RTI Judgement Series: Six Sanitation Superintendents fined Rs25,000 each for not providing info in time
Moneylife Digital Team 24 January 2013

CIC slapped a fine of Rs25,000 each on six Sanitation Superintendents from the Municipal Corp of Delhi for the delay of over 100 days in providing information under the RTI Act. This is the 26th in a series of important judgements given by Shailesh Gandhi, former CIC, that can be used or quoted in an RTI application

The Central Information Commission (CIC), slapped a fine of Rs25,000 each on six Sanitation Superintendents (SS)'s from the Municipal Corp of Delhi (MCD) for not providing information in stipulated time despite its order. While giving this important judgement, Shailesh Gandhi, former Central Information Commissioner, directed the Commissioner of MCD to recover the fine of Rs25,000 each from the salaries of these officers.


“Since the delay in providing the information has been over 100 days, the Commission is passing an order penalizing all six officers Rs25,000 each, which is the maximum penalty under the Right to Information (RTI) Act. The Commissioner, Municipal Corporation of Delhi is directed to recover the amount of Rs25,000 each from the salary of Nand Lal, SS of South Zone; Rajendra Prasad, SS of South Zone (formerly in Narela Zone); Raj Pal Singh, SS of SP Zone; Om Prakash, SS of Nazafgarh Zone; Ravinder Rai, SS of West Zone and Naresh Kumar, SS of Central Zone,” the CIC said in its order issued on 22 October 2010.


Delhi resident Ravi Bhushan Bali, on 11 February 2010, sought information about recruitment and promotion of 13 officials from the MCD. Here is the information sought by him and the reply he received from the Public Information Officer (PIO)...


1.  Provide the information under the RTI Act as per the following format mentioning Direct Recruitment /Adhoc promotion /Regular promotion with the then office order no and date, shown in the table in the application for 13 officers:

1. Nand Lal 2. Surender Singh 3. Bal Kishan 4. Raj Pal 5. Krishan Kant 6. Kishori Lal

7. Lakhara 8. Suraj Bhan 9. KC Gulati 10. Ravinder Ray 11. Om Prakash 12. Naresh Kumar 13. Jagdeesh Chandra

PIO: The PF file and S/book of the officials of the officials mentioned in point 1 are not available at the office. Letters dates 18/12/2010 and 04/03/2010 were sent to the Zonal officers, to provide the PF File & S/Book, with a copy to the appellant. PF File of Mr Bal Kishan and Mr Jagdish Chander have been received in this office and the same can be inspected on any working day within 15 days, and the appellant may obtain a copy of the documents as the desired information in the prescribed pro forma is not available. The department is in the process for obtaining the PF File and S/book of the remaining officials. 


2.   How many officials were transferred from DDA to MCD with designation?

PIO: It is a voluminous record, hence the appellant may come and inspect the relevant files and collect the desired documents.


3. At what designation DDA staff had been transferred to MCD and what designation considered by MCD?

PIO: As Above.


4.  Since when seniority had been given to said staff in each category?

PIO: As Above.


5.  Photocopies of office orders for all above mentioned officials for each designation'

PIO: As Above.


6.  Photocopy of terms and conditions on which DDA supervisor staff Was transferred to MCD.

PIO: As Above.


7.  What is status of promotion case of under signed for which a representation has already been submitted.

PIO: The representations have not been dealt with so far.


Not satisfied with the reply, Mr Bali, the appellant, then filed appeal with the First Appellate Authority (FAA). The FAA asked Mr Bali to inspect the relevant file and obtain the copies of the desired documents free of cost by appearing personally at the PIO’s office on any working day within 15 days from the date of the issuance of the order.


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Mr Bali then filed second appeal before the Commission. During the hearing on 10 September 2010, the PIO stated that he sought the assistance of 12 SS and one EO Pension under Section 5(4) of the RTI Act. He said, that he received the service books of only Bal Krishan and Jagdish and these were inspected by the appellant and photocopies of records which he sought were given to him. However, the other SS did not respond, the PIO stated.


Mr Gandhi, then asked the PIO to obtain the service books from all the SS and give inspection to the appellant on 30 September 2010 and provide photocopies of whatever records the appellant wants free of cost. The Commission also issued a show cause notice to the PIO and SS for not providing complete, required information and be present before the CIC on 22 October 2010 along with their written submission.


During the hearing on 22nd October, the Commission noted that the PIO was required to provide information from the service file(s) of 13 officers. He sought the assistance of various SS on 18 February 2010 and sent reminders on 4 March 2010. Only two service files from Rohini Zone were made available for which information was provided. 


