RTI Judgement Series: Display info about MLA's LAD Fund expenditure on sign-boards in Hindi, as well
Moneylife Digital Team 22 April 2013

Acting on a complaint, the CIC directed the GNCTD to display information on sign-boards about local area development funds allotted to MLAs and update the details of expenditure every six months. This is the 77th 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 a complaint, asked the Chief Secretary of the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD) to display information about local area development (LAD) funds allotted to members of legislative assembly (MLAs) and update the details of expenditure every six months.

 

While giving this judgement on 10 February 2011, Shailesh Gandhi, the then Central Information Commissioner said, “...when public authorities do not fulfil their obligations under Section 4 of the Right to Information (RTI) Act, citizens have no way but to seek information under Section 6, which in turn becomes a cost for the citizens as well as the government.”

 

New Delhi resident Anjali Bhardwaj, along with 317 other citizens, filed a complaint to the Commission under Section 18 of the RTI Act.

 

The complaint stated that details of funds spent by the respective MLAs under the LAD Fund of the city of Delhi should be available suo moto for the knowledge of the general public of the respective constituencies.

 

Bhardwaj stated that 70 MLAs were allocated Rs2 crore each year under the LAD and that Section 4 of the Right to Information Act envisages that such information should be available in the public domain. She acknowledged that this information was available in English on the website of the GNCTD, however it cannot be accepted that the common man or a person of limited means has the resources or the knowledge of operating or availing such information through the website.

 

The Right to Information is a fundamental right of the citizens, which has been codified by the RTI Act, No22 of 2005. The Act envisions that all citizens shall receive information primarily by suo moto disclosures by various public authorities as prescribed by Section 4 of the Act. It further envisages that citizens would be required to specifically ask for information under Section 6 only in a few cases. However, when public authorities do not fulfil their obligations under Section 4, citizens have no way but to seek information under Section 6, which in turn becomes a cost for the citizens as well as the government. Obligations under the Section were to be fulfilled by 12 October 2005 and five years have already lapsed since then, Mr Gandhi, the then CIC, noted.

 

He stated that the Commission considered this as a bona fide request and observed that this information was a basic requirement under the Act and that the department ought to have done this earlier.

 

While allowing the complaint, the CIC, then directed the chief secretary of GNCTD, to install a sign-board of appropriate dimension, mentioning details of expenditure of the current as well as previous year of the MLAs under LAD Fund of each respective constituency in a format.

 

“The board shall also mention the exact link/URL to the page on the website of the department where the information can be viewed. No acronym/abbreviation should be used.  This information shall be displayed in Hindi and shall be installed at a location having maximum public view in each constituency. The board installed in each ward shall contain details of the expenditure of the MLAs under the LAD Fund of that particular constituency.  This will be maintained and updated each year within six months of the closure of the previous year, by the head of the public authority, or the officer(s) so directed by him in writing. This should be done by the 15 March 2011," the Commission said in its order.

 

CENTRAL INFORMATION COMMISSION

 

Decision No. CIC/SG/C/2010/001291/11403

https://ciconline.nic.in/cic_decisions/CIC_SG_C_2010_001291_11403_M_51553.pdf

Complaint No. CIC/SG/C/2010/001291

 

         

Complainant                                                 : Anjali Bhardwaj & 317 other Citizens,

                                                                              Delhi - 110 17

                                                           

Respondent                                                 : Chief Secretary,

                                                                           Govt. of NCT of Delhi,

                                                                           Delhi Secretariat, I.P Estate,

                                                                           Delhi - 110 002

Comments
NSriramamurty
9 years ago
In AP also all MLAs / MPs are allotted Rs.One Crore each for spending and Developing their Constituances. The Details of Amount Spent for Each Work with Work's Name are not Displayed anywhere by Anyone. I do not Think Any MLA / MP displaying their allotted Funds.
Good Informative Article .
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