RTI Fees Paid - THEN YOU BECOME A CONSUMER

ha21@rediffmail.com Mumbai : 9820174108

Dear All,
 


The following appeared in    "Times of India, dated 14-12-2009, page no. 02,  Mumbai Edition."

 

The TrendSetting Land Judgement by the   "National Commission"   changes the face of RTI rights   Here are the  TWO MOST IMPORTANT extract of the same :

 

(NOTE : Since the Judgement is passed by the  "National Commision",  all the District Consumer Forums, has to compulsory'ly  follow the same and  an appeal against it could lie  " ONLY " in the HC.)

 

1.  "An applicant under the RTI Act   HAS TO PAY FEES  for getting the information, and hence he acquires the status of a consumer".

 

2.   "The forum observed that the RTI Act bars the jurisdiction of courts, but not the consumer fora as the Consumer Protection Act (CPA) is meant to be an additional remedy."

 

WITH THE ABOVE judgement,  the RTI automatically applicant gains the Status of a "Consumer"  and the  P.I.O.  is automatically deemed to be an   "SERVICE PROVIDER". 

 

Normally the  RTI Appellate Authority does not punish the P.I.O. (wherein he can impose upto 25,000/- as fine) and also can direct administrative action u/s 20(2) of the RTI Act,     "BUT"   now here the P.I.O.  can be directed to pay compensation under CPA,  thereby automatically making him liable under the Administrative Rules for  Public Servants.


Keep Smiling .... Hemant Agarwal


 

IF RTI Fees Paid - THEN YOU BECOME A  CONSUMER

 


Unhappy with RTI answer? Move the consumer forum
"Times of India, dated 14-12-2009, page no. 02,  Mumbai Edition."

 

   It is common knowledge that public information officers often do not furnish the information sought by the applicant under Right To Information Act (RTI). Is an appeal to the appellate authority of the Information Commission the only remedy?

 

Or would failure to furnish information without valid reason constitute a deficiency in service for which compensation can be sought by filing a consumer complaint?    This issue has been decided by the National Commission in a trendsetting judgment.

 

Case Study:

Dr S P Thirumala Rao,    a consulting physician in Mysore, was upset that some agency had dug up the footpath in front of his clinic for laying telephone cables through PVC pipes but had failed to restore it after completion of the work. The damaged footpath and the projecting pipe was causing obstruction to his patients as well as to pedestrians. He submitted two RTI applications to the Mysore City Municipal Corporation seeking information about the telephone service provider who was responsible for this. 


   As the information was not furnished within the prescribed period, he filed a consumer complaint before the District Consumer Forum claiming compensation and costs from the municipal corporation. In its defence, the corporation claimed that the information could not be furnished within the prescribed period due to heavy workload. It also claimed that the work was carried out by Reliance and the Government of India through the Department of Telecommunications, and hence the corporation could not be held responsible for the same. The jurisdiction of the consumer forum was also challenged. 
 

   The forum observed that the RTI Act bars the jurisdiction of courts, but not the consumer fora as the Consumer Protection Act (CPA) is meant to be an additional remedy. Further, the RTI Act does not deal with compensation for deficiency in service. Hence, a complaint filed to claim compensation for deficiency in service for failure to furnish the information would be maintainable under the CPA. Since delay was admitted, the forum awarded token damages of Rs 500 and costs of Rs 100. 


   The corporation challenged this order before the Karnatake State Commission. It argued that since the RTI provided for an appeal against failure to furnish the information sought, the proper remedy would have been to approach the appellate authority, and not the consumer forum. Hence, the complaint ought to be dismissed. The State Commission upheld this contention, allowed the appeal and dismissed the complaint. 
 

   Dr Rao then approached the National Commission by filing a Revision Petition. Being a matter of public importance, the commission appointed advocates Aditya Narain and Astha Tyagi as amicus curaie. In its judgment delivered by Justice R K Batta, presiding member, on behalf of the Bench comprising himself and S K Naik, the commission observed that the settled law was that even if a particular law barred the jurisdiction of courts, a complaint could still be filed under the provisions of the CPA as it provided an additional remedy. The RTI Act did not bar the jurisdiction of the consumer fora. Also, the provision for appeal under the RTI Act was restricted to the failure to furnish the information sought, but there was no    provision to claim compensation for deficiency in service. An applicant under the RTI Act has to pay fees for getting the information, and hence he acquires the status of a consumer. If there is any deficiency in service in respect of providing such information, a complaint could be filed under the CPA for claiming compensation. 


   With this reasoning, the National Commission set aside the order of the State Commission and restored that of the District Forum.

[Judgment dated 28.05.2009 in the case of Dr S P Thirumala Rao v/s Municipal Commissioner, Mysore City Municipal Corporation.
 


Total likes : 9 times

 
Reply   
 
civil engineer

Dear Hemant Agarwal ,

     This is a great INFORMATION. I  Personally thank you for sharing this infrmation, and request the Members of the forum to spread this nwes to ALL( PUBLIC) .

 
Reply   
 


Assistant Professor of Law

Its a Land mark judgment.

Thanks for enlighting us.

 

 
Reply   
 

Hemanth Agrawal ji,

Thank you very much for providing valuable information.

 
Reply   
 
Pathologist & Medical Law Consultant

Dear Hemanth Aggrawal,

Congratulations and very happy to learn this. RTI & COnsumer Fora are the best wepons, easy and cheapest way to reach the justice. Most of corrupts and inefficeints nedd to be punished. Many guilty are afriad of RTI.

Can you please clarify, Whether the Govt Servant seek information under RTI? and is there any permission from higher authority is needed? I had very worst experience which I will share with you all consumer activist after receipt of this reply.

With all best wishes,

Yours,

Dr.S.M.Kantikar,Pathologist & Medical Law Consultatnt, Shimoga,Karnataka

 
Reply   
 
Eye Specialist

 IT  IS  A   VERY  GOOD   AND   VALUE ABLE   INFORMATION. FOR  ALL. HEARTIEST  CONGRATULATION  AND  MANY  MANY  THANKS.............

 
Reply   
 

Dear Mr. Agarwal

Thanks a lot ....for most valuable information .

Ashish Maheshwari

 

 

 
Reply   
 
Manager HR(Legal)

Dear Mr. Hemmant

This is the way this forum is getting benefits from one to other.Thanks a lot

 
Reply   
 
Junior Engineer (Civil) Hydro Power.

D/Hemmant,

Thnks 4 d information. Let's hpe there shall b no ammendment in this respect.

Mr. oibato

 
Reply   
 

LEAVE A REPLY


    

Your are not logged in . Please login to post replies

Click here to Login / Register  



 

Search Forum:








×

  LAWyersclubindia Menu