Appellant sought a compensation of Rs 20 lakhs for failure to provide information with reference to his complaint regarding mass copying and other irregularities going on in a Law College and university - CIC cautioned the PIO to remain careful
The complainant has sought information with reference to his complaint letter dated 19 September 2018 sent via Email regarding mass copying and other irregularities going on in the Vidyavardhaka Law College, Mysuru and also the Karnataka State Law University, Hubli. Provide the details of action taken by UGC on the complaint given by the complainant.
Grounds for Complaint
The CPIO and the FAA have not provided any information
Submissions made by Complainant and Respondent during Hearing:
The complainant submitted that both the CPIO and the FAA have failed to provide the desired information to him and hence penalty may be imposed on the concerned CPIO. He also prayed that he may be compensated to the tune of Rs 20,00,000/- as he has lost one complete year of his studies.
The CPIO submitted that an appropriate reply was given to the complainant on 14.01.2019.
From a perusal of the relevant case records, it is noted that an appropriate reply was given to the complainant on 14.01.2019 whereby he was informed that the complaint was forwarded to the Karnataka State Law University and to the Bar Council of New Delhi and Bar Council of Bangalore. The Commission does not find any flaw in the reply of the CPIO as the action which was taken on the complaint was that the respondent organisation forwarded it to various other organisations for taking necessary action.
On a query to the CPIO as to whether any further action was taken on the complaint by the organisations to whom the complaint was forwarded, the CPIO submitted that after receipt of the CIC’s hearing notice, the matter was once again taken up with the Karnataka State Law University and it was informed that the complaint was dismissed being devoid of any merit and this status was also sent to the complainant.
The Commission holds the appropriate reply was given to the complainant and hence the question of imposing any penalty on the CPIO does not arise. However, there has been a delay of 01 month for which the CPIO is issued a warning to remain careful in future with regard to the timelines laid down in the RTI Act. Further, the complainant could not substantiate the detriment caused to him due to not receiving the information so as to attract the provisions of Sec 19(8)(b).
In view of the above observations, the Commission upholds the submissions of the CPIO. However, the concerned CPIO is cautioned to remain careful while handling the RTI applications and ensure that timely replies are given to all the applications handled by him.
The Complaint is disposed of accordingly.
Vanaja N. Sarna
Citation: Martin Sujay v. University Grants Commission in File No.: CIC/UGCOM/C/2019/103825, Date of Decision: 26/08/2020