CIC warns against threatening RTI applicants

The Central Information Commission has issued a stern warning against threatening RTI applicants.

Last Updated: Jul 20, 2011, 17:13 PM IST

New Delhi: The Central Information
Commission has issued a stern warning against threatening RTI
applicants, saying it would get "all forces of the government"
to punish those who indulge in such acts.

The case relates to a poor, elderly woman Durga who
was trying to get a ration card for the last two years but
despite making rounds of Delhi Government`s office, she failed
to get one.

When she filed an RTI application to know the status
of her card, a vigilance committee official allegedly
threatened her.

"The appellant states... she was approached by Mr.
Garba who is a member of Vigilance Committee who came to her
house and scolded her for filing the RTI application. The
Commission warns everyone that if any threats are issued to
RTI applicants the Commission would get all forces of the
Government to punish those who threaten RTI applicants,"
Information Commissioner Shailesh Gandhi said.

Durga who had applied for BPL ration card in 2009 did
not get it even after two years and was asked to apply again.

When she applied again, she was informed that the card
cannot be made now since they have been stopped.

"If entitlements cannot be provided to the extremely
poor all the pronouncement of the government becomes
meaningless," Gandhi pointed out.

The Commissioner not only allowed a compensation of
Rs 3000 to the woman but also imposed a maximum penalty of Rs
25,000 on the Public Information Officer for not furnishing
information to her in the mandatory one month period.

"The Commission directs the Food Commissioner to look
into this matter and ensure that the BPL Card of Mrs Durga is
sent to her before 30 August 2011 and inform the Commission
about this by August 30, 2011," Gandhi ordered.