 88/2000, WP(C) 98/2000.

4. Copy of directions issued to DSIIDC on the basis of orders mentioned in point no. 3.

5. Copy of documents pointed out at the time of inspection.

6. The file number and records name related to all the points under Query no. 3 & 4 and whose custody records are kept with name, designations , phone number, email address, address, etc.

7. Inspection of all the records referred to in the above points.


The PIO did not provide any information. Gupta then filed his first appeal before the FAA. During the hearing, the FAA noted that it was amply clear that the information sought by the appellant has not been provided by the SPIO/JCI (Rel) in the industries department at the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD) nor by the SF10/ Chief Manager (Rel) VK Garg in DSIIDC to whom it was transferred. “This situation is neither acceptable nor is as per the RTI Act. In fact, because of this transfer of RTI application by the SPIOs the appellant has been made to file this appeal before the First Appellate Authority. The contention of SPIO/JCI (Rel) JS Choudhry is correct only to the extent that information was not related to his branch but he should have ensured that the application is transferred to the concerned branch or SPIO who has got the sought information,” the FAA said.


While disposing the appeal, the FAA in his order on 9 June 2010, stated, “Since the appellant has not been furnished the information by SPIO/JCI (Relocation) in the Industries Department and SPIO/Chief Manager (Relocation) in DSIIDC, therefore, it would be appropriate that responsibility is east on the senior officer in the Industries Department as well as DSIIDC so that requisite information is now furnished by the concerned SPIOs. It is therefore directed that Additional Commissioner, Industries, and executive director in DSIIDC would respectively co-ordinate with the concerned SPIOs to whom his information pertains and ensure that the sought information is furnished to appellant within 10 days’ time. With these directions, the appeal is disposed of.”


However, despite the order from the FAA, the PIO did not provide any information. Gupta then approached the Commission with his second appeal.


During the hearing, Mr Gandhi, the then CIC, noted that the RTI application has been shuttling between the industries department and DSIIDC but nobody is willing to provide the information. “The FAA issued an order. But his direction for (providing information in) 10 days has been meaningless, since even after 10 months no information has been provided to the appellant and both departments had only told the appellant that they have no information,” Mr Gandhi observed.


The CIC said the two respondents, represented on behalf of PIOs of DSIIDC and industries department, who have come in the hearing plead complete ignorance. “It is not known whether any policy has been framed for allotment of industrial plots in 1,865 acres of land in Delhi. If no policy has been framed it would imply that decisions are being taken arbitrarily. Since the PIOs before the Commission plead ignorance and an earlier order by Dharmendra, the FAA, has also not been complied with the Commission suspects that there may not be any policy and PIOs may be unwilling to admit this,” the CIC said.


“In view of the fact that no officer appears to be knowing whether the policy exists the Commission directs the executive director of DSIIDC Sanjiv Ahuja to ensure that if a policy exists it should be sent to the appellant before 30 August 2010. If there is no policy this should be stated,” the Commission said in its order.


The appellant had also sought an inspection of the relevant files for the court cases in his RTI application. HC Puri who came on behalf of the PIO was innocently ignorant about the reasons why any information was not been provided to the appellant.


The Commission noted that officers who appear before the CIC must familiarize themselves with the subject matter of the RTI application before coming to the hearing since otherwise this was resulting in complete waste of public time and money. The CIC said, “The PIO MM Ahmed is directed to ensure that the appellant is given an inspection of the relevant records on 25 August 2010 from 11.00am onwards.”


While allowing the appeal, Mr Gandhi, also directed the PIO to ensure that the cheque for compensation of Rs2,000 is sent to the appellant (Gupta) before 15 September 2010 besides facilitating an inspection of relevant records by Gupta and also providing attested photocopies of the records free of cost up to 300 pages.




Decision No. CIC/SG/A/2010/001824/8889


Appeal No. CIC/SG/A/2010/001824


Appellant                                            : Rakesh Kumar Gupta

                                                            Delhi- 88             


Respondent                                        : 1. MM Ahmed

                                                            Public Information Officer (HQ) & Chief Manager,


                                                            Government of N.C.T. of Delhi,

                                                            N-Block, Bombay Life Building,

                                                            Connaught Circus, Delhi.


                                                            2. RP Kukreti

                                                            Public Information Officer &

                                                            Dy. Commissioner (Industries)

                                                            Govt. of NCT of Delhi

                                                            Office of the Commissioner of Industries

                                                            Udyog Sadan, Plot No. 419

                                                            FIE Patpar Ganj Industrial Area



RBI penalises ICICI Bank, Axis Bank and HDFC Bank for violating KYC norms

Following the Cobrapost exposé, the central bank investigation found prima facie evidence of KYC violations. It however, did not find any substantial info on money laundering and said, any conclusive inference can be drawn after investigation of the transactions by tax and enforcement agencies

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has imposed penalties on Axis Bank, HDFC Bank and ICICI Bank for violating guidelines related to “know your customer” (KYC) rules. The RBI has imposed a penalty of Rs5 crore on Axis Bank, Rs4.5 crore on HDFC Bank and Rs1 crore on ICICI Bank.


The RBI rap on the three private sector banks in the wake of the Cobrapost exposé affected their share prices in morning trade on Tuesday. However, the impact was not significant since the banking regulator’s investigations prima facie did not find any evidence for the more serious charge of money laundering.


