At, Kerala State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission Thiruvananthapuram
By, THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE S.S. SATHEESACHANDRAN
By, PRESIDENT & THE HONOURABLE MR. V.V. JOSE
For the Petitioner: B. Jayasankar, Advocate. For the Respondents: R1, N. Satheesh Kumar, Advocate.
S.S. Satheesachandran. President
Revision arises from the Order passed in I.A.12/2016 in CC 93/2015 by the Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum for short ‘District Forum’, Malappuram. Respondent file
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the above complaint claiming compensation from Principal Secretary of Local Self Government and two other public officials alleging that for information sought under Right to Information Act, for short RTI Act, excess charges were realised to send information through post. Maintainability of the complaint was challenged by the two public officials, 2nd and 3rd opposite parties, filing the above I.A before the Forum. The main objection canvassed was that with respect to anything connected with RTI Act, the appropriate forum thereof has to be approached for redressal of grievance, if any, and the consumer court cannot entertain complaint thereof. Negativing that objection the Forum held that complaint is maintainable. Against that Order 3rd opposite party-Secretary of Panchayath has filed this revision.2. Notice was given to respondent, but, he has elected to remain absent.3. We heard counsel for revision petitioner.4. The National Disputes Redressal Commission, New Delhi in SANJAY KUMAR MISHRA V PIO STATE INFORMATION COMMISSION (Vol.I(2015)CPJ 335(NC) has categorically held that a person seeking information under the RTI Act cannot claim to be a consumer and approach the Consumer Forum alleging that there was deficiency of service by the Information Officer or any other person who has to supply the information applied for. The National Commission has observed that mere payment of consideration in the form of fee and additional fee coupled with supply of information being seemingly covered within definition of service, is not conclusive. RTI Act is a complete code in itself and person seeking information under the provisions of RTI Act cannot be said to be consumer is unequivocally held in the above decision rendered by the National Commission. View taken by District Forum holding otherwise is patently erroneous and unsustainable in law.Revision is allowed. Complaint filed by the respondent shall stand struck of from the file of District Forum.