PING PONG RTIDelhi Government 38 Departments are allowing Ping Pong with RTI Applications, claims the RTI Applicant. A senior Citizen RTI Application asking for handicapped pension for his wife was transferred to 29 Public Information Officers (PIOs). Among those authorities, some of them transferred the application to each other.  The issue is in fact, multiple transfers of the RTI application from CM office to a number of PIOs, spending huge amount of money on the correspondence and yielding nothing.

Can Govt spend public money on such purposeless transfers? There appears to be a serious governance crisis as the appellant and the citizens similarly placed, are not getting any information under the RTI Act from Delhi Government, noted CIC.

Applicant stated that “When the question was nonpayment of pension, it is supposed to be decided by the office of the CM, and it cannot simply shirk its responsibility by transferring the RTI application to the MCD”. 

Ping Pong with RTI Application

The Commission finds larger public interest in the RTI request filed by the appellant. It is a major human rights problem for lakhs of pensioners who are found eligible to receive pension according to the Govt schemes and are not getting the pension.

The appellant in this case questioned how the government could permit its 38 departments to spend money in transferring his RTI application and build up a huge file of papers. Is there no financial crunch for such activity? He also questioned that the Govt representatives attending the hearings in 1st/2nd appeals, are using the govt vehicles or private taxies paid by office, for which funds are available. When the government does not release the funds for payment of pension, how can the civic bodies and the departments can give any information on nonpayment of pension? The CMO should have replied the appellant that they are not in a position to release the funds and that they cannot pay pension. Instead they have transferred to various departments without leading to disclosure of any information.

The Commission, therefore, directed the CMO to furnish a white paper on the status of all kinds of pensions in Delhi Government, reasons for nonpayment, time of resumption of payment of pension, time of payment of arrears, etc within 20 days from the date of receipt of this order.

The decision can be read here!

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  1. The amount should be recovered from the salaries of the officers concerned. Otherwise the court imposed fine is put into the government accounts.

  2. All said and done, though the CIC’s ruling in this case is far reaching, it still did not meet the ends of justice, that is, it didn’t guarantee delivery of pension to the applicant’s wife. Warning the PIOs or punishing them by Information Commissions and Courts is like whipping up a dead horse. A fine of Rs. 25,000/- is nothing but a pittance for any PIO, that is any government official, nowadays. Any dispute about it? Departmental action: How many PIOs were actually punished in which departments, please? Any statistics? Unless departmental inquiries were held openly and punishments recorded in the service books of the concerned guilty officials and the extracts of the same put in the public domains of the departments, how to believe that the orders of the ICs or Courts were carried out? Well, all this is secondary. Primarily, as responsible and tax-paying citizens, we should aim at actual justice delivery, not the penalty or punishment to a guilty official. Unfortunately, that is not happening in our country.


  4. Great decision. The decision demonstrated as to the real power of IC and how to benefit entire sect of victims, with just one application. But alas, the pathetic position, is CM himself a well known activist has not done this improvement. One can celebrate only, if there are no appeals against the decision before HC. Let us observe the step of CM and the positive response. Hope this decision pleases ruling party and they may reward IC with Lokpal posting. (if they are really sincere in recognising merit)

  5. WOW!!
    The Commission further directs the CMO to change the practice of routine transfer of RTI applications to the subordinate offices when the RTI application demands action from the CMO. The Commission directs the CMO to pay a compensation of Rs.1,00,000/¬ to the appellant and initiate action against all the PIOs who unnecessarily transferred the RTI application to others and recover Rs.100/¬ from each of these PIOs and the same may be credited to the CM welfare fund.

    1. Based upon their decisions, Information commissions should be rewarded by a committee comprising of eminent persons from non-political bkgrnd. Till that time, our support & praise for Hon’ble IC SA may encourage other ICs to perform better. RTI ki jai ho!