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Latest judgement by ncdrc revision petition no. 3396 of 2013 (request for comments of members)


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callcenjobs

Dear Members,

 

Please find the latest judgement for the benefit of all.

 

 

NATIONAL CONSUMER DISPUTES REDRESSAL COMMISSION

NEW DELHI

 

REVISION PETITION NO. 3396 OF 2013

(From order dated 12.08.2013 in First Appeal No. 433 of 2013 of the

Haryana State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Panchkula)

 

Shri Kali Ram

Son of Late Sh. Hukmi Singh

Residing at 572/20, Om Nagar,

Gurgaon, Haryana-122001 … Petitioner

 

Versus

 

State Public Information Officer-Cum-

Deputy Excise & Taxation Commissioner,

Gurgaon (East), Haryana 122001 … Respondent

 

 

 

 

BEFORE:

 

 

 

HON’BLE DR. S. M. KANTIKAR, PRESIDING MEMBER

 

 

For the Petitioner : In Person

 

 

Pronounced on 9th October, 2013

 

O R D E R

PER DR. S. M. KANTIKAR, PRESIDING MEMBER

 

1. The Complainant, Kali Ram, was a Clerk at Check Post Sikanderpur, Gurgaon under the office of Deputy Excise & Taxation Commissioner, Gurgaon. During his service in the year 1989-90, his Deputy Commissioner recorded some adverse remarks in his Annual Confidential Report (ACR). The complainant made representation against it but it was unheard. Therefore, he sought information from the Public Information Officer (PIO) of

 

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the respondent by an application filed under RTI Act, 2005 but the PIO did not furnish the required information within 30 days and supplied incomplete information after lapse of 28 days thereafter. Therefore, alleging deficiency in service on the part of PIO of opposite party, the complainant filed a complaint before the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, Gurgaon (in short, ‘District Forum’) seeking compensation of Rs.2,00,000/- and sought directions for complete information. The opposite party appeared before the District Forum and stressed upon their point of non-maintainability of such complaint. The District Forum allowed the complaint and held liable the opposite party for deficiency in service and ordered compensation of Rs.5,000/- and Rs.3,000/- as litigation charges to be paid within 30 days.

 

2. Aggrieved by this order of District Forum, the opposite party filed an appeal before the State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Haryana (in short ‘State Commission’).

 

3. It was vehemently argued by the opposite party before the State Commission that as there is provision for filing appeal under the RTI Act, the complainant filed an appeal before the State PIO of the opposite party. The said appeal was dismissed by appellate authority.

 

4. The State Commission relying upon the law laid down by Hon’ble Supreme Court in the case of Khanapuram Gandaiah vs. Administrative Officer and Ors AIR 2010 SC 615 wherein it was held that the remedy for a

 

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party aggrieved against the order of the Public Information Officer lies in a challenge by way of appeal, revision or any other legally permissible mode, allowed the appeal.

 

5. Against the order of State Commission, the complainant filed this revision petition.

 

6. We have heard the petitioner, who is present in person at the admission stage. He argued that there was deficiency in service and the complaint was maintainable.

 

3. The key controversy swirls round the question “Whether there lies a rub for the consumer fora to entertain the case pertaining to the Right to Information Act, 2005 (in short ‘RTI Act’)? The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum partly allowed the complaint on the ground that these cases come within the realm of Consumer Protection Act, 1986. The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum relied upon the following authorities.

 

i) Kalawathi & Others Vs. United Vaish Co-operative thrift & Credit Society Limited, reported in I (2002) CPJ 71 (NC)

ii) Fair Air Engineers Pvt. Ltd., & Anr. V N.K. Modi reported in III (1996) CPJ 1 (SC)

 

iii) DR. S.P. Thirumala Rao vs. Municipal Commissioner, revision petition No. 1975 of 2005 decided on 28th May, 2009

 

 

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4. We do not locate substance in the arguments advanced by the petitioner. First of all, Sections 22 & 23 of the RTI Act, 2005 are crystal clear, and the same are hereby reproduced:-

“22. Act to have overriding effect :- The provision of this Act shall have effect notwithstanding anything inconsistent therewith contained in the Official Secrets Act, 1923 (19 of 1923), and any other law for the time being in force or any instrument having effect by virtue of any law other than this Act. From this, it is beyond doubt that this Act, however, has on overriding effect in that the authorities under this Act may make independent decisions about the question whether such disclosure or non-disclosure has any overriding public interest. Therefore, it may become necessary for the authorities to independently decide whether disclosure of information which itself being an act done in public interest, overweighs the public interest sought to be protected under those enactments.

23. Bar of Jurisdiction of Courts :- No court shall entertain any suit, application or other proceeding in respect of any order made this Act, and no such order shall be called in question otherwise than by way of an appeal under this Act”.

 

Again, Section 19 of the RTI Act, 2005, provides procedure for appeal.

 

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5. This view stands emboldened by a recent judgment by a Bench consisting of Hon’ble Mr. Justice J. M. Malik and Hon’ble Dr. B. C. Gupta in the case of Smt. Tasleem Bint Hussain vs. The State Public Information Officer, revision petition No. 737 of 2013 decided on 1st March, 2013 and the judgment rendered by a Bench headed by Hon’ble Mr. Justice Ashok Bhan, President in the case of T.Pundalika Vs. Revenue Department (Service Division) Government of Karnataka, RP No. 4061 of 2010, decided on 31.03.2011. In this case it was held:-

“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.”.

 

 

 

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6. Again, this Commission also took the same view in RP 3276/2012, Pothireddipalli Sugunavati Vs. Territory Manager, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd., decided on 14.01.2013.

7. Hence, this revision petition is devoid of merits, therefore the same is dismissed.

.…………SD/-………………

 

(S. M. KANTIKAR)

 

PRESIDING MEMBER

 

Naresh/12

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4 answers to this question

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surely karira sir.

 

Subsequently I saw some other CPA judgments posted by you in various threads.

 

Please upload them also in the same "Downloads" section.

 

The idea is to have everything in one section for easy reference.

 

NOTE: While uploading, you will get a "Moderator approval" message. Dont worry, but still upload.

Then send me a PM and I will approve your uploads/attachments.

 

Try to upload only in pdf format.

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