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The Central Information Commission (CIC) has asked the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) to pay Rs.15,000 as compensation to an RTI applicant who ‘suffered’ because the housing agency provided the information after a delay of about four months.
The decision came on an application filed by Govind Prasad Aggarwal, a resident of Haryana, who had sought some information under the Right to Information (RTI) regarding a DDA flat in Mayur Vihar area of east Delhi.
Aggarwal had filed the RTI application Feb 29, 2008 but got information only after July 28, 2008.
Under the RTI Act, ‘information is required to be provided in 30 days time. In other words, the information should have been provided by the end of March, 2008. However, there was delay of about four months,’ Information Commissioner M.L. Sharma noted in his order last month.
‘It is clear that this matter has passed through the hands of several officials, and, therefore, it is difficult to determine individual responsibility for the purposes of imposition of penalty under the RTI Act. The fact, however, remains that there has been delay of four months in responding to the RTI application,’ Sharma observed.
The DDA officers ‘vehemently’ opposed compensation stating that ‘the matter involved several departments/offices of the DDA,’ which naturally took time.
‘They also plead(ed) that delay was not deliberate…was inherent in the situation…The explanation given by the DDA officers is not found to be satisfactory. The appellant pleads that this has caused him detriments and he requests for compensation,’ Sharma said.
‘Delay of four months has occurred in supply of information to the appellant and thereby the appellant has suffered detriment… On a thoughtful consideration of the matter, we are of the opinion that the ends of justice will be met if compensation of Rs.15,000 is paid to the appellant,’ Sharma directed.

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