NATIONAL CONSUMER DISPUTES REDRESSAL COMMISSION
NEW DELHI
 
REVIEW APPLICATION NO. 110 OF 2018
 
IN
RP/3137/2013
1. VIJAY KUMAR
...........Appellants(s)
Versus 
1. COMPLAINT AUTHORITY (RTI) EMPLOYMENT EXCHANGE & 2 ORS.
...........Respondent(s)

BEFORE: 
 HON'BLE MR. DR. S.M. KANTIKAR,PRESIDING MEMBER
 HON'BLE MR. DINESH SINGH,MEMBER

For the Appellant :
in person
For the Respondent :
For the Respondent s : Ms. Mamta Boora, District
Employment Officer, Panchkula

Dated : 08 Aug 2018
ORDER

ORDER

 

HON’BLE MR. DINESH SINGH, MEMBER

 

1.         The review petitioner - complainant filed a complaint before the District Forum against the competent authority (RTI) Employment Exchange – opposite party no. 1 and the appellate authority (RTI) Employment Exchange – opposite party no. 2.         

2.         On his complaint being dismissed by the District Forum, he filed an appeal before the State Commission against the competent authority (RTI) Employment Exchange – respondent no. 1, the appellate authority (RTI) Employment Exchange – respondent no. 2 and the Director Department                                      Employment Exchange – respondent no. 3 (i.e. he added the departmental Director as a respondent in the appeal).

3.         The original case of the complainant was that he applied for information on unemployment allowance from concerned authority / official of Employment Exchange vide application dated 26.12.2012 under the RTI Act, 2005. He also applied for the required information from higher authorities of Employment Exchange vide application dated 04.02.2013.  No action was taken by the opposite parties. He spent Rs. 865/- besides expenditure on purchase of postal orders. Not supplying the requisite information was deficiency in service.      

4.         The contention of the opposite parties was that the complainant was not a ‘consumer’ under the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 as the Employment Exchange provided free services to the complainant. The complainant did not apply to any of the opposite parties for seeking information under the RTI Act. No appeal under the RTI Act was made to Joint Director Department of Employment Exchange who was the appellate authority (under the RTI Act). The minimum qualification for unemployment allowance was 10+2 whereas the complainant was having qualification of only matric. There was no deficiency in service of any kind (under the Consumer Protection Act, 1986).

5.         The District Forum heard both sides, appraised the evidence and through a reasoned Order dated 05.06.2013 dismissed the complaint, inter alia holding that:

…..Thus there is no evidence that the Ops ever received applications (Annexure C-1) & (Annexure C-3) from the complainant under the provisions of RTI Act. In the absence of any such application, the matter regarding sending of information could not be processed and settled by Ops. After going through the aforesaid discussion, we find that no deficiency in service can be attributed to the opposite parties.

                                                     (para 7 of the Order)

6.         The complainant appealed in the State Commission. The State Commission heard both sides, appraised the evidence and through a reasoned Order dated 05.07.2013 dismissed the appeal, inter alia holding that:

 …..In the present case, the complainant has miserably failed to place on the record any piece of evidence to prove that he moved any application to the opposite parties under the RTI Act and in the absence thereof, the District Consumer Forum was left with no other option but to dismiss the complaint. The order passed by the District Consumer Forum is well reasoned, objective, fair, just and legal, it needs absolutely no interference in this appeal.

 (para 8 of the Order)

7.       Revision was filed by the complainant under Section 21(b) of the Act 1986 against the said Order dated 05.07.2013 of the State Commission, inter alia stating that:

That I have required information for the Unemployment Allowance on the behalf of RTI Act 2005 on 26.12.2012 to the concerned authority/official.

That I have required information from the Higher Authorities of the Employment Exchange on the behalf of RTI Act 2005 on 04.02.2013, 08.4.2013 and 13.6.2013 (Speed Post No. EH338880599IN) but no action has been done.

That the complaints request to the Hon’ble Court ordered to the Employment Exchange Panchkula should pay the amount with interest @ 18% p.m. from 26.12.2012.

