As reported by Jeeva in timesofindia.indiatimes.com on 18 February 2011:
Denial of RTI info amounts to deficiency in service: Forum - The Times of India
Denial of RTI info amounts to deficiency in service: Forum
CHENNAI: Applicants can now approach consumer courts (apart from the state or central information commission) for compensation in case they are denied information by a public authority to applications under the Right to Information (RTI) Act.
Delivering a landmark order to this effect recently on a complaint filed by R Rajakumar of Pudukottai, the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum in Thoothukudi asked a constituent college of Manonmaniam Sundaranar University to pay Rs 20,000 compensation to the complainant for failing to reply to his RTI application.
In October 2009, Rajakumar filed a petition with the university under the RTI Act seeking information pertaining to the copy of applications of women BSc computer science students received by St Mary's College, a constitutent of the university, in 2006-07. He affixed a court fee stamp of Rs 10 towards the application fee but didn't get a reply within the stipulated 30 days.
He then moved the district consumer forum saying he had paid the prescribed fee and hence he should be treated as a consumer. And the failure to reply to his queries would amount to deficiency in service, he argued and prayed for compensation under the Consumer Protection Act.
The university said the complainant could not be considered a consumer as the fee paid by him was fixed by the government for information under the RTI Act. The consumer forum did not have the jurisdiction to hear the complaint, it said adding that the complainant could only prefer an appeal with the appellate authority under the RTI Act.
The university also said it had forwarded Rajakumar's RTI application to St Mary's college but that the college said the information had already been furnished to the complainant in May 2009 and hence it wasn't necessary to give it again.'
Forum president M Ramachandran and members GP Bhadra Thulasi and S Leonard Vasanth said they had the jurisdiction to hear the complaint since it was a case of deficiency in service.
The National Consumer Disputes Redessal Commission had already made a ruling to this effect in SP Thirumala Rao Vs Municipal Commissioner, Mysore City Municipal Corporation case, they added.
Holding the college liable for deficiency in service, the forum said it had to provide the information even if the same had already been provided as the complainant had filed a fresh RTI application with the prescribed fee.
By Atul Patankar
As reported at news.oneindia.in on February 18, 2011
Chandigarh, Feb 17 (PTI) Punjab and Haryana High Courttoday directed the dismissal of police officials convicted ofmurder and sought a compliance report by February 21.
After resumed hearing of a PIL filed by a local advocate,a Division Bench of High Court comprising Chief Justice RanjanGagoi and Justice A G Masih today directed the PunjabGovernment to immediately remove all those police officials,referred to in the PIL, who have been retained in servicedespite their conviction on murder charges.
In his plea, the petitioner alleged that as perinformation procured by him under the RTI Act, two DeputySuperintendents of Police - Ravinder Kumar and RajinderpalAnand - despite conviction for murder under section 302 IPCand having been sentenced to life imprisonment, are stillretained in service.
While Ravinder Kumar, who was earlier dismissed fromservice, was again taken back in service when his sentence wassuspended, the other DSP, Rajinderpal Anand, who was convictedon December 16th, 2007, has not still been removed fromservice purportedly on the ground that approval for hisdismissal has yet not been received from PPSC.
The PIL also referred to five other cases - of ASIMalvinder Singh, Constable Manjit Singh, InspectorHarinderpal Singh, Head Constable Jaswant Singh and ConstableGurcharan Singh - all similarly dismissed from service whenconvicted for murder, but subsequently reinstated on grant ofbail.
The petitioner had contended that under Rule 16.2 (2) ofthe Punjab Police Rules, "an enrolled officer convicted andsentenced to imprisonment on a criminal charge shall bedismissed, provided that in case the conviction of a policeofficer is set aside in appeal or revision, the officerempowered to appoint him shall review his case keeping in viewthe instructions issued by the Government in this behalf."
The PIL had contended that the police officers convictedfor heinous charge of murder cannot be expected to discharge their duties for protection of life and liberty of the citizens and for preserving law and order in an impartial andlawful manner.
After hearing R S Bains, Counsel for petitioner, theBench directed the State Government to immediately take actionfor removal of all the police officials named in the PIL, whohave been convicted for murder charges under section 302 IPC,and to report compliance by February 21, and thereafter adjourned the PIL for further hearing on Monday next for further orders.