CIC slaps Rs 10,000 fine on NCW

The National Commission for Women (NCW) failed to provide information on the 2006 Nithari killings under Right to Information Act (RTI)

New Delhi: Rapping the National Commission for Women (NCW) for failing to provide information under the Right to Information Act (RTI) on the 2006 Nithari killings, the Central Information Commission (CIC) has asked the women’s rights panel to pay Rs 10,000 to the appellant for the delay.

Commodore (retired) Lokesh K Batra had filed an application under the RTI in December 2007 about NCW members and money spent on their tours during February 2005 to Decemebr 2006 — between the phase when the first Nithari killing took place to the period when the gruesome killings surfaced.

Chief Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah in a ruling on Tuesday found that details were not furnished to Batra as the Commission had not maintained any records, reports media.

“In the present circumstances, because of the incapacity of the public authority to maintain what must be regarded as basic information, like records of tours of members of the NCW at public expense and public distribution, are basic information not only required to be maintained but in fact to be maintained in a manner and the form which facilitates the right to information under this Act,” Habibullah observed.

The CIC has asked the Commission to review its record in consultation with the National Informatics Centre (NIC).

“All required basic information regarding the structure of the NCW together with details of all complaints received and acted upon, with details of action taken will be compiled and uploaded on the NCW website within 45 working days,” he said.

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The CIC has also asked the NCW to pay Rs.10,000 as compensation to Batra within 15 days for the pain suffered by him because of inadequacy of record keeping by the Commission.

“There is a complete lack of functional system at the NCW and they failed to furnish basic details in the past 18 months. In an order passed in August 2008, the CIC had rapped the NCW for not maintaining their files and records properly,” Batra said.

The Commission had then asked the Women and Child Development (WCD) Ministry to improve the NCW’s functioning by instituting “a regular administrative structure” for it, in accordance with the RTI Act, 2005, to maintain records. The Ministry had been given 30 days to accomplish this and inform the CIC.

“To know how the order was complied with, I filed an RTI application June 12 with the WCD Ministry to ascertain the compliance details of CIC order, and found it had not taken any action for nearly ten months,” Batra said.

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