In a precedent-setting decision, the Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) Wajahat Habibullah ruled that facts sought under the Right to Information Act (RTI) would have to be processed and made available within 30 days of receiving the request and not 30 days after the applicant has paid the fee for the information sought.
Delivering the ruling in December, the CIC held the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCL) is liable to pay compensation to Dr BJ Waghdhare, a resident of Madban in Jaitapur region at Ratnagiri district whose land is among the 980 hectares of property in the region that is sought to be acquired by the government for setting up of two nuclear power plants and a residential colony for its personnel by the NCPL.
Waghdhare had appealed to the CIC that the information sought by him on December 31, 2005 from NCPIL was provided as last as on February 23, 2006. Located in New Delhi, the CIC conducted the hearing through a videoconference. It held that: "NCPL argued that the application was received at a time when the processing of such RTI Act-regulated information was at its infancy in the corporation. Besides, the fees were paid only on January 25, 2006. Therefore the supply of information by February 23, 2006 was not within the stipulated time. This claim that the time limit begins to apply only from the date of receipt of fees is without basis in law."
The CIC added that under the RTI Act provisions, it was incumbent upon NCPL to expeditiously provide the information within 30 days of the receipt of the request on the payment of such fee as may be prescribed. "It is therefore clear that whereas the information may be provided only once the fee is received, it is not up to the public information officer to begin the process of the application for information from the date the fee is received."
The CIC also held NCPL liable for inconvenience that Waghdare suffered as it failed to transfer the request for information sought by him (though unavailable with NCPL) to the appropriate authority. As a result this NPCL's non-compliance, the appropriate authority did not provide the information sought by him.
The CIC has also directed NCPL to provide some more information sought by Waghdhare related to the power projects. Residents of Jaitapur region like Wagdhare are opposing the power plant projects.
I have applied for passport renewal in October 2009 at Lucknow office. I have got information that they have written my address wrongly i.e. in place of Sitapur, Sultanpur. The passport has cancelled and they told me that you have to give application for change in adress. I have given application for the same and yet not recieved my passport. Please let me know what to do with this matter. Its already 9 months past.