New Delhi: The CIC has slapped a fine on the National Commission for Women for not providing complete information pertaining to tours undertaken by its members after the Nithari serial killings to an RTI applicant.
In its decision, the information watchdog, however,
chose to remain silent on the delay of over five months by its
own officials in registering the complaint of the applicant.
Criticising the NCW, Chief Information Commissioner
Wajahat Habibullah said, "Institutions of this nature
established to fulfill a basic need of a democratic society,
can in their functioning provide merely an illusory service
despite even the sincerest endeavours of those at helm."
He directed the member secretary NCW to provide
compensation of Rs 10,000 to RTI applicant (Retd) Commodore
Lokesh Batra who had demanded compensation of Rs one lakh from
NCW for the "time, money and the physical and mental torture
and harassment" suffered by him for almost 18 months.
Batra had approached the Central Information
Commission seeking directions to NCW to provide complete
information sought by him on his RTI application. But despite
the directions of CIC in August last year, information was not
provided to Batra prompting him to file a complaint of
"contempt of CIC`s orders" with Habibullah.
The Commissioner on September 12, 2008 ordered that
Batra`s complaint be registered as a fresh case and directed
the CIC officials to seek comments of NCW within 15 days of
the order but the officials registered the case only after
five months -- on February 18, 2009.
During the hearing of the case in June this year,
Batra also demanded a sum of Rs 25,000 as compensation from
the Central Information Commission for "additional delay" of
over five months caused by it.
While Chief Information Commissioner was critical of
NCW, he did not mention a single word about the inefficiency
of CIC officials who took five months to register the case.
"Lokesh Batra has indeed been put to a great deal of
inconvenience in seeking information which is due to any
citizen and he is therefore justified in claiming loss and
detriment arising from delays and insufficiency in providing
of information simply because... NCW has failed to live up to
its responsibilities," Habibullah said.