RTI Judgement Series: ESIC asked to display data about workers with suspected occupational diseases
Moneylife Digital Team 05 August 2013

The CIC recommended ESIC to centrally collect information on important indicators like suspected occupational diseases and display as well as regularly update this on its website. This is the 148th 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, directed the Public Information Officer (PIO) of the Employees State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) under the Ministry of Labour, to provide the information to the appellant. The Bench also directed the PIO to make available data about health of workers in the country on ESIC website as per requirement of Section 4 of the Right to Information (RTI) Act.


While giving this judgement on 28 June 2010, Shailesh Gandhi, the then Central Information Commissioner said, “The Bench under its powers under Section 25(5) of the RTI Act, recommends that ESIC centrally collect information on important indicators like suspected occupational diseases and such other information. These must be put up on the website of the corporation and updated every month.”


Delhi resident Mohit Gupta, on 4 June 2009, sought information about health of workers with suspected occupational diseases throughout the country from the PIO of ESIC. Here is the information he sought and the reply provided by the PIO under the Right to Information (RTI) Act...


1. Region wise list of region wise hazardous industries, along with risks involved and employees working in those units.        

PIO's Reply- Not replied.


2. List of workers who have been issued identity cards and information regarding medical facilities that have been extended to them.        

PIO's Reply- Not replied.


3. Region wide list of the number of workers that have been registered under El act since 11 July 2008. How many of these workers were medically checked before registration? Kindly provide name of medical practitioners who conducted these medical examinations.

PIO's Reply- Not replied.


4. Information regarding efforts have been made by ESIC for education of employees about Health hazards at work place with a copy of any literature that has been distributed, along with budgetary allocation (year-wise) for this task and the expenditure incurred there on.     

PIO's Reply- ESI Corporation does not undertake education of employees about health hazards at work places.


5. The number of suspected cases of occupational diseases that have been found with details about the type of disease, along with a list of workers Occupational Disease centre (ODC) wise. What is the follow-up treatment being provided to these workers? How many of these cases have been referred to Special Medical Board for confirmation and Chief Inspector of factories?  

PIO's Reply- Copy of suspected cases was enclosed.


6. The number of the above cases that have been confirmed by Special Medical Board?         

PIO's Reply- Not replied.


7. The number of occupational Disease surveillance teams that have been constituted by ESIC, with a list (region wise with date of formation,) along with the list of equipment with these teams and a list of inspections carried out by each team and result of the inspection.       

PIO's Reply- There are no occupational disease surveillance team constituted by ESIC.


8. There was a specific instruction to publish ODC data. Information regarding the medium and frequency of such publication along with a copy of each publication

PIO's Reply- There are no specific instructions given by ESIC for publishing QOC data.


9. A copy of the annual calendar region wise for sensitization of employers towards Occupational hazards for 2008-2009 and 2009-2010 along with a copy of any reference material I Literature generated for the purpose.     

PIO's Reply- There is no annual calendar for sensitization of employers towards occupational hazards.


10. A list of trainings conducted regarding identification, prevention and treatment of Occupational Disease since July 2008 along with details of attendees.      

PIO's Reply- List is enclosed.


11. The number of ODC's that have taken up research on Occupational Health.

PIO's Reply- At present, no research work is being taken by ODCs.


Citing non-supply of information by the PIO, applicant Gupta filed his first appeal. There was no mention of any order from the First Appellate Authority (FAA).


Gupta, then approached the CIC with his second appeal stating unsatisfactory information provided by the PIO and inaction on the part of the FAA.


During the hearing, the PIO stated that some of the information sought by Gupta was not available in centralized manner and have to be obtained from various regional offices across the country.


Gupta, pointed out that that there were following deficiencies in the information provided to him so far:

1- Query-5: the Complainant had sought information and follow-up action taken in the treatment provided to workers suspected to occupational decease.

2- Some of the information provided to the Complainant states that it has been collected from Medical Branch-I. The PIO has informed the Commission that there are six medical branches. The PIO states that though there are six branches only Medical Branch-I deals with Policy Matters and other branches deals with other matters.


He stated, the PIO gave him information that there were 150 cases of suspected occupational diseases throughout the country. Gupta then showed that he received information from West Bengal that says there were close to 250 cases of suspected occupational diseases.


Mr Gandhi, the then CIC, directed the PIO to ask the four occupational diseases centres (ODC) to provide the number of confirmed cases to Gupta. The PIO stated that ESIC does not inform the Chief Inspector of Factories (CIF) about the number of workers with suspected occupational diseases.


Gupta, then showed a circular issued by deputy medical commissioner on 11 July 2008, which states, "Suspected cases and occupational disease cases reported in ODCs should be informed to the Regional Office or referring them to Special Medical Board for confirmation and also to Chief Inspectors of factories as well as the employer in alerting them."


Mr Gandhi said it was apparent that this circular was not being followed at all by ESIC. "It has taken months to provide partial information to the complainant and it is apparent that ESIC with a huge budget does not have data about the health of workers in the country in the centralized manner. It is necessary that this must be available centrally an also made available on it website in discharge of its obligation under Section-4 of the RTI Act," he said.


While allowing the appeal, the Bench directed the PIO to give the information on the two points to Gupta before 20 July 2010. Mr Gandhi also directed the PIO to ensure Section-4 disclosures are displayed on the (ESIC) website before 30 August 2010.




Decision No. CIC/DS/C/2010/900116/SG/8312


Complaint No. CIC/DS/C/2010/900116/SG


Complainant                                   : Mohit Gupta



Respondent                                      : BD Sharma

                                                            Public Information Officer & Director

                                                            Employees Estate Insurance Corporation

                                                            Ministry of Labour, Government of India

                                                            Parchdeep Bhawan, CIG Road,

                                                            New Delhi-110002

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