That the information applied by the RTI Act 2005 supplied by the Higher Authority i.e. Director Department Employment Exchange Chandigarh on 27.6.2013 but the respondent too late to supply the information.

That the applicant requests to the Hon’ble Court please give me justice and punish the Employment Exchange Department and give me compensation for Rs. Twenty Five Crore Only.

That as per the rules of RTI Act 2005 the respondent shall have to supply the requisite information to the applicant within the stipulated period but the information had not supply….

That the expenditure on purchase the Postal Order from Post Office, Sector-4, Panchkula for Rs. 55 & Rs. 720, Rs. 30, Rs. 10, Rs. 50, 39,770,30,770,30,770,770 respectively.

That my total expenditure of this part of Rs. 4044/-.

That which is again a paramount example of deficiency in services on the part of the respondent. The respondents are liable to be punished accordance with the law.

It is requested that further may be done to me by getting my principle amount with 18% monthly interest till today paid as due to unjustice done by the department with me I am financially and mentally heart. It is requested that I may be got paid compensation of Rs. 25 Crore by the Employment Exchange Department so that the department may not do such injustice with any other person in future.

                        (paras 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9 of the Revision) 

8.         This Commission vide its Order dated 17.12.2013 dismissed the revision, inter alia holding that:

We do not locate substance in the arguments advanced by the petitioner/complainant. First of all, Sections 22 & 23 of the RTI Act, 2005 are crystal clear…

The Commission is certainly not armed with the powers under the RTI Act. It cannot arrogate the powers which do not vest with it. We are supposed to exercise our powers within the parameters of Law. Instead of wasting the precious time of this Commission, the petitioner should approach the proper forum.

In view of the above, the Revision Petition is meritless, hence, dismissed.

     (paras 3,4,8 of the Order

9.         The complainant filed a review petition on 11.12.2017 (through post) seeking review of the Order dated 17.12.2013 of this Commission, inter alia stating that:

That I have required information for the Unemployment Allowance on the behalf of RTI Act 2005 on 26.12.2012 to the concerned authority/official.

That I have required information from the Higher Authorities of the Employment Exchange on the behalf of RTI Act 2005 on 04.02.2013, 08.04.2013 and 13.06.2013 (Speed Post No. EH338880599IN) but no action has been done.

That the complaints request to the Hon’ble Court ordered to the (RTI) Employment Exchange Panchkula should pay the amount with interest @ 18% p.m. from 26.12.2012.

That the information applied by the RTI Act 2005 supplied by the Higher Authority i.e. Director Department Employment Exchange Chandigarh on 27.6.2013 but the respondent too late to supply the information. (copy enclosed Annexure-A at Page No. 25-26).

That I want to the office 200-240 times but always he refused me.

That the expenditure of mine went to the office by taxi i.e. Rs. 760/- per trip and my total expenditure is Rs.1,82,400/-.

That it is requested that further may be done to me by getting in the interest of justice as due to unjustice done by the RTI Department with me I am financially and mentally heart. It is requested that I may be got paid compensation of by the RTI Department so that the department may not do such injustice person in future.

That as per rules of RTI Act 2005 the respondent must have to supply the requisite Information to the applicant within the stipulated period but the information had not supply…

That the Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Ministry has also passed the resolution / Act in March 2015 for the protection of rights of Consumers….

That the Hon’ble Supreme Court/Apex Court has also passed the judgment in this similar case, it find deficiency in service and compensate the petitioner. (Consumer Protection Act 1986 in Section-2 copy enclosed).

That the expenditure to fill up the form and related documents made in the D.C. Office, Sector-2, Panchkula of Rs. 4850/-.

That the expenditure on purchase the Postal Order from Post Office, Sector-4, Panchkula for Rs. 55 & Rs. 720, Rs. 30, Rs. 10, Rs. 50, 39,770,30,770,30,770,770 respectively.

That my total expenditure of this part of Rs. 191294/-.

That which is again a paramount example of deficiency in services on the part of the respondent. The respondents are liable to be punished accordance with the law.

