RTI Judgement Series: PIO penalised for not providing information about ration card
Moneylife Digital Team 12 December 2012

The PIO was fined for not providing proper information to the applicant within stipulated time about the status of her ration card. This is the ninth in a series of important judgements given by Shailesh Gandhi, former CIC that can be used or quoted in an RTI application

The Public Information Officer (PIO), in the Food supplies and Consumer Affairs department in the Government of NCT of Delhi, was fined for not providing proper information to the applicant within the stipulated time. While giving this important judgement, Shailesh Gandhi, former Central Information Commissioner said the public authority suo moto must provide details of ration card applications on its website and submit a compliance report to the Commission.      


“The PIO will give the information to the appellant before 10 July 2009 about the status of her application giving names and designations of the officers who have dealt with the BPL card application and where the application is presently. The Commission awards a total compensation of Rs2,500 to the appellant for loss of entitlement and to compensate for the effort and the trauma suffered in pursuing this matter,” the Central Information Commission (CIC) said in its order dated 2 July 2009.


Delhi-based Nagina Devi, on 6 March 2009 sought information about her ration card from the PIO. She had applied for a ration card in 2006 and in spite of repeatedly being shunted to various places did not get any ration card.


According to the PIO, the Delhi Government accepted applications for BPL cards during February-March 2009. The PIO said that the application was received and sent to a Vigilance Committee headed by Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) of the area. He also admitted that these cards are supposed to be given in 45 days but the time at the Vigilance Committee headed by MLAs takes indefinite time.


The Commission said, “The appellant has not been given any appropriate reply indicating what is happening to her ration card application. The approximate loss to her per month of free foodgrain and kerosene is about Rs500 per month. The loss of free foodgrain due to her is already three months which she has suffered is therefore Rs1,500 for three months. The Commission also feels that the loss of time and trauma which she has suffered on account of not getting her due entitlement and pursuing this application and appeal should be compensated with another Rs1,000.”


In his order issued on 2 July 2009, Mr Gandhi asked the PIO to give the information before 10 July 2009 about the status of Nagina Devi's application, giving names and designations of the officer who have dealt with the BPL card application and where the application is presently.


“The list of people for above poverty list (APL) and BPL cards with the dates of application dated on which the cards are given to them and reasons for rejection if any with dates must be provided suo moto by the public authority on its website. The PIO will inform the appropriate officer about this requirement of Section 4 and ensure that this is done before 15 August 2009. A compliance report will be sent to the Commission before 15 August 2009,” the order said.


Mr Gandhi also asked the PIO to ensure that the compensation of Rs2,500 is given to the appellant before 20 July 2009.




Decision No. CIC/SG/A/2009/001213+1214/3969



Appeal No. CIC/SG/A/2009/001213+1214


Appellant                                        : Nagina Devi



Respondent                                      : AK Singh,

                                                            Asstt Commissioner (NW),

                                                            Office of the Assistant Commissioner, N/W Distt,

                                                            Food Supplies & Consumer Affair,

                                                            GNCT of Delhi, CSC, CC Block,

                                                            Shalimar Bagh, Delhi-110 088

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