Sunday, October 3, 2010

HC orders compensation for not providing info under RTI Act

HC orders compensation for not providing info under RTI Act

PTI | 10:10 PM,Oct 01,2010

New Delhi, Oct 1 (PTI): The Delhi High Court has asked the Public Information Officer of Directorate of Delhi Health Service(DHS) to pay Rs 50,000 as compensation to a poor man for not providing information pertaining to his treatment in a hospital within the stipulated time under RTI Act. 

Justice S Muralidhar upheld Central Information Commission's(CIC) August 20 order and dismissed an appeal filed by DHS challenging the compensation awarded by the CIC. "....Any delay in providing timely information can result in a person belonging to the Economic Weaker Section (EWS) having to needlessly spend valuable resources for medical treatment which should otherwise be available to such person free of cost. 

The present case is an indicator of why many belonging to the EWS category are unable to avail of freeship facility in the hospitals in Delhi," the court said. Puran Chand, a Below Poverty Line(BPL) card holder, was undergoing treatment for a serious disease of compression of the spine in Indian Spinal Injury Center(ISIC), run by Delhi government, and sought freeship facility in August last year. 

However, he was given a bill of Rs 1.75 lakh for the treatment, after which he filed an application under RTI Act for the detailed information. The PIO of DHS had failed to provide information on time and as a result he had to undergo surgery in a private hospital in September last year.


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The RTI Act was passed by the Lok Sabha (Lower House) on 11 May 2005, by the Raj Sabha (Upper House) on 12 May 2005 and received Presidential assent on 15 June 2005. Parts of the Act came into force upon Presidential assent, but the Act came fully into force on 12 October 2005, 120 days after Presidential assent.

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