The CIC on Wednesday criticised the office of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for “not applying its mind” before ‘unnecessarily’ transferring petition of a senior citizen.
The Central Information Commission added that it found it “pathetic that such an high office like CMO evolves an unhealthy practice of forwarding RTI applications for an unlimited period, thereby causing the denial of information to the appellant regarding the non-payment of pension to his eligible handicapped wife.”
According to PTI, the CIC also directed the CMO to furnish a white paper on the status of all kinds of pensions in Delhi government, reasons for non-payment, time of payment of arrears and time of resumption of payment of pension etc. within 20 days.
The Information Commissioner Sridhar Acharyulu instructed to pay a compensation of Rs. one lakh to applicant Charanjeet Singh Bhatia and initiate action against all the Public Information Officers (PIOs) who “unnecessarily” transferred the application to others.
“CMO has not applied its mind to the serious issue raised by the appellant and acted like a post office by simply forwarding his RTI application to other departments, who in turn, went on transferring to other departments,” Acharyulu was quoted by the PTI.
Acharyulu also alleged that neither the CMO nor other officers were willing to inform the applicant the reason for not paying the pension or when they can start paying the pension.
Bhatia had filed an RTI request seeking information on non-payment of his wife’s pension for 10 months between July 2014 and April 2015. The cheques of three months April-June, 2014 were delivered to him in February 2015, after eight months.
Kejriwal, before joining politics had played a pivotal role in the passing of RTI act. His years of campaign for RTI had earned him the prestigious Magsaysay Award.