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sidmis

IG in dark over RTI application status

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sidmis

An inspector general (IG) of police, who in March this year filed a Right To Information (RTI) application seeking the status of an inquiry launched against him by the government, is yet to receive any information seven months later.

 

Dr Nazrul Islam, currently IG with the enforcement branch, is a no-nonsense officer, who upset the CPM with a controversial book on his experiences as an IPS officer trying to keep the force insulated from the CPM’s political machinations.

 

Last year, the government’s Vigilance Commission launched an inquiry against him on the basis of a specific complaint. When, a year later, Islam continued to be in the dark about the commission’s findings, he filed an RTI application with the State Public Information Officer (SPIO) of the

Home department (personnel and administrative reforms).

 

The SPIO did not reply to Islam’s application but told the secretary to the Vigilance Commission in a memo dated April 5 (no. 344-PAR (AR)/0/3B-5/2007) that the commission should furnish the information to Islam.

Stonewalled at Step 1, Islam wrote to the department’s Appellate Authority on April 20, citing rules to point out that the SPIO could be “deemed to have refused” his request, as it had failed to give the information he sought.

 

The Appellate Authority, dismissing Islam’s appeal on April 26, issued an order No. 397-P&AR (Vig.) stating that Islam should appeal to the designated officer of the Vigilance Commission.

Stonewalled again, Islam then appealed to the final authority, the State Chief Information Commissioner (SCIC), under Section 19(3) of the RTI Act of 2005, on May 8.

 

The SCIC directed the SPIO of the Home department to furnish the required information to Islam. The SPIO duly furnished the information - but to the SCIC, not to Islam.

While Nazrul Islam continues to be in the dark, The Indian Express has the answers he wants.

 

Islam had sought answers to 13 questions, the most vital being: “What is the present position of the inquiry?” The SPIO’s answer: “Presently, by an order of the Hon’ble High Court, dated 29.07.2006, the matter is lying with the Home Secretary & Additional Chief Secretary, Government of West Bengal (Case No. W.P. 16654(W) of 2006).”

 

Other questions posed by Islam (and their answers): On which date was the preliminary inquiry launched? The answer: on March 1, 2006.

“Was it started on the basis of some complaint, or on its own by the Vigilance Commission, or as per the direction of the Government of WB?” Islam asked next. The reply: It was started on the basis of a specific complaint.

 

From the questions and their answers it is clear the complainant was pseudonymous and his/her name cannot be verified or located. Nor can the commission get the complainant to corroborate the allegations since the complainant’s identity is not known.

 

The commission decided to launch an open inquiry on March 6, 2007 on the basis of the preliminary inquiry. That makes it a record six days!

When contacted, Islam said he is still waiting for a reply. “Being a government official, I cannot say anything more than this,” said Islam.

 

Bidyut Roy

Kolkata, October 25

IG in dark over RTI application status

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karira

As reported by Bidyut Roy on indianexpress.com on 13 February 2008:

IndianExpress.com :: RTI answer: IG’s letter to Buddha lost

 

RTI answer: IG’s letter to Buddha lost

 

KOLKATA, February 12: When Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee took charge for his second term, he told a rally of Government employees: “Hate corruption. Educate others to hate corruption.”

 

Now, his own Secretariat has lost a letter written to the Chief Minister detailing instances of corruption and malpractices by some of his top bureaucrats and police officers.

 

The complainant, Inspector General of Police Nazrul Islam, discovered this after prolonged but futile correspondence with the Home Department, which is under the Chief Minister, followed by a right to information (RTI) application when he got no reply.

 

Islam, who was shunted to the enforcement branch earlier for speaking out his mind on corruption in the Government and ruling party, had written to Bhattacharjee on May 23, 2006, just five days after the Chief Minister was sworn in, listing a series of charges against Chief Secretary Amit Kiran Deb, Vigilance Commissioner S K Datta and Inspector General of Police (Vigilance) M K Mukherjee.

 

On January 3, the West Bengal Information Commission pointed out to the Home Secretary that Islam had furnished a photocopy of the receipt issued by the CM’s Secretariat for his letter, and the department has to give its “views/ comments/ action taken”.

 

It gave the Home Secretary a fortnight to provide a reply. “The commission will decide about the next course of action on receipt of your communication.”

 

Finally, the admission came from the Home Secretary, via a letter by Joint Secretary A G Ghosh: “No information could be furnished as the representation to the Chief Minister, on whose basis it was sought, could not be traced in the department.”

 

The Joint Secretary sought a copy of the letter from Islam.

The IGP told The Indian Express that he had not yet decided whether he would write to the Chief Minister again.

 

“Officially, I cannot comment,” he added.

 

Islam also said that he saw no point in writing again as over the past two years, two of the officials he had written about had retired.

The Chief Secretary and the Home Secretary were not available for comment.

 

In his letter to Bhattacharjee — a copy of which is with the The Indian Express — Islam said a section of the administration had instigated an official inquiry against him on the basis of an anonymous letter, simply because he had raised his voice against their corrupt practices.

