RTI Judgement Series: Appellant compensated with Rs5,000 for loss and detriment in receiving ration card
Moneylife Digital Team 22 July 2013

The appellant did not receive information or his ration card from the Department of Food and Civil Supplies in the GNCTD. The CIC directed the PIO to pay a compensation of Rs5,000 for the loss and detriment suffered by the appellant. This is the 138th 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 additional commissioner of the Department of Food and Civil Supplies (DFCS) under the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD) to inquire into a matter where the appellant was neither provided information nor his ration card within a specified time.


While giving this judgement on 4 February 2010, Shailesh Gandhi, the then Central Information Commissioner said, “Prima-facie it appears that the appellant has been deprived of his entitlement and there may be a possibility of corrupt practices being responsible for this. For the loss and detriment suffered by him the Commission under its powers under Section 19 (8)(b) of the Right to Information (RTI) Act orders compensation of Rs5,000 to be paid to the appellant.”


New Delhi resident Ram Asrey, on 19 April 2010, sought information about his ration card from the Public Information Officer (PIO) of DFCS. Here is the information he sought under the RTI Act.


1. Has my BPL card been renewed?

2. Yes or NO?

3. If yes, provide the new number for my BPL card

4. If not, has my BPL card renewal been rejected? Yes or no?

5. If yes, why have not I been provided with the rejection letter?

6. If no, then why have I not received my BPL card?

7. Certified copy of appellant’s application as submitted in 2007

8. Name, designation, phone number, office timings of the officials working in Circle 7.

9. What action would be taken against the officials who have harassed me?


The PIO did not provide any information. Asrey, then filed his first appeal.


During the hearing before the First Appellate Authority (FAA), the appellant stated that since he shifted his residence from one circle to another. He said, he had deposited his below poverty line (BPL) ration card in Bawana circle and has not received his renewed ration card due to which he has to procure ration on slips.


The FAA said, in these circumstances, the case was considered under Clause 11(2) of the PDS Control Order, 2001. He then directed the appellant (Asrey) to contact food security officer (FSO) in Circle 7 for submission of requisite documents. The FAA also directed the inspector to carry out a field visit and, if found eligible, may processed issuance of BPL card.


Asrey, then approached the CIC with his second appeal citing non-supply of correct and complete information by the PIO.


During the hearing, Mr Gandhi, the then CIC, noted that the deemed PIO Ajit Singh to be lying shamelessly. The PIO claimed that on 19 July 2010 he sent the information to Asrey. However, the order issued by the FAA on 29 July 2010 did not mention about any reply sent by the PIO.


Asrey, the appellant informed the CIC that on 3 October 2010, somebody delivered the information at his residence. According to the information, a BPL card no18120080 was issued in the name of the appellant. But Asrey claimed that he never received any card. Mr Gandhi said, “...it appears that sending this information late and trying to avoid it to the appellant may be due to malafide reasons.”


The bench, then directed RTL D'Souza, the additional commissioner of DFCS to inquire into who has got BPL Card no18120080 which was claimed to have been issued and whether any ration has been issued against this card.


While allowing the appeal, Mr Gandhi said, “If rationing has been issued against this card appropriate action should be taken. Mr D'Souza will send the inquiry report to the appellant and the commission before 30 November 2010.”


The bench said, it was apparent that the appellant had been suffering since he had not got his entitlement and the information had also not been supplied to him. “In view of this the Commission decides that the appellant must be compensated for the harassment faced by him in pursuing this matter. For the loss and detriment suffered by him the Commission, under its powers under Section 19 (8)(b) of the RTI Act orders compensation of Rs5,000 to be paid to the appellant,” the CIC said in its order.


Mr Gandhi further said, from the facts before the bench, it was apparent that the deemed PIO was guilty of not furnishing information within the time specified under sub-section (1) of Section 7 by not replying within 30 days. He then issued a show cause notice to the PIO and directed him to give his reasons to the CIC to show cause why penalty should not be levied on him.




Decision No. CIC/SG/A/2010/002657/10037


Appeal No. CIC/SG/A/2010/002657


Appellant                                            : Ram Asrey



Respondent                                     : Ajay Arora

                                                              PIO & Asst. Commissioner

                                                              Consumer Affairs, Food & Civil Supplies

                                                              GNCTD, Deptt. of Food & Civil Supplies

                                                              C Block, Pocket C, Shalimar

                                                              Bagh, Delhi

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