Central Information Commission came down heavily over Election Office for not providing details of Voter ID card stating that “It is clear that their inaction and non response to RTI application is violation of both of his rights- right to information and right to vote.”
Citing Krishak Bharti Cooperative Ltd. vs Ramesh Chander Bawa on 14th May, 2010, W.P. (C) 6129/2007, where the Honble Delhi High Court held:
Just as the right to vote of the “little” citizen is of profound significance in a democracy, so is the right to information. It is another small but potent key in the hands of India’s “little” people that can “unlock” and lay bare the internal workings of public authorities whose decisions affect their daily lives in myriad unknown ways…
The Election Office, which spends huge money for campaign for enrolment of voters, but does not prefer to inform the applicant for the voter card under RTI also.
Commission thinks that the Election Office machinery should have been responsive to voter card requirements and RTI applications.
Right to vote and Right to Information
CIC further stated that
The voter has right to information about action on his application for voter card and also RTI under RTI Act. Article 325 of Indian Constitution categorically mandates that there shall be no discrimination in inclusion into the electoral rolls. By negligence or inaction, the Election Office has not included the applicant’s voter card in the electoral list and thus his constitutional right is breached.
There is no statutory provision to give compensation to the applicant who could not get his votercard, which means his Constitutional right to vote, though he was eligible and submitted required documents has no remedy, but RTI Act provides for compensation if there is any loss or detriment caused to the voter.
Thus the Commission directed the Election Office to show cause why suitable compensation should not be ordered to be paid by them to the applicant (for vote and information about not giving voter card). The decision can be read here- CIC_SA_A_2015_002048_M_180194