Despite orders from the CIC, the PIO could not provide complete information as the education department at the MCD was not maintaining proper data. The CIC directed the PIO to pay a compensation to the appellant for pursing the matter for over a year. This is the 111th 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) of the Education department at the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) to pay Rs3,000 as compensation to the appellant for pursuing the matter for over a year and pointing out mistakes of the department.
While giving this judgement on 13 April 2010, Shailesh Gandhi, the then Central Information Commissioner, said, “Since the fault appears to be improper maintenance records in the public authority the Commission sees this as a fit case where compensation should be given to the appellant for having to pursue this matter and pointing out the mistakes of the department.”
New Delhi resident Ram Pal Sharma, on 2 March 2009, sought information about the number of retired people in last three years in the Education department at the MCD from the Public Information Officer (PIO). Here is the information he sought under the RTI Act and the reply provided by the PIO...
1. List of retired officers from education department including their names, designation at the time of retirement, place and date.
PIO's Reply: List of retired employee form education department from 31/01/2006 to …… Will be given very soon.
2. Number of retired officers who have been upgraded to the new pay-scale?
PIO's Reply: 84 retired employees have been upgraded to the new pay-scale. (List has been provided)
3. Number of retired officers whose dues (Leave encashment, arrears, pension and gratuity) has been paid.
PIO's Reply: Leave encashment of 84 retired employees has been sent to accounts department and request letter for dues as well.
4. Number of officers who have not been upgraded and paid their dues.
PIO's Reply: It will be clear after completion of activity in query no. 1.
5. Name of the responsible person who has caused such delay and whether any inquiry or action has been taken.
PIO's Reply: No such carelessness has been shown.
6. Number of attendants working during school time.
PIO's Reply: One attendant and two teachers are working in this office. The teacher works additional to his work in school.
7. Name of the person who perform the duty of teacher and attendant and who takes responsibility if any mishap occurs?
PIO's Reply: Works are done according to its importance by other attendants.
Not satisfied with the PIO's reply, Sharma filed his first appeal. However, there was no mention of any order passed by the First Appellate Authority (FAA).
Sharma then approached the CIC with his second appeal. During the hearing, he pointed out several errors in the information provided to him. The PIO admitted the mistakes and stated that this was because the public authority’s information was in complete disarray. The PIO promised to ensure that the accurate information will be provided.
Mr Gandhi, while allowing the appeal on 6 July 2009 directed the PIO to give complete and accurate information to Sharma before 20 July 2009.
However, the Commission received a letter dated 24 August 2009 from the appellant stating that the information received from the PIO vide letter dated 15 July 2009 was incomplete. Following query from the CIC, the appellant on 14 September 2009 sent proof and clarifications to support his allegations. The Commission then on 25 November 2009 directed the PIO and deputy education officer (DEO) to respond to the allegations before 17 December 2009.
Since there was no response from the PIO and DEO, the Commission issued a show-cause notice and asked the PIO to submit explanations as to why penalty should not be imposed on him under Section 20 of the RTI Act.
During the hearing on 28 January 2010, the PIO and DEO Kanwar Singh stated that he did not receive the Commission's notice dated 25 November 2009 and therefore was unaware of the appellant's allegations.
After the hearing, Mr Gandhi, the then CIC, directed the PIO to respond to the allegations and provide accurate information to the appellant before 21 February 2010. The PIO was also directed to appear before the Commission for show cause hearing.
The Commission received a copy of the information dated 12 February 2010 sent to the appellant. However the PIO did not appear on 8 March 2010 and the Commission did not receive any written submissions from him explaining the delay in providing complete information to the appellant. The Commission also did not receive any communication from him explaining his absence on 8 March 2010.
The CIC again issued a notice on 15 March 2010 to the PIO for hearing of the show-cause notice along with his written explanations to show cause why penalty should not be imposed and disciplinary action not be recommended against him for defying the orders of the Commission.
During the hearing on 13 April 2010, the Commission noted that Sharma, the appellant had been seeking information about number of retired people during past three years. The PIO claimed that though a register was supposed to be maintained giving the details of the retired employees this was not been done in the office. Consequently, he claimed that he took the information from various service books and tried to provide the information.
Initially in July 2009, the appellant was given a list of 90 people. The appellant pointed out that 14 names were missing. Subsequently a list of 151 retired persons for that period was provided, which surprisingly omitted 35 names that were there in the original list.
The PIO stated that the list of 35 names has been missed and that now the register has been updated properly since the appellant has been pursuing the matter under RTI.
“Based on the PIO's contentions it appears that the essential records which should have been maintained by the public authority have not been maintained. This has resulted in the appellant having to repeatedly pursue the matter. A larger implication is pointed out by the appellant that a number of retired teachers are being harassed since their retirement dues are not properly delivered,” the CIC noted.
Mr Gandhi, then directed the PIO to provide the correct list with the information whether the retirement dues of all the people have been paid before 30 April 2010.
While allowing the appeal, the CIC said, “Since the appellant has certainly been harassed a number of times while he was pursuing the mode of getting the public authority to maintain its records properly and ensuring that the public authority discharges its duty towards its employees. To compensate the cost incurred by the appellant and the agony of pursuing the department the Commission awards a compensation of Rs3,000 to the appellant."
CENTRAL INFORMATION COMMISSION
Decision No. CIC/SG/A/2009/001251/3994Adjunct-I
Appeal No. CIC/SG/A/2009/001251
Appellant : Ram Pal Sharma
Respondent : Kanwar Singh
Public Information Officer &
Dy. Education Officer
Municipal Corporation of Delhi
Office of the Dy. Education Officer
Shahadara North Zone
Shahadara, New Delhi.
Meanwhile, the industrial growth in 2012-13 has also been revised slightly upwards to 1.1% from provisional estimates of 1% released in May
The industrial production growth has slipped to 2% in April on account of dismal performance of manufacturing, mining and power sectors coupled with lower output of capital goods.
The factory output measured in terms of index of industrial production (IIP) had seen a contraction of 1.3% in April last year, according to official data released in New Delhi on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the IIP growth rate for March this year has been revised to 3.4% from the provisional estimates of 2.5% released last month.
The industrial growth in 2012-13 has also been revised slightly upwards to 1.1% from provisional estimates of 1% released in May. IIP growth in 2011-12 was 2.9%.
The manufacturing sector, which constitutes over 75% of the index, grew by meagre 2.8% in April against a decline in the output by 1.8% in the year-ago month.
Power generation grew by just 0.7% in April this year compared to a growth of 4.6% in same month last year.
The mining sector output contracted by 3% in April this year compared to a decline in the production by 2.8% in April 2012.
The capital goods output saw a growth of just 1% in April this year compared to a decline in production by 21.5% in the year-ago period.
Overall, 13 out of the 22 industry groups in manufacturing sector have shown positive growth during April.
The consumer goods output also saw a meagre growth of 2.8% in April, compared to 3.7% in same month last year.
The decline in the output of consumer durables stood at 8.3% in April, from a growth of 5.4% in the same month of 2012.
The consumer non-durables output grew by 12.3% in April against 2.3% in April last year.
The intermediate goods production grew by 2.4% in April compared to a decline in output by 1.8% in year-ago period.
The basic goods output grew by 1.3% in the reported month from 1.9% in April 2012.