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No penalty for wrong judgment by PIO

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"In the absence of any malafide intention, it would not be appropriate to initiate any action for imposition of penalty on the CPIO. "- CIC


In the decision, CIC had said that "It cannot be said that the CPIO had acted consciously and deliberately with a malafide intention to provide incorrect or misleading information to the complainant. Further, no penalty can be imposed for wrong judgment."


Moreover, in a decision in the matter of Kripa Shanker v. Central Information Commission- judgment dated 18.09.2017 in W. P. ©

No. 8315/ 2017, the High Court of Delhi held that:


“Para13… Indisputably, merely because the view taken by a PIO is not correct, it would not lead to an inference that he is liable to penalty. There may be cases where the PIO is of the view that the information sought is exempt from disclosure under Section 8 of the Act. If this view is subsequently found to be incorrect, it would not

necessarily mean that he would be subjected to penalty. The question of imposition of penalty depends on whether the conduct of PIO is reasonable and whether there is any bona fide justification for denial of information; penalty is levied only if it is found that the information was denied without reasonable cause.”


In view of the above ratio, in the absence of any malafide intention, it would not be appropriate to initiate any action for imposition of penalty on the CPIO.


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Prasad GLN

Every one has his own presumptions and surmises to escape from such penalty and benefit of doubt is always towards PIO. No one is going to enter into the minds of PIO to dig his motives.

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