RTI Judgement Series
RTI Judgement Series: The game of passing the paper played in MCD by various officers

The RTI application mindlessly travelled in the hands of over dozen officers. None of them added any value but only added to the cost of his salary to the public and hindered the process of giving the information, the CIC said. This is the 114th 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) at the office of superintending engineer in the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) to provide the information to the appellant before 30 September 2009.

 

While giving this judgement on 15 September 2009, Shailesh Gandhi, the then Central Information Commissioner, said, “The Commission is deeply distressed at this passing the paper game that is played in the MCD by various officers. According to the statements offered before the Commission, the RTI application mindlessly travelled in the hands of over dozen officers none of who adds any value but only adds the cost of his salary to public and hinders the process of giving the information.”

 

Delhi resident Surinder Puri, from the Public Grievance and Welfare Society, on 7 March 2009, sought information about the works executed and being executed under the supervision of junior engineer (JE) Ravi in MCD from the Public Information Officer (PIO). Here is the information he sought under the RTI Act...

 

Information regarding works executed and being executed under supervision of JE Ravi posted in Division no. III in ward no. 73, SPZ, MCD in financial year 2008-2009.

  1. The estimated and awarded costs of works in question.
  2. Bill of quantity/Schedule of quantities of works in question
  3. Copies of detailed drawing and cross sections pertaining to works in question.
  4. Copies of running A/c Bills and final bills if any pertaining to the works.
  5. Copy of measurement books pertaining to the works
  6. Copy of revised estimates if any pertaining to works in question.
  7.  Copy of site order books pertaining to works in question.

 

In his reply, the PIO stated that the required information/records were voluminous/bulky hence it would take time to prepare/provide the same. He further requested the appellant to contact in the office of the PIO on any working day, within three days of receiving of the PIO’s reply. He further stated that if the appellant desires to take photocopy of the documents, he would be provided.

 

Citing non-receipt of information from the PIO within the stipulated time, Puri, the appellant, filed his first appeal. In his order on 1 May 2009, the First Appellate Authority (FAA) directed the PIO to provide the information available on record to Puri within 10 working days.

 

Puri, then approached the Commission, stating unfair disposal of his appeal by the FAA.

 

During the hearing before the Commission, Mr Gandhi, the then CIC noted that the RTI application filed by Puri on 7 March 2009 was forwarded like a ‘football’ to five officers before reaching to the PIO of SP Zone on 23rd March. Even then it was passed to four officers before finally reaching the deemed PIO Sube Pal on 30th March, who passed on the application to JE Ravi Kumar. For next 15 days Ravi Kumar kept the papers with him and then the replied that the information sought by the appellant (Puri) was very bulky and therefore he must visit the office of MCD.

 

The list of works finally was given to the appellant on 13 September 2009 by Speed Post and he has ticked the items for which he wanted the information. Ravi Kumar, the JE promised that he will provide the complete information to the appellant before 30 September 2009.

 

Mr Gandhi, said, “The Commission is deeply distressed at this passing the paper game that is played in the MCD by various officers. The Commission had brought this to the notice of the Municipal Commissioner about six months back when the Commissioner had personally ensured the Information Commissioner that this mindless passing the paper game would stop. This has not happened and the Commission directs the Municipal Commissioner of MCD to bring about a change in this designed inefficiency.”

 

“The Commission expects reply on this matter from Municipal Commissioner before 30 September 2009. If no satisfactory answer is received the Commission will consider awarding compensation to RTI applicants who are harassed and made to suffer for this designed inefficiency of Municipal Corporation of Delhi,” Mr Gandhi said in his order.

 

While allowing the appeal, the CIC said the PIO would provide the information to Puri before 30 September 2009.

