RTI Judgement Series: One lakh families in Delhi were deprived rations due to non-entry of their data
Moneylife Digital Team 23 April 2013

In Delhi, rations of about one lakh families were stopped due to non-entry of the data into the computers. The CIC directed the Food Commissioner to look into the issue and send a compliance report. This is the 78th 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 Food Commissioner at the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD) to look into the disenfranchisement of over one lakh families in Delhi because of improper functioning of the computer systems.
While giving this judgement on 21 March 2011, Shailesh Gandhi, the then Central Information Commissioner said, “Since computer systems and connectivity was not proper, 44,172 families in Delhi that should get rations at a fixed price were unable to get it. Government policies appear to be the victim of a completely inefficient computer system. And this is scandalous.”
New Delhi resident Amlesh Gupta, on 13 July 2010, sought information under the Right to Information (RTI) Act from the Public Information Officer (PIO) of the Food and Supplies Department at the GNCTD. Here is the information he sought...
1. What action taken by the Deputy Commissioner on the application submitted on 13/04/2010 vide diary no. 1818/A/CFS/16/14/10.
2. If no action has been taken, give reasons thereof. If action is being taken, give progress report. 
3. Since June 2010 how many cards were by certified, give complete details with card number and names. 
Since the PIO did not give any information, Gupta then filed his first appeal. The First Appellate Authority (FAA) while disposing the appeal said, the respective PIOs have forwarded the complaint to the concerned assistant commissioners for taking necessary action. 
Not satisfied with this reply, Gupta then approached the CIC with his second appeal. During the hearing, he stated that rations have been stopped to 44,172 above poverty line (APL) cardholders in the eight zones as per information received by him in rely to a RTI query. It appears that the rations have been stopped due to non-entry in the database of the computers. Gupta had given a complaint about this and had sought to know the action taken on this. The number of cards for which rations were not being provided is as follows:


Circle no.

Number of cards

























Total number of cards:


The PIO in his reply stated that as per the Delhi Government Circular in 2008 APL ration cardholders with annual income less than Rs1 lakh were to be given rations at fixed rates. The applications were taken but 44,172 cardholders were not given rations because of non-entry in the database. This happened since the computer systems are not working properly and connectivity is unreliable and extremely poor, the PIO stated.
Gupta had been provided information only by erstwhile Circle-52 (51). The appellant had not been provided information from all the other circles. 
Shakti Bangar, food security officer (FSO) for Circle-51 informed the Commission that the entire information would be available with PK Mehresh, system analyst, Computer Branch at the Department of Food and Supplies.
The PIOs also informed the Commission that a large number of cardholders (around 70,000) in the category of un-reviewed cards were also suffering because of inefficient operation of the computer systems. 
While allowing the appeal, the CIC then directed PK Mehresh to provide the complete information about the restoration of foodgrain allocation to the 44,172 cards holders to the Gupta and the Commission before 10 April 2011. Mr Gandhi, also asked the food commissioner to send a compliance report to the Commission about the action taken about disenfranchisement of over one lakh families before 20 April 2011.
Decision No. CIC/SG/A/2011/000118/11570
Appeal No. CIC/SG/A/2011/000118
Appellant                   :                             Amlesh Gupta
                                                                    New Delhi - 110019
Respondent              :                            (1) Chokhe Lal
                                                                   Public Information Officer & 
                                                                   Assistant Commissioner (HQ)
                                                                   Food and Supplies Department, 
                                                                   Govt. of NCT of Delhi
                                                                   K- Block, Vikash Bhawa, 
                                                                   IP Estate, New Delhi - 110002
                                      :                           (2) PK Mehresh, 
                                                                   System Analyst, Computer Branch, 
                                                                   Department of Food and Supplies, 
                                                                   K-Block, Vikash Bhawan, 3rd Floor, 
                                                                   ITO, Delhi 


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