It is requested that further may be done to me by getting my principle amount with 18% monthly interest till today paid as due to unjustice done by the department with me I am financially and mentally heart. It is requested that I may be got paid compensation of Rs. 87 Crore only by the (RTI) Employment Exchange Department so that the department may not do such injustice with any other person in future.

(paras 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11,12, 13, 14, 15 of the Review Petition)

10.       We have heard the review petitioner – complainant in person and the District Employment Officer in person, and perused the record.

11.       Section 21 (b) of the Act 1986 under which the revision was filed is as below:

……to call for the records and pass appropriate orders in any consumer dispute which is pending before or has been decided by any State Commission where it appears to the National Commission that such State Commission has exercised a jurisdiction not vested in it by law, or has failed to exercise a jurisdiction so vested, or has acted in the exercise of its jurisdiction illegally or with material irregularity. 

12.     The State Commission’s Order dated 05.07.2013 is well-reasoned. After re-appraising the evidence, the State Commission concurred with the District Forum. Grave error in appreciating the evidence by the two fora below, as may cause to require re-appreciation of the evidence in revision, is not visible. On the face of it, a jurisdictional error, or a legal principle ignored, or miscarriage of justice, is not visible. There is no reason evident to interfere with the concurrent findings of the District Forum and the State Commission. 

13.     A clear finding of fact has been given by the District Forum that the opposite parties did not receive applications from the complainant under the provisions of the RTI Act (para 5 above). A similar finding of fact has been given by the State Commission that the complainant has miserably failed to place on the record any piece of evidence to prove that he moved any application to the opposite parties under the RTI Act (para 6 above). It has been seen by this Commission that there is no grave error in appreciating the evidence by the two fora below, as may cause to require re-appreciation of the evidence in revision (para 12 above).

14.        The complainant filed a revision petition, and, on it being dismissed, a review petition, notwithstanding that both the fora below had clearly determined that in fact no application had been moved by the complainant or received by the opposite parties i.e. there was no basis in fact for his entire case. The review petition is totally misconceived and devoid of merit.

15.        In his review petition the complainant made various additional / digressive submissions even when the fundamental issue of fact on which his entire case was based had been found to be false. Furthermore he asked for compensation of Rs. 87 crore from the Employment Exchange Department. He also stated that he had visited their offices 200 – 240 times. It is also relevant that along with the complainant in person, the District Employment Officer was also present in person at the time of arguments on the review petition.

16.        It is clearly evident that the complainant is attempting to misuse the statutory processes provided for for better protection of the interest of consumers to create for himself a ‘nuisance value’ in the Employment Exchange and its offices.  

17.     Section 26 of the Act 1986 is as below:

               Dismissal of frivolous or vexatious complaints.—Where a complaint instituted before the District Forum, the State Commission or, as the case may be, the National Commission is found to be frivolous or vexatious, it shall, for reasons to be recorded in writing, dismiss the complaint and make an order that the complainant shall pay to the opposite party such cost, not exceeding ten thousand rupees, as may be specified in the order.

               18.      This is a fit case to direct the complainant to pay cost to the opposite parties. However, having regard to the fact that the opposite parties are government officers / department and the complainant is an unemployed undereducated young person, recourse to the provision of cost provided for in Section 26 of the Act is not being adopted.

               19.     It is but also to be seen that the time and resources of this Commission have been wasted in such manner and for such evident purpose. It is thus appropriate and albeit necessary to give stern advise of caution to the complainant through a token monetary deterrent ( / cost), to desist from misusing the statutory processes provided for a consumer for better protection of his interests under the Consumer Protection Act, 1986. (This Act is not meant to be a tool to create ‘nuisance value’ in government offices).

               20.       In the totality of the case, it is felt just, apt and reasonable that Rs.100/- (rupees one hundred only) may be deposited by the review petitioner – complainant with a registered charity of his choice and the original receipt thereof filed with the Registry of this Commission within four weeks. 

                   21.    The review petition is dismissed with the above direction.

22.     A copy of this Order may be sent to the District Forum and the State Commission as well as to the District Employment Officer by the Registry.

 
......................
DR. S.M. KANTIKAR
PRESIDING MEMBER
......................
DINESH SINGH
MEMBER