“...the investigation did not reveal any prima facie evidence of money laundering. However, any conclusive inference in this regard can be drawn only by an end to end investigation of the transactions by tax and enforcement agencies,” the central bank said in a statement.


During March and April 2013, RBI said it investigated scrutiny of accounts, compliance systems, internal control and processes of these banks from the private sector at their corporate offices and braches. The investigation revealed violation of certain regulations and instructions including …

  • non-observance of certain safeguards in respect of arrangement of "at par" payment of cheques drawn by cooperative banks,
  • non-adherence to certain aspects of know your customer (KYC) norms and anti-money laundering (AML) guidelines like risk categorisation and periodical review of risk profiling of account holders,
  • Non-adherence of KYC for walk-in customers including for sale of third party products, omission in filing of cash transaction reports (CTRs) in respect of some cash transactions, sale of gold coins for cash beyond Rs50,000
  • Not obtaining of permanent account number (PAN) card details or form 60/61 as required,
  • non-verification of source of funds credited to a few non-resident ordinary (NRO) accounts,
  • Failure to re-designate a few accounts as NRO accounts though required, non-submission of proper information called for by the reserve Bank, etc.


Earlier, the central bank had issued show-cause notices to ICICI Bank, Axis Bank and HDFC Bank. In a statement, RBI said, “After considering the facts of each case and individual bank’s reply, as also, personal submissions, information submitted and documents furnished, the Reserve Bank came to the conclusion that some of the violations were substantiated and warranted imposition of monetary penalty.”


At 11.40am, ICICI Bank was trading 3% down at Rs1,085, while Axis Bank and HDFC Bank were trading 2% and 0.5% at Rs1,329 and Rs674, respectively on the BSE, while the benchmark Sensex was 1.1% down at 19,228.



Arun Mehta

3 years ago

Axis bank has already started to recover theRBI ' penalty' from existing customers by informing them new charges for a/c holders by asking them certain charges which were free otherwise and unless you write to them deduction will start from 15 june.If RBI keeps imposing penalties Very soon one can expect 'personal' interaction charges if you wan't to talk to a human being in the Bank.



In Reply to Arun Mehta 3 years ago

Shame on Axis Bank if they are actually doing so. Now we know how CUSTOMER FRIENDLY these private banks are!


In Reply to Arun Mehta 3 years ago

shame shame

Harish M Belani

3 years ago

This is Not Even a Slap but a TAP on the Wrist...


3 years ago

Paltry amounts considering how BIG these banks are.
There is still no admission of guilt from any of the banks mentioned, while small depositors and S/B account holders are receiving calls from their RM's to update their KYC's as directed by RBI(its a 2008 circular)otherwise the accounts will be frozen. I personally had to get this done with HDFC Bank.

CERS helps lady get claims for post-operation treatment from New India Assurance

In an order passed by the consumer forum, New India Assurance has been directed to pay Rs48,338 with 9% interest from 11th January 2010, Rs3,000 towards mental harassment and Rs1,000 towards litigation expenses incurred

Consumer Education & Research Society (CERS), a name synonymous with several initiatives for Consumer Right’s protection, came to the rescue of complainant Kailashben Soni, who was not paid her reimbursement claim by New India Assurance. In an order passed by the consumer forum, New India Assurance has been directed to pay Rs48,338 with 9% interest from 11th January 2010, Rs3,000 towards mental harassment and Rs1,000 towards litigation expenses incurred.


As per the case details, Kailashben Soni had purchased a tailor-made group floater mediclaim policy from New India Assurance Company that was valid from 22 January 2009 to 21 January 2010. According to the policy, Kailashben could avail the benefits of cashless mediclaim at hospitals within Ahmedabad. During the policy period, Kailashben underwent a knee replacement operation at Shalby Hospitals. The expense incurred was Rs3,30,000 for the operation. However, in spite of the operation, Kailashben had to undergo physiotherapy sessions at Spineclinic as part of her continuing treatment to reduce the pain. As a result, the total medical expenditure incurred post the operation was Rs 64,450 and all these expenses were incurred within 60 days of the hospitalisation. The policy conditions clearly made the company liable to pay for all the medical expenditure claimed up to 60 days of being hospitalised. In case of Kailashben’s claim, she was entitled for 75% of the sum insured or claim amount, as per the terms and conditions for joint replacement.


On 14 May 2009, Kailashben put up her reimbursement claim to TPA. However, New India Assurance gave only partial clearance. While the company accepted and cleared the cashless claim for the expense incurred for the operation, they did not care to give a reply for the medical expense incurred after the operation. This silence was in spite of clear proof indicating that the expenses were incurred during the specified 60 days from the day of hospitalisation. When New India Assurance refused to pay heed to Kailashben’s request after repeated follow-ups, she approached CERS to intervene.


On verifying case details, CERS was quick to initiate action and filed a complaint against New India Assurance. During the arguments, it was proven that the insurance company was liable to pay 75% of the medical expense incurred within 60 days from the date of hospitalisation. After hearing arguments, from both parties, the Consumer Forum passed an order in favour of the complainant asking New India Assurance to suitably compensate Kailashben Soni.


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