The Flip Side

Consumer Voice - - RTI Applicant -

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

th­ese cir­cum­stances.

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