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.
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
Appeal No. CIC/SG/A/2009/001785
Appellant : Surinder Puri
Public Grievance and Welfare Society
Delhi - 110007
Respondent : Public Information Officer
Municipal Corporation of Delhi
O/o the Superintending Engineer
Sadar Pahar Ganj Zone, Idgah,
Delhi - 110006
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.