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After the order of the Commission on 10 September 2010, the PIO provided the requisite information after obtaining the service files from various SS for another seven officers in September 2010. The service files of RK Lakhara, KC Gulati, Om Prakash and Kishori Lal were not provided. Mr Bali stated that he has obtained the requisite information and does not wish to get any information on these four officers.


The Commission said the SS did not provide any reasonable explanation for the delay in giving the information. Nand Lal, SS of South Zone; Rajendra Prasad, SS of South Zone (formerly in Narela Zone); Raj Pal Singh, SS of SP Zone; Om Prakash, SS of Nazafgarh Zone; Ravinder Rai, SS of West Zone and Naresh Kumar, SS of Central Zone provided the service files and replies only after the Commission's order.


Section 20 (1)  of the RTI Act states, “Where the Central Information Commission or the State Information Commission, as the case may be, at the time of deciding any complaint or appeal is of the opinion that the Central Public Information Officer or the State Public Information Officer, as the case may be, has, without any reasonable cause, refused to receive an application for information or has not furnished information within the time specified under sub-section (1) of section 7 or malafidely denied the request for information or knowingly given incorrect, incomplete or misleading information or destroyed information which was the subject of the request or obstructed in any manner in furnishing the information, it shall impose a penalty of two hundred and fifty rupees each day till application is received or information is furnished, so however, the total amount of such penalty shall not exceed twenty five thousand rupees;

Provided that the Central Public Information Officer or the State Public Information Officer, as the case may be, shall be given a reasonable opportunity of being heard before any penalty is imposed on him: Provided further that the burden of proving that he acted reasonably and diligently shall be on the Central Public Information Officer or the State Public Information Officer, as the case may be.”


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Section 19 (5) of the RTI Act has also stated that “In any appeal proceedings, the onus to prove that a denial of a request was justified shall be on the Central Public Information Officer or State Public Information Officer, as the case may be, who denied the request.”


Since the information was not provided within the time specified under sub-section (1) of Section 7, the Commission said it was duty bound to levy a penalty of Rs250 each day, till the information is provided. The Commission said, these six SS should have provided information before 11 March 2010 but gave it only in September. "Since the delay has been for over 100 days the Commission imposes the maximum penalty of Rs25,000 as per Section 20(1) of the RTI Act on six officers," Mr Gandhi said in the order.





Decision No. CIC/SG/A/2010/002127/9341Penalty


Appeal No. CIC/SG/A/2010/002127



Appellant                                  : Ravi Bhushan Bali

                                                  New Delhi – 110030.


Respondents                            : (1) Nand Lal, 

                                                  Deemed PIO & SS

                                                  MCD South Zone; 

                                                  Green Park, New Delhi


                                                  (2) Rajendra Prasad, 

                                                  Deemed PIO & SS South Zone 

                                                  (formerly in Narela Zone) 

                                                  MCD South Zone; 

                                                  Green Park, New Delhi


                                                  (3) Raj Pal Singh, 

                                                  Deemed PIO & SS SP Zone; 

                                                  MCD SP Zone; 

                                                  Idgah Road, Sadar Pahar Ganj Zone,

                                                  New Delhi


                                                  (4) Om Prakash, 

                                                  Deemed PIO & SS 

                                                  MCD Nazafgarh Zone

                                                  Overhead water tank, Najafgarh Zone, 

                                                  Nazafgarh Zone, New Delhi


                                                  (5) Ravinder Rai,  

                                                  Deemed PIO & SS 

                                                  MCD West Zone

                                                  Rajouri Garden, Vishal Enclave,

                                                  New Delhi


                                                  (6) Naresh Kumar, 

                                                  Deemed PIO & SS 

                                                  MCD Central Zone

                                                  Jal Vihar, Lajpat Nagar,

                                                  New Delhi


                                                  (7) Surender Singh, 

                                                  Deemed PIO & SS West Zone


                                                  Vishal Enclave, Rajouri Garden,

                                                  New Delhi


                                                  (8) Devender Kumar 

                                                  Public Information Officer & Chief Engineer 

                                                  Municipal Corporation of Delhi

                                                  Office of Assistant Commissioner/DEMS/HQs

                                                  Gandhi Mela Ground, Town Hall,

                                                  Delhi- 110006


                                                  (9) Kishan Lal, 

                                                  Deemed PIO & SS City Zone

                                                  MCD City Zone



                                                  (10) JK Gupta, 

                                                  Deemed PIO & SS Sahadara 

                                                  MCD Sahadara North Zone

                                                  Sahadara, Delhi


                                                  (11) Vijender Rana, 

                                                  Deemed PIO & SS Rohini Zone;

                                                  MCD Rohini Zone,

                                                  Rohini Zone, Delhi

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