Right to Information – Master key to good governance

CIC objects to officials’ attitude

Posted by rtiact2005 on August 15, 2006

CIC objects to officials’ attitude
8/12/2006 11:54:31 PM      – By Sonal Kellogg

Sunday, August 13, 2006 Page 4

New Delhi, Aug. 12: The Central Information Commission has taken strong objection to the allegations of harassment and misbehaviour by the government officials when people have gone to file their applications under the Right to Information Act. The CIC has warned the department of education, food and civil supplies department and the MCD against mistreatment of complainants who came to file their applications under the RTI Act and have asked these departments to set up proper system in their offices to deal with the applications.

In three different cases, complainants have appealed to the CIC against the mistreatment they faced in these departments.

In the first case, Ashok Kumar stated that the head of the personal section, Daniel Masih told him that only when the person making the application submits it personally will it be accepted.

On the applicant’s persistence, Mr Masih flung the application to the ground. Complainant Ashok Kumar states that he was denied a meeting with PIO B. Tirkey and was sent from one official to another, who twice asked for photo-copies of various documents, thus requiring him to travel a km away and return after having obtained these, the whole procedure encompassing three hours. He, therefore, requested for imposition of penalty on the PIO.

In another case, Dasharathi submitted a complaint stating that when she approached the office of the assistant commissioner (South) in the food & civil supplies department, Delhi, to ask for an information regarding her application for Kerosene oil, she was told that the officer was not present and her application could only be accepted after he returns. After waiting for 2 to 3 hours, she was told that the officer would not return that day.

She, therefore, complains that her time was wasted together with Rs 100 in travel costs.

While in yet another complaint, applicant Mr Prem of Lal Gumbad complained that on January 12 he sought some information from the deputy commissioner (South), MCD regarding Safai Karamcharies employed in Lal Gumbad, Panchshil Park where he lives. Before he obtained the information, some persons from the MCD visited his house and threatened him with dire consequences if he persisted with his request and that he should not again ask for information.

In all these cases, the CIC took serious note of the complaints and asked the departments to take corrective actions.

In the case against department of education, CIC in their decision stated, “We take serious note of the misbehaviour alleged by the complainant to have taken place with him at the time of submitting the application. “

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