|Central Information Commission
Complaint No.CIC/SM/C/2009/000338 dated 10-06-2008
Right to Information Act-2005-Under Section (18)
Dated: 12 March 2010
Name of the Complainant
Shri Chandan Kumar
Fulti Collage Road,
Fulti Distt, Wardhman,
Name of the Public Authority
CPIO, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, Block No. 14,
CGO Complex, Lodhi Road,
New Delhi – 110 003.
The Complainant was present in person.
On behalf of the Respondent, the following present:-
(i) Shri A.K. Kaushik, CPIO,
(ii) Shri Mohan Lal, Under Secretary
2. In this case, the Complainant had, in his application dated 10 June 2008, requested the CPIO for information regarding all the loan/subsidy schemes being implemented by the Ministry in general and about the details of the domestic/individual level loan/subsidy schemes in particular. The CPIO, in his reply dated 25 June 2008, referred him to the website of the Ministry where, he claimed, all such details were available. Claiming that he did not receive any information within the stipulated period, he had preferred an appeal but it appears, his appeal was not heard.
3. We heard this complaint through videoconferencing. The Complainant was present in the Burdwan studio of the NIC whereas the Respondents were present in our chamber. As we heard their submissions and carefully perused the records. Our first observation is that the CPIO chose to reply in English an application in Hindi which is unfortunate; as far as possible, the RTI applications in the regional languages must be replied in the same language. Besides, since the Ministries of the Government of India are provided with Rajbhasha officers, there is no reason why the CPIO should not use Hindi language in replying to such an application.
4. In the present case, all that the Complainant wanted was to know
about those schemes of the government in which individuals are offered subsidies or concessions for installing renewable energy devices in their respective homes and the procedure to avail of such subsidies or concessions. Instead of referring him to the website of the Ministry, the CPIO should have simply sent him the copies of their relevant circulars/guidelines/brochures/pamphlets. We now direct him to forward the copies of such information to the Complainant within 10 working days from the receipt of this order.
5. The Complainant also submitted that he had to undergo considerable harassment since the complete information was not provided to him in time. He submitted that he should be compensated for the financial loss he incurred both in corresponding with various authorities including the CIC and by way of the cost of commuting for the videoconferencing today. We tend to agree with him that had the CPIO provided him with the specific information at the beginning, he would not have been put to the avoidable expenditure involved in the process of complaining and, eventually, going through this hearing process. He deserves to be compensated for this. Therefore, in exercise of the powers vested in the CIC under Section 19 (8) (b) of the Right to Information (RTI) Act, we direct the public authority, namely, in this case, the Ministry, to compensate the Complainant to the extent of Rs 500 towards the cost of his travelling and other incidental expenses in attending the hearing of this complaint. We direct the CPIO to send this amount by demand draft to the Complainant within 30 working days from the receipt of this order.
6. With the above directions, the complaint is disposed off.
7. Copies of this order be given free of cost to the parties.
Authenticated true copy. Additional copies of orders shall be supplied against application and payment of the charges prescribed under the Act to the CPIO of this Commission.