The Flip Side
While the above two cases give you enough confidence to appeal in consumer forums if dissatisfied by services by PIOs, there are a few rulings that discourage moving to consumer forums. If the RTI Act and its rules are read thoroughly and compared with those of Consumer Protection Act, you get more clarity and realize that the RTI applicant is not really a consumer. Here’s a case that clarified the confusion.
Tarun Agarwal sought a RTI report from the PIO of Urban Improvement Trust, Ajmer, Rajasthan. A proper application was moved along with the statutory fee of one rupee through postal order. The complainant moved to the district consumer forum when he failed to obtain the desired information, instead of escalating the matter with appellate authorities under RTI Act.
The consumer forum found it to be a case of deficiency of service and granted compensation of Rs 1,000 to the complainant. However, the order was challenged before the
While the Commission agreed that the consumer forum was an additional remedy available to the consumer for redressal of his that they could not allow filing of an appeal against the order passed under some different Act (RTI in this
case) and by a different authority. Finally they held that the complainant was ‘not’ the consumer under