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sidmis

Vigilance chief asked to pay damages for ‘illegal’ probe

 

As Reported in the STATESMAN 25 June 2008

 

KOLKATA, June 25: Mr Justice SP Talukdar of Calcutta High Court today fixed a sum of one rupee as cost against the state vigilance commissioner for conducting an “illegal inquiry” against Mr Nazrul Islam the then IG (enforcement) and now IG (welfare) within four weeks of the order.

 

Mr Islam, the petitioner has suffered “serious harassment” by this “illegal inquiry”, it was held.

 

“A wrong has been committed against the petitioner”, it was further held. But his grievance has been settled by the enquiry conducted by the state home secretary, it was further held. Expressing “appreciation” for the stand taken by the petitioner, the court held that an enquiry should be held to find out who ordered the probe on the basis of the “pseudonymous allegation”. The state will prefer an appeal against the order of the Single Bench, Mr Pratik Dhar appearing for the state said. A vigilance enquiry was started against Mr Islam and a team visited the house he had built in the city and the educational trust he had built at Basantpur in Murshidabad. On being summoned by the commission, Mr Islam moved the court and submitted that it was an illegal enquiry.

 

These cases of vigilance should be routed to the commission from the police directorate, his counsel submitted. But this practice was given a go by and taken up directly by the commission, it was submitted. The enquiry against Mr Islam should be conducted not by the commission but by Mr Prasad Ranjan Ray, the then state home secretary and additional chief secretary, the court held in respect of an earlier writ petition filed by Mr Islam. When Mr Islam exercising the Right to Information Act sought to know the details of the charges levelled against him, he received no reply from the commission. n SNS

 

 

The Statesman

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abhijeet

WEST BENGAL INFORMATION COMMISSION

Bhabani Bhaban (2nd Floor), Alipore

Kolkata -700 027

Telefax(033)2479-1966

E-mail : scic-wb@nic.in

Dr. Nazrul Islam

-Vs-

Home Department

Facts on record:

In pursuance of Commission’s order dated 20.11.2009 communicated vide No. 3017 (11)(Order)/WBIC/RTI/946/09 dated 20.11.2009 asking the public authority of Home Department to show cause as to why the Commission should not pass an order to compensate Dr. Nazrul Islam for the detriment and harassment suffered by him for non furnishing of information for a period of more than two years, the SPIO, Home (Political) Department vide No. 375-H/RTI/1A-33/07 dated 03.12.2009 has since furnished a reply to the said show cause notice on behalf of the public authority.

The Commission has considered the reply and has decided to pass the following order:-

Order:

2. It is evident from the reply and from the records available with the Commission that the RTI application preferred by Dr. Islam on 04.06.2007 was received by the SPIO, Home Department within due time. As a matter of routine the SPIO sent the RTI application to the Chief Minister Secretariat since the said application had originated from a letter written by Dr. Islam to the Chief Minister on 23.05.2006. The Chief Minister’s Secretariat, which was also an office under Home (Political) Department informed the SPIO that the said application of Dr. Islam was not received in the Chief Minister’s Secretariat. Apparently nobody in the public authority made efforts enough to verify whether or not the advance copy of the letter was in fact received in the Chief Minister’s Secretariat and whether the original letter reached the Home (Political) Department through proper channel.

3. It was later revealed that the Chief Minister’s Secretariat did in fact receive the advance copy and no record was kept about it and the Home Secretary i.e. Home (Political) Department, did also receive the original application through proper channel from the Director General of Police.

4. When confronted, the Chief Minister’s Secretariat regretted for the lapses, so did, the Home

(Political) Department and the Director General of Police, though precious time was lost in the process and the spirit of the RTI Act has been frustrated. The most disturbing part of this entire episode is that neither the original letter nor the advance copy addressed to the Chief Minister could be traced in the office of the public authority.

5. Additional copy was procured from Dr. Islam and sent to the Home Department by the Commission. The officials of the public authority, however, did not learn any lesson from the previous episode and tossed this copy of the original application to different officers without showing any apparent urgency to dispose of the matter and furnishing Dr. Islam with the information he sought. Though Dr. Islam was generally informed through endorsements about the movement of the matter to different officials, but the crux i.e. disposal of the RTI application was elusive. In fact, the RTI application of Dr. Islam could not be disposed of by the said officials because no action was taken on the original letter, or on the copy thereof, addressed to the Chief Minister.

6. The RTI Act provides specific time frame to all the officers of the public authority to dispose of the RTI application. The Act also provides power to the Commission to take punitive action against the erring officers if they fail to comply with the provisions of the Act. Thanks to the perseverance of Dr. Islam and the constant persuation by the Commission, it has ultimately transpired from the letter No. 796/PAR (AR)/O/3B/2/2008 (Pt. I) dated 21.10.2009 from the SPIO, PAR Department that no action appeared to have been initiated on the allegations made by Dr. Islam in his letter under reference. Therefore, the other queries regarding endorsements, file notes, orders etc. were also not available in the office of the public authority of Home Department and PAR Department.

