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Central Information Commission: In a recent case before CIC, appellant pleaded that he had received the information after issue of notice of the hearing from the CPIO of the department  concerned and requested for award of compensation on account of the disadvantage suffered by him due to the unjustifiable delay of more than 2 years in providing him the information sought for.

He told the Commission that he had sought the information with regard to a civil case and due to the delay, the information had now become redundant. The appellant said he feels harassed waiting for the information all this while. On the other hand, the CPIO submitted that her predecessor retired in January 2016, and she assumed office only in February 2016.

On hearing both the parties, the Commission decided to take grave exception to the flagrant violation of the RTI Act by the CPIOs of Cantonment Board, Jabalpur and also of the ignorance of the present CPIO regarding the pending RTI applications from the tenure of her predecessor. Commissioner Divya Prakash Sinha observed that it is incumbent upon the present CPIO to deal with all such pending RTI applications and not wait for the Commission to issue notice of hearing to provide reply to RTI applicants.

Most importantly, the Commission directed the public authority through its Chief Executive Officer to compensate the appellant by an amount of Rs. 5000 for the inconvenience and detriment caused to him and disposed the appeal accordingly. [Aabid Hussain v. CPIO, Cantonment Board, Jabalpur, 2017 SCC OnLine CIC 1506, decided on 16.10.2017]