Misplaced file: 17 years on, CIC tells DDA to pay up Rs 50,000
Subhash Chander’s land was acquired during Emergency; DDA certificate in 1989 said it would compensate him but it did not.
New Delhi, July 22: The Central Information Commission (CIC) has asked the Delhi Development Authority(DDA) to pay a compensation of Rs 50,000 to an appellant, who was made to run around for 17 years after his file was misplaced by officials.
Appellant Subhash Chander’s piece of land was acquired during the Emergency by the Delhi Development Authority .
He received a certificate from the Delhi Development Authority in 1989 that he would be given a plot of land, apart from being compensated.
Subsequently, he wrote several letters to the Delhi Development Authority for honouring this assurance, and in the process, nearly 17 years passed.
Finally, he filed an Right T to Information (RTI) application with the Delhi Development Authority requesting inspection of file notings and daily progress made in his application so far.
The Delhi Development Authority replied that locating the file would be difficult as it was an old record.
However, Public Information Officer (PIO) has been advised to make further efforts in locating the record, it said in its reply.
Not satisfied, he filed an application before the Central Information Commission. Information Commissioner OP Kejriwal, in his order, said DDA’s response for misplacing the file seemed to imply that the Department “has a right to misplace or lose a file only because it is old”.
The Commission said, “the officer concerned feels that the Delhi Development Authority almost has a right to misplace or lose a file only because it is old. The Commission would like to advise the officer sending such a reply to go to the National Archives at Janpath and see how more than 200-year old records are preserved. It may be an education to her”.
The Commission also directed the Delhi Development Authority to pay compensation to the appellant saying that the appellant went through a period of great anxiety and uncertainty because of the callousness of the Delhi Development Authority for years.
“No amount of financial compensation could be considered enough for putting a citizen through such mental torture. However the Commission directs the Delhi Development Authority to pay Rs 50,000 as token compensation to him. The Commission feels that this amount should be recovered from the persons who have handled the file so casually,” the order said.