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IS RTI applicant a consumer as defined under Consumer Protection Act - See the details in this post.


munirathnam
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Hi All,

 

NCDRC, in case of REVISION PETITION NO. 4061 OF 2010 (Against the Order dated 14/09/2010 in Appeal No. 1163/2010 of the State Commission Karnataka) Held that:

 

"Petitioner, in order to sort out the controversy with respect to his pensionary benefits, filed an application under Right to Information Act, 2005 (hereinafter referred to as ‘the RTI Act, 2005’) in the office of Opposite party No.4. Opposite party No.4 failed to provide the information. Petitioner then filed the complaint before the District Forum, which was allowed and a direction was issued to opposite party No.4 to furnish the required information.

 

Respondent, being aggrieved, filed an appeal before the State Commission, which has been allowed by observing thus :

 

“At the outset it is not in dispute that complainant had filed an application u/s 6 & 7 of the Right to Information Act to the OP No.4. But complainant cannot be considered as a consumer as defined under the C.P. Act since there is a remedy available for the complainant to approach the appellate authority u/s 19 of the RTI Act, 2005.”

 

 

 

We agree with the view taken by the fora below. Petitioner cannot be claimed to be a consumer under the Consumer Protection Act. There is a remedy available for him to approach the Appellate Authority under Section 19 of the RTI Act, 2005. Dismissed.

 

 

What we can we say now....?

 

I did not find the judgement of Karnataka State Commission in Appeal No. 1163/2010. Not sure why only this appeal judgment is not available along with the judgments.

 

I would say people shall continue to file consumer complaints against the PIO/PA by invoking the section 3, 2(1)(d)(ii) and 2(1)(g) of CP Act.

 

Let the NCDRC finalise the issue. Wish you gud luck.

 

Dear Malhotra Sir,

 

Do you say that the citation mentioned in this post can not be reproduced and no need to believe this Order.

 

Do you advice the RTI applicants to proceed refering earier decisions to relief from CPA.

 

What is the meaning of your post above that say: [bNo, we do not indulge in witch hunt. There is no reason to believe anything that can not be reproduced . [/b]

 

But it was referred in NCDRC while arguments and also the citation reference is part of the NCDRC Order. It does not matter whether the RTI applicant argued in the State Commission or not. In the natural justice point of NCDRC may consider the CP Act and pass orders.

 

Dear Dr.Malhotra Sir,

 

I have sme quiries as below:

 

1.Which provision of the RTI Act say that it is special Act, similarly which provision of CP Act say that it is general law.

 

2. If compensation calim is more than Rs.25,000/- then definitely RTI Act alone wont serve the purpose, am I correct.

 

3.If compensation claim is less than Rs.25,000/- and if the RTI applicant is already got order on second appeal or complaint before the Information Commission, then certainly the complaint before CP Act is not maintainable, am I correct?

 

4. If complaint under CP Act and also the complaint under RTI Act both are pending for claim more than Rs.25,000/-, then both the Information Commission and Consumer Forum shall hear the case till end to decide the replief, am I correct?

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(1). RTI applicant is a consumer as settled by NCDRC un Dr. Thirumala rao case, that citation uploaded in other threads.

 

(2). So CPA is applicable for deficit service under RTI.

 

(3). Thirumala rao from mysore, the karnataka state commission order was questioned before NCDRC by thirumala rao and the issue was settled that the RTI applicant is a consumer as he availed service of RTI for consideration by paying Rs. 10/=

 

 

(4). I think thirumala rao case was not placed before the karnataka state commission in the case posted here.

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NCDRC has not treated RTI applicant as consumer because applicant has other remedies under RTI Act. In this connection Commission should have taken section 3 of CPA which reads as under, into consideration:

 

“3. Act not in derogation of any other law.- The provisions of this Act shall be in addition to and not in derogation of the provisions of any other law for the time being in force.”

 

It is settled principle that if citizen has multiple choices to approach for redressal, he can decide which route to take. It is his prerogative.

 

Following paras' are worth considering:

 

The Hon’ble Supreme Court in “State of U.P. & Others Versus Jeet S. Bisht & Anr., 2007 (3) CLT 10”, wherein the Hon’ble Supreme Court has specifically held that court cannot add or substitute word in a statute. By judicial verdict the court cannot amend the law made by the Parliament or State Legislature. It has been further held by the Hon’ble Supreme Court in the said authority that mere a direction of the Hon’ble Supreme Court without laying down any principle of law is not a precedent. It is only where the Hon’ble Supreme Court lays down a principle of law that will amount to a precedent. The courts are subordinate to law and not above the law.

