RTI Judgement Series
RTI Judgement Series: CIC warns PIO of GNCTD from withholding information about students from EWS

The PIO sent a compliance report to the CIC, however, full information was not made available as per the obligation under Section 4 of the RTI Act. This is the 94th 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, warned the Public Information Officer (PIO) of the Directorate of Education in the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD) to make available full information about students from economically weaker sections (EWS) in Delhi.

While giving this judgement on 29 April 2011, Shailesh Gandhi, the then Central Information Commissioner said, “The Commission hereby warns the PIO that in case any appeals or complaints come to it about non availability of the information, it would consider awarding compensation to the such applicants/complainants for the harassment and the loss and detriment suffered by them.”
 
Delhi resident Ritu Mehra, on 4 March 2010 sought information about students from economically weaker sections (EWS), from the PIO of Directorate of Education in the GNCTD under the Right to Information (RTI) Act. Here is the information she sought...

1. How many students have been admitted in public schools under EWS quota in the district, since 2005- 2009?
2. Please provide me the following information related to this:


3. According to Section 40(6), (xii) all the public authorities are mandate to publish this information on the website of the department, but there is no such information available on your website, therefore kindly provide me the following information in context to this:
i) Which officer was responsible to publish all the information on the website?
ii) This information has not been published on the website therefore what action the department is going to take against the responsible officer?    
iii) By when this information would be published on the website?


Here is the reply given by the PIO...
Reply to Q1 & 2: The requisite information in respect of 20 schools of this district running into 20 CDs is available in the office of undersigned, which you may obtain on any working day during office hours by paying Rs50 per CD i.e. a total amount of Rs1,000
Reply to Q3: The information has already uploaded by the HQ on the website of the department.

Earlier also Ms Mehra had filed an RTI seeking the same info, on which the Commission on 21 December 2009 had directed the director of education department at GNCTD to ensure that all information mentioned above will be displayed in the schools in Hindi and English and also on the website of the Department before 25 January 2010.

Therefore claiming harassment, Ms Mehra filed a complaint before the Commission. In her complaint, she stated, “The PIO has not mentioned anywhere that for how many schools the information is yet to be provided. We had talked to the PIO and he himself informed us that he has compiled the information before forwarding to the headquarters, but he is providing us 20 CDs and the rest of the information for left out schools is still awaited. This shows that PIO is harassing us.”

“He (the PIO) has also informed that the information would be available on website but he himself is not sure that information is positively available on website or not,” said Ms Mehra.

She added, “I want to inform you that the ADE (Act) has informed the Commission dated 12 August 2009 that the Commission’s order has been compiled with and all the required information is available on website which is completely wrong and misleading information, because this information is not available till date on the website.”

Earlier on 2 July 2009, the Commission had passed an order directing, KS Yadav, DDE to display on the department’s website, the names and father's names of students from the EWS category for past three years for all schools, on or before 15 August 2009. The Commission, said, it received a letter from Mr Yadav stating that the Commission's order had been complied with and the required information had been uploaded on the website of the department.

During the hearing, Mr Gandhi, the then CIC, discussed the issue with the PIO the letter received on 12 August 2008 and found that the information was not uploaded fully on the education department’s website despite receiving a letter of compliance from the ADE (Act).

Mr Gandhi, then warned the PIO to provide complete information sought by RTI applicants and if the Commission finds out that about non-availability of this information, then it may consider awarding a compensation to such applicant or complainant for the harassment and the loss and detriment suffered by the applicant.

CENTRAL INFORMATION COMMISSION

Decision No. CIC/SG/C/2010/000317/12207
http://rti.india.gov.in/cic_decisions/CIC_SG_C_2010_000317_12207_M_55805.pdf
Complaint No. CIC/SG/C/2010/000317

Complainant      : Ritu Mehra
                                Delhi - 110095

Respondent         : JB Singh
                                 Public Information Officer & Dy. Director
                                Govt. of NCT of Delhi,
                                Directorate of Education,
                                South West-B, School Campus,
                                Najafgarh, Delhi
 

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