FSO cannot force BPL card holders to sign no complaint letters: CIC
Disposing a second appeal by ration card holder, Usha Devi, the CIC objected to procurement of letters from ration card holders stating that they had no complaints against the ration shops. The Commissioner Prof Madabhushi Sridhar, (M. Sridhar Acharyulu) said on 24.9.2014: as per National Food Security Act 2013, Public Distribution System (Control) Order, 2001 and the Public Distribution System Control Order, 2001 not only the applicant is entitled to information about the stock and sale details of FPS shop but also the people in general. The public authority was also under obligation to ensure that the record of FPS shop is maintained properly, as allotment of the food grains is done in accordance to it only. The Commission finds it necessary to remind the PIO and Public Authority that they have a duty to provide information both under RTI Act and NFS Act besides having to duty to enquire into the complaint/ redress grievance of the card holders.
The PIO told the Commission that they also need to build a file to counter the campaign of NGOs through BPL card holders who are directed to file multiple RTI application against the Fair Price Shop Dealers. The BPL card holders do not even dare to give a complaint against the dealers, though they do not receive ration regularly. They quietly suffer the breach of ration supply norms. But it is quite uncommon and almost impossible that such illiterate woman like appellant to write a letter especially to the FSO that she had no complaint at all. Nowhere, were they permitted to procure forced letters of ‘no-complaint’. It is a serious obstruction to access to information, directs the PIO and Public Authority to give up such anti-RTI and anti Food Security practice immediately. (Ms. Usha Devi Vs. Food & Supply, GNCTD, Delhi CIC/DS/A/2013/002484-SA)