 

CENTRAL INFORMATION COMMISSION

 

Decision No. CIC/SG/A/2009/001785/4815

http://www.rti.india.gov.in/cic_decisions/SG-15092009-12.pdf

Appeal No. CIC/SG/A/2009/001785

 

 

Appellant                                            : Surinder Puri

                                                               Public Grievance and Welfare Society

                                                                Delhi - 110007

 

Respondent                                        : Public Information Officer

                                                               Superintending Engineer

                                                              Municipal Corporation of Delhi

                                                               O/o the Superintending Engineer

                                                               Sadar Pahar Ganj Zone, Idgah,

                                                               Delhi - 110006

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SBI credit card arm ordered to pay Rs12,000 for deficient service

SBI Card and Payment Services has been directed by the North District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum to pay the compensation to the Delhi-based customer for ‘lowering’ her financial credibility due to which she was denied a loan by another bank

 

A consumer forum has directed SBI Card and Payment Services to pay Rs12,000 as compensation to a customer for putting her name in CIBIL’s defaulters list despite an assurance that the annual fees of her credit card would be free for lifetime. 

 

The firm, a joint venture of State Bank of India and GE Capital, has been directed by the North District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum to pay the compensation to the Delhi-based customer for ‘lowering’ her financial credibility due to which she was denied a loan by another bank. 

 

“Though the complainant (doctor) was issued ‘Free SBI Doctors’ credit card’ and was under no obligation to pay any amount to the opposite party (SBI Card and Payment Services), nevertheless it showed that Rs3,590 was due... Because of this negligent act, complainant was denied a car loan by HDFC Bank since her name appeared in the list of defaulters...

 

"We hold the opposite party deficient in service on account of which financial credibility of complainant had been lowered in the eyes of other banks to which she had applied for car loan,” a bench presided by Babu Lal said. 

 

The complainant, Dr Sara Varghese, had alleged that the subsidiary firm of SBI had assured her the credit card issued to her would be free for lifetime, but when her card was renewed an annual fee was charged from her. 

 

Her request for cancelling the card was not accepted and payment of the annual fees was demanded even though she had stopped using it, she had alleged. 

 

When her application for a car loan was rejected by HDFC Bank, she found out that her name had been added to the list of defaulters maintained by Credit Information Bureau (India) (CIBIL) for non-payment of the annual fees, she said. 

 

The credit card firm in its defence contended that the annual fees were charged inadvertently due to some technical glitch when the doctor’s credit card was renewed, and the error was corrected after it was detected. 

 

The forum rejected the contention saying no proof was shown by the firm that there was a technical snag.

 

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RBI takes a pause, keeps repo, bank rates and CRR unchanged
Balance of payments and inflation and growth rate will determine future monetary stance, the central bank said
 
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), in its mid-quarter review of the monetary policy on Monday, decided to keep key interest rates, cash reserve ratio (CRR) and repo rates unchanged. According to economists, external risks, particularly weakness in the rupee, may have prevented the RBI from cutting rates.
 
The CRR stands at 4% and the repo rate has been left unchanged at 7.25%.
 
While the macro indicators were falling in place for the RBI to continue easing rates, rupee depreciation has now become a major hurdle to rate cuts. Sharp depreciation in rupee over the last couple of weeks, touching new record-lows of 58.98 against the dollar on 11th June, limits the possibility of rate cuts in the near term.
 
The RBI said the rupee fall, external sector risks and elevated food inflation are areas of concern which need to be addressed. Balance of payments and inflation and growth rate will determine future monetary stance, the central bank added.
 
In its statement on the monetary policy, the RBI said, “It is only a durable receding of inflation that will open up the space for monetary policy to continue to address risks to growth. While several measures have been taken to contain the current account deficit, we need to be vigilant about the global uncertainty, the rapid shift in risk perceptions and its impact on capital flows.”
 
The large Indian current account deficit (CAD) and equity and bond outflows since the end of May make the currency price action precarious.
 
Given RBI’s previous hawkish rhetoric, and explicit focus on the current account deficit (CAD), the market was also not expecting any changes in the policy rates.
 
Sonal Varma, economist, Nomura Financial Advisory and Securities (India) Pvt Ltd, said, "In our view, while growth-inflation dynamics still call for rate cuts, rupee volatility and the ensuing concerns on financing the current account deficit are likely to determine monetary policy action. Hence, if rupee stabilizes and CPI inflation moderates, then rate cuts could follow, which is our base case view. On the other hand, if financing the current account is difficult, then rate cuts will likely be postponed further. We pencil in 50bp of cuts to the repo rate in second half of 2013 with CPI inflation and rupee likely to determine the timing of the moves."
 
 

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