 

 

It was further held by the Hon’ble Supreme Court that if parties approach both the Forums created under any other Act and the 1986 Act (Consumer Protection Act, 1986), it is for the Forum under the 1986 Act to leave the parties either to proceed or avail the remedies before the other Forums depending upon the facts and circumstances of the case. [mostly in Chairman, Thiruvalluvar Transport Corporation Versus Consumer Protection Council, (1995) 2 SCC 479]

 

23. The Hon’ble Supreme Court of India in “Neeraj Munjal and Others Versus Atul Grover (Minor) and another, 2005 (3) CLT 30”, in para 10 and 11 of the judgment has held that the courts could not deprive the parties from a remedy, which is otherwise available to them in law. It has been further held that a court of law has no jurisdiction to direct a matter to be governed by one statute when provisions of another statute are available.

24. In “State of U.P. & Others Versus Jeet S. Bisht & Anr., 2007 (3) CLT 10” (supra), the Hon’ble Supreme Court has held that the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 has been enacted for better protection of the interest of the consumers. The said Act is in addition to and not in derogation of the provisions of the any other law for the time being in force.

 

I am attaching NCDRC judgement dated 31-03-2011. I could not locate judgement dated 14-09-2010 in appeal No. 1163/2010 of Karnataka State CDRC. Decision of Bellary Dist CDF dated 07-01-2010 of CC No. 111/2009 is posted at FILED ON:.

NCDRC 310311 NEGATIVE.pdf

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The technicalities of consumer laws can not be adequately addressed on this forum . Most of the members on this forum [ including myself ] are commoners and not legal experts . So I am directing you to a better place :

Lawyersclubindia - Law, Lawyers, Advocates, Law Firms,Legal Help, Legal Experts,Judgements, Social Network for Lawyers, Legal Community, Law Help, Indian Lawyers

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Here is a recent one: ‘Info officer is service provider’

 

(As reported by: Hetal Vyas, TNN | Jan 7, 2012, 05.24AM IST)

BANGALORE: In an order of farreaching consequences, a city consumer court has ruled that a government employee working as a public information officer (PIO) is also a "service provider".

 

Hearing a complaint filed by a 62-year-old Halasuru resident, the 2nd additional district consumer disputes redressal forum, Seshadripuram, directed PIO and BBMP assistant executive engineer Bhagavan to pay Rs2,000 to the complainant for failing to provide him information sought under the Right To Information (RTI) Act.

 

A bench of H V Ramachandra Rao and Balakrishna V Masali also directed the PIO to provide the information sought by G Gajendra, a resident of Purushottam Road, Halasuru within 45 days. Gajendra had, in July last, sought information on asphalting of Purushottam Road, Halasuru between January 1, 2000 and July 28, 2011. He had also sought the road history of the ward and documents pertaining to permission granted for road cutting to lay underground drainages and Cauvery water pipeline by BWSSB in this area.

 

 

The complainant told the court that the mandatory period for furnishing the requisite information under the RTI Act was 30 days. However, the PIO remained silent despite receiving the application, making it tantamount to gross deficiency of service. Gajendra had sought a compensation of Rs5,000 from the court.

 

"The complainant had sought information under the RTI Act, which was not supplied to the complainant. This amounts to deficiency of service on the part of the PIO," the court ruled. It said that the PIO was dutybound to provide the required information to Gajendra because the latter had paid the fee under the RTI Act.

 

In his defence, the PIO argued that the said information came under the jurisdiction of Shivajinagar division office and denied any deficiency in service on his part. Not buying the officer's argument, the court ruled that it was the PIO's duty to send the required information to the complainant's address.

 

"This was not done by the officer. Thus, there has been gross deficiency of service on the part of the PIO," said the judges. "The complainant had availed of the services under the RTI Act by paying a fee. He had sought information under the RTI Act, which was not supplied. This amounts to deficiency of service on the part of the PIO," said the Second additional district consumer disputes redressal forum.

 

Source: ‘Info officer is service provider’ - The Times of India

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Members are requested to read and upload various decisions of the Consumer Foras in this thread:

 

http://www.rtiindia.org/forum/80263-compiled-list-successful-consumer-complaints-rti-cases.html

 

(If not already uploaded there)

 

This will make it easy for members and guests to see all Consumer Fora decisions in one single place.

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Hi All,

 

I have filed complaint before District Consumer Forum against the police for refusing to supply information under RTI Act. The District Consumer said that complaint is rejected on the ground that the RTI applicant is not consumer under CPA the citation used fo rthis is the same what I posted in this discusssion.

 

I have stated that the RTI applicant is consumer as per section 2(1)(o) of CPA and the remedy that I am seeking for deficiency of service is not covered under RTI Act and the remeday I am seeking compensation in addition to any other act by invoking the section 3 of RTI Act.

 

Also I stated that the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India in “Neeraj Munjal and Others Versus Atul Grover (Minor) and another, 2005 (3) CLT 30”, in para 10 and 11 of the judgment has held that the courts could not deprive the parties from a remedy, which is otherwise available to them in law. It has been further held that a court of law has no jurisdiction to direct a matter to be governed by one statute when provisions of another statute are available.

 

 

Please add your comments ....

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