Manoj Pai | 9 Dec 18:11 2013

[HumJanenge] Compensation instead of Penalty?

Recent decisions have shown how Chief CIC Deepak Sandhu had impose penalty on erring CPIOs for delay in
providing information to RTI Applicant. However, last week, in the matter between Shri S.K. Jain, New
Delhi   V/s Delhi Transco Chief CIC Deepak Sandhu for nine months delay in providing the information to the
applicant, instead of imposing full penalty on the CPIO, Smt Sandhu has awarded compensation to the
applicant "For the detriment and harassment caused to the appellant on   account   of   this   delay,   Commission  
directs     the   public authority namely DTL to  pay compensation of Rs. 3000/– to the appellant within one
week of receipt of the order."

Full decision at this link

We are all aware of the Delhi HC judgment as well as the Punjab HC where penalty is mandatory and not
discretionary. A through examination of the decision reveals that "Shri   KG   Vishwanathan,   Manager
(Finance)/PIO   and   Shri   Vasu   Dev,   Manager   (HRD)/PIO   who appeared   before   the   Commission   in   the   same   matter  
on   24 October 2013 and provided false and misleading information to the Commission". The decision
further continues "This has wasted the time and resources of the public authority and the Commission and
they are warned  to be more careful in future."

Even if you read the recent Delhi HC judgment or the earlier Hon Supreme Court judgment on Section 18, makes
it mandatory that full penalty be imposed on the respondents. Maybe some of our RTI Activists (Haramis) in
this list might like to seek the confirmation whether the applicant has received the Rs.3 K compensation
thru an RTI Application and citing Section 4(1)(d) also seek the reasons for the "quasi judicial"
decision sparing the respondents with a "warning" for not imposing the penalty on the erring CPIO.



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