It took the UT Education Department nearly two months to give a non-reply to an application moved under the Right to Information (RTI) Act.

The question was how many children have been admitted under the weaker sections category. And the reply? “The information shall be supplied in due course of time”.

The questioner was Dharamvir, Chief Coordinator, Bhim Yuva Parishad, of Sector 39-C, who had moved the application under the RTI Act on September 12.
The reply came today.
“After one month was over, I went to the DPI office. I was told the reply had been already sent. But the truth is that no reply was dispatched to me. After repeated attempts when I met an officer in the department, he handed me the reply. I was shocked after reading it,” said Dharmavir.

In the application, Dharmavir had asked five questions:
1. How many private schools in the city have been allotted land on concessional prices.
2. As per the UT Administration, what is the quota reserved for admission to children belonging to weaker sections.
3. What are the parameters required for admitting such children in the schools, like annual income of the parents.
4. How many poor children have been given admission in how many schools.
5. List of the schools in which children belonging to poor sections have been granted admissions.

Apart from the reply to the second and third question, the rest are vague.
In response to the first query, the department has said the information is not available with it and should be procured from the Estate Office. “This is just evading one’s responsibility. It is clearly mentioned in Section 6 of the RTI Act that any department which doesn’t have a certain information should transfer the application to the concerned department. It is clearly visible from the reply of the DPI that no efforts were made to make a correspondence with the Estate office,” said Dharamvir.

The answers to the fourth and fifth questions have been summarised in one sentence - the information will be supplied in due course of time.

“What do they mean by due course of time? Are they going to take a year to maintain a record? I had just asked them about the data pertaining to this year. It’s their responsibility to maintain the data,” said Dharamvir.

When contacted, DPI (S), Ashwini Kumar said: “Actually, the application was not sent under proper authority as there was some confusion. I will look into the matter.”

RTI reply: ‘Information to be given in due time’