RTI Judgement Series: Appellant given Rs2,000 compensation for unnecessary harassment
Moneylife Digital Team 11 June 2013

Despite order from the FAA, the PIO did not provide any information for 10 months. This made the appellant file his second appeal before the CIC, which directed the PIO to pay compensation. This is the 110th 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) and chief manager of Delhi State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation (DSIIDC), to compensate and facilitate inspection of relevant records by the appellant.


While giving this judgement on 10 August 2010, Shailesh Gandhi, the then Central Information Commissioner said, “It is very clear that the First Appellate Authority (FAA) had also ordered the information to the provided in 10 days and yet the appellant has been unnecessary harassed by having to file a second appeal with the Commission and coming for the hearing. In view of this the Commission awards a compensation of Rs2,000 to the appellant for the loss and detriment suffered as per Section 19(8)(b) of the Right to Information (RTI) Act.”


Delhi resident Rakesh Kumar Gupta, on 11 April 2009, sought information about a policy for allotment of plots in the New Industrial Area from the Public Information Officer (PIO) of the DSIIDC. Here is the information he sought under the RTI Act...


1. Inspection of the new policy in consideration for allotment of plots in the new industrial area. This includes units already registered with the Commissioner of Industries under relocation units whether plots were allotted (and cancelled due to non payment as per schedule) or not allotted at all.

2. List of the file number and records name related to all the points under Query no. 1 and whose custody records are kept with name, designations, phone number, email address, address, etc.

3. The inspection of WP(C) 4677/1985, IT IA NO 1206 IN WP(C)  4677/ 1985, 1A NO 22, 1204-5, 1224 IN WP(C) 4677/ 1985, WP(C) 88/2000, WP(C) 98/2000.

4. Copy of directions issued to DSIIDC on the basis of orders mentioned in point no. 3.

5. Copy of documents pointed out at the time of inspection.

6. The file number and records name related to all the points under Query no. 3 & 4 and whose custody records are kept with name, designations , phone number, email address, address, etc.

7. Inspection of all the records referred to in the above points.


The PIO did not provide any information. Gupta then filed his first appeal before the FAA. During the hearing, the FAA noted that it was amply clear that the information sought by the appellant has not been provided by the SPIO/JCI (Rel) in the industries department at the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD) nor by the SF10/ Chief Manager (Rel) VK Garg in DSIIDC to whom it was transferred. “This situation is neither acceptable nor is as per the RTI Act. In fact, because of this transfer of RTI application by the SPIOs the appellant has been made to file this appeal before the First Appellate Authority. The contention of SPIO/JCI (Rel) JS Choudhry is correct only to the extent that information was not related to his branch but he should have ensured that the application is transferred to the concerned branch or SPIO who has got the sought information,” the FAA said.


While disposing the appeal, the FAA in his order on 9 June 2010, stated, “Since the appellant has not been furnished the information by SPIO/JCI (Relocation) in the Industries Department and SPIO/Chief Manager (Relocation) in DSIIDC, therefore, it would be appropriate that responsibility is east on the senior officer in the Industries Department as well as DSIIDC so that requisite information is now furnished by the concerned SPIOs. It is therefore directed that Additional Commissioner, Industries, and executive director in DSIIDC would respectively co-ordinate with the concerned SPIOs to whom his information pertains and ensure that the sought information is furnished to appellant within 10 days’ time. With these directions, the appeal is disposed of.”


However, despite the order from the FAA, the PIO did not provide any information. Gupta then approached the Commission with his second appeal.


During the hearing, Mr Gandhi, the then CIC, noted that the RTI application has been shuttling between the industries department and DSIIDC but nobody is willing to provide the information. “The FAA issued an order. But his direction for (providing information in) 10 days has been meaningless, since even after 10 months no information has been provided to the appellant and both departments had only told the appellant that they have no information,” Mr Gandhi observed.


The CIC said the two respondents, represented on behalf of PIOs of DSIIDC and industries department, who have come in the hearing plead complete ignorance. “It is not known whether any policy has been framed for allotment of industrial plots in 1,865 acres of land in Delhi. If no policy has been framed it would imply that decisions are being taken arbitrarily. Since the PIOs before the Commission plead ignorance and an earlier order by Dharmendra, the FAA, has also not been complied with the Commission suspects that there may not be any policy and PIOs may be unwilling to admit this,” the CIC said.


“In view of the fact that no officer appears to be knowing whether the policy exists the Commission directs the executive director of DSIIDC Sanjiv Ahuja to ensure that if a policy exists it should be sent to the appellant before 30 August 2010. If there is no policy this should be stated,” the Commission said in its order.


The appellant had also sought an inspection of the relevant files for the court cases in his RTI application. HC Puri who came on behalf of the PIO was innocently ignorant about the reasons why any information was not been provided to the appellant.


The Commission noted that officers who appear before the CIC must familiarize themselves with the subject matter of the RTI application before coming to the hearing since otherwise this was resulting in complete waste of public time and money. The CIC said, “The PIO MM Ahmed is directed to ensure that the appellant is given an inspection of the relevant records on 25 August 2010 from 11.00am onwards.”


While allowing the appeal, Mr Gandhi, also directed the PIO to ensure that the cheque for compensation of Rs2,000 is sent to the appellant (Gupta) before 15 September 2010 besides facilitating an inspection of relevant records by Gupta and also providing attested photocopies of the records free of cost up to 300 pages.




Decision No. CIC/SG/A/2010/001824/8889


Appeal No. CIC/SG/A/2010/001824


Appellant                                            : Rakesh Kumar Gupta

                                                            Delhi- 88             


Respondent                                        : 1. MM Ahmed

                                                            Public Information Officer (HQ) & Chief Manager,


                                                            Government of N.C.T. of Delhi,

                                                            N-Block, Bombay Life Building,

                                                            Connaught Circus, Delhi.


                                                            2. RP Kukreti

                                                            Public Information Officer &

                                                            Dy. Commissioner (Industries)

                                                            Govt. of NCT of Delhi

                                                            Office of the Commissioner of Industries

                                                            Udyog Sadan, Plot No. 419

                                                            FIE Patpar Ganj Industrial Area


Free Helpline
Legal Credit