New Delhi: The Delhi High Court has asked the
Public Information Officer of Directorate of Delhi Health
Service(DHS) to pay Rs 50,000 as compensation to a poor man
for not providing information pertaining to his treatment in a
hospital within the stipulated time under RTI Act.
Justice S Muralidhar upheld Central Information
Commission`s(CIC) August 20 order and dismissed an appeal
filed by DHS challenging the compensation awarded by the CIC.
"....Any delay in providing timely information can
result in a person belonging to the Economic Weaker Section
(EWS) having to needlessly spend valuable resources for
medical treatment which should otherwise be available to such
person free of cost. The present case is an indicator of why
many belonging to the EWS category are unable to avail of
freeship facility in the hospitals in Delhi," the court said.
Puran Chand, a Below Poverty Line(BPL) card holder, was
undergoing treatment for a serious disease of compression of
the spine in Indian Spinal Injury Center(ISIC), run by Delhi
government, and sought freeship facility in August last year.
However, he was given a bill of Rs 1.75 lakh for the
treatment, after which he filed an application under RTI Act
for the detailed information.
The PIO of DHS had failed to provide information on time
and as a result he had to undergo surgery in a private
hospital in September last year.