Information regarding hospital verification for medical reimbursement & visits undertaken by Rajasthan circle was provided but the PIO omitted information about one employee - Appellant: PIO should be penalised - CIC: no penalty as no deliberate denial
Information regarding all hospital verification for medical reimbursement & visits undertaken by Rajasthan circle was sought - Appellant: information was provided but the respondent omitted the information about one employee, PIO should be penalised - PIO: there was no intent whatsoever to deny any information and the moment the appellant clarified the position the information was supplied to him - CIC: there was no deliberate denial, no penalty
The applicant has sought the following information:-
(a) List of indoor treatment cases regarding visit verification of admission of patient in hospitals of your circle as per hospital record for medical reimbursement claim received in Rajasthan circle from other circles within period of last 3 years.
(b) List of indoor treatment cases regarding visit verification for admission of patient in hospitals of your circle as per hospital record for medical reimbursement claim verified by your circle within period of last 3 years.
Grounds for the Second Appeal: The CPIO has not provided the satisfactory information.
Relevant Facts emerging during Hearing: The following were present
Appellant: Mr. Ganesh Ram Burdak through VC Respondent: Mr. Himmat Ram CPIO’s representative. The appellant stated that he does not need any information but pointed out that the CPIO has not provided the correct information in response to his RTI application dated 18/08/2012. He contended that in his 1st appeal he had cited the case of one Sh. Jeet Singh and only thereafter the respondent provided the details of the said case. The CPIO’s representative stated that the appellant’s query (2) was misunderstood. He explained that the then CPIO had presumed that the appellant was seeking information regarding hospital verification visits carried out for patients of Rajasthan circle but later the appellant clarified in his 1st appeal that he was also seeking information regarding cases referred from outside the circle and the information was accordingly provided vide letter dated 29/11/2012. The appellant contested stating that in query (2) he had sought information regarding all hospital verification visits undertaken by Rajasthan circle irrespective of the posting of the employee and as such the respondent should not have omitted the information about Mr. Jeet Singh. He pleaded that penal proceedings should be initiated against the respondent. The CPIO’s representative reiterated that there was no intent whatsoever to deny any information and the moment the appellant clarified the position the information was supplied to him.
The information has been provided to the appellant. As regards the appellant’s plea for initiating penal proceedings against the CPIO, it will be apt to quote the observations made by the Hon’ble Delhi High Court in its decision dated 02/02/2012 (W.P.(C) 766/2010 & CM No. 1611/2010) while quashing the penalty order passed by the Commission:- “The aspect of levy of penalty on the PIO is governed by Section 20 of the Right to Information Act (RTI Act). It states that the CIC may at the time of deciding any complaint or appeal impose penalty on the CPIO, where he is of the opinion that the CPIO has, without any reasonable cause, refused to receive an application for information or has not furnished information within the time specified under sub-section (1) of section 7 or malafidely denied the request for information or knowingly given incorrect, incomplete or misleading information or destroyed information which was the subject of the request or obstructed in any manner in furnishing the information. The crux of the said provision is that the PIO should have obstructed the supply of the information with intent or should have acted consciously and deliberately in a manner so as to block the provision of the information.” In this case, it cannot be said that the CPIO acted consciously and deliberately with intent to deny the information sought by the appellant. Imposition of penalty on the CPIO, therefore, would not be justified. The matter is closed.
Citation: Mr. Ganesh Ram Burdak v. BSNL in File No. CIC/BS/A/2013/000022/4336