8. What the SPIO in his reply to the show cause notice has tried to put forth is in fact a chronology of the various correspondences made in a routine manner in the matter which belied any sense of taking utmost effort or urgency in the disposal.

9. This is highly irregular, improper and very casual way of dealing with a query under Right to Information Act, the provisions of which are mandatory, time specific and exacting in nature. The objective of bringing in a practical regime of right to information for citizens to ensure access to information under the control of the public authorities for promoting transparency and accountability in their working has been frustrated in this particular case.

10. The Commission considers that the Home Department, being one of the most important departments of functioning in the Government, shall have to pay a price for such procrastination. The inaction of the public authority in the instant case appears to be impersonal because the officers involved in the process acted within their limited spheres without showing any urgency to go beyond to implement the spirit of the Act in practice. Here the public authority failed to understand and implement the provisions of the Act in its true spirit which it could have if it had gone beyond normal bureaucratic practices.

11. The Commission therefore orders in exercise of its power conferred upon it by the provisions u/s 19(8) (b) of the RTI Act, 2005 that the public authority of Home (Political) Department shall, within a period of one month, pay a compensation of Rs. 50,000/- (Rupees fifty thousands) to Dr. Islam in the form of a demand draft / banker cheque for the detriment and harassment caused to him.

A report of compliance shall be sent to the Commission immediately thereafter.

Sd/-

Date:15.12.2009 (ArunKumar Bhattacharya)

State Chief Information Commissioner

No. 3307 (4) (Order)-WBIC/RTI/946/09 Date: 15.12.2009

Authenticated true copy forwarded to:

  • The Additional Chief Secretary & Principal Secretary, Home Department, Writers’ Buildings, Kolkata-700 001.
  • The Appellate Authority, Home (RTI) Department, Writers’ Buildings, Kolkata-700 001,
  • The State Public Information Officer, Home (RTI) Department, Writers’ Buildings, Kolkata -700 001.
  • Dr. Nazrul Islam, A.D.G., Traffic, Bhabani Bhaban, Alipore, Kolkata-700 027.

Secretary & Acting Registrar

West Bengal Information Commission

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ganpat1956

Abhijeet, now it sounds like things are turning for better at your state.

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saroj

Congratulations dr. Islam. The state commission has compensated you so that you do not file a review application. No action has been initiated for imposing penelaty upon the erring officials for not providing information .as per section 20 the commission shall impose penalty which is required to be paid by the person responsible for not providing information and compensation is paid by the publicc authority, part of which is your money. Moreover the commission has not recommended disciplinary action under the service rules and the order for compensation is heavily loaded in favour of erring officials.

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Dr. M. Faiyazuddin

Congratulations. Wish you more success in future endeavor. Thanks.

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abhijeet

Dear Mr. Khettry,

Your remark is really appreciable. And actually the fact is that Dr. Islam had already expressed his views regarding the compensation . It has been reported by one local news paper "Sangbad Pratidin" on 24th Dec. 2009 that Dr.Islam did not like to have compensation as it was from 'Public money' ; he wanted that the money should be provided from the persons responsible for the total episode.

As such , he is likely to submit another appeal to the SICl in this regard.

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taurus

The decision of the SIC is othewise laudable. But they have let off the PIO very lightly. That is against the spirit of the Act. As rightly contended by Dr Islam (#5 above) he should pursue it further to the logical conclusion. For that he may have to approach the High Court rather than the SIC.

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saroj

Under the provision of Section 20(1) the Information Commission SHALL IMPOSE A PENALTY OF 250.00 FOR EACH DAY OF DELAY. In one of my appeals the commission directed the public authority to provide requested information. As the information was not received another application was submitted to commission and show cause notice was issued. The commission observed that on receipt of show cause notice the public authority found that the requested information was not available. The commission directed the public authority to pay compensation. In another case the commission

disposed the appeal as the public authority placed before the commission subsequent

developments namely grievance has been taken care after 7 years.

The commission is required to be removed for incapacity U/s 14(1) of the Act.

I as President of RTI Forum have received number of such complaints and the same will

be taken up for consideration in the next meeting.

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GAUTAM BHATTA

A letter written by Dr. Islam to the Chief Minister on 23.05.2006 and submitted to Chief Minister’s secretariat . Thus the matter started.

Another person submitted one complaint letter dated 15.5.2007 to Chief Minister’s Secretariat.

I would like to inform the fate of that letter after 30 months . The information received through a series of RTI applications.

In response to one RTI application , information furnished by the concerned SPIO , as below :-

“ Receiving a series of complaints, the Registrar of Co operative Societies( RCS), was requested to solve the problems and send a report in this regard vide this Department’s letter No. xxxx dated 01.06.2007 .

After receiving your complaint letter dated 15.5.2007 from Chief Minister’s Secretariat, the RCS, West Bengal was requested to cause an enquiry vide this Department’s Memo No. yyyy dated 28.6.2007.

But no report has been received from RCS, West Bengal till date, in both cases from Registrar of Co –operative Societies, West Bengal . ’’

In this matter, ‘information’ had been provided , but the required ‘action’ against corruption had not been taken even after a period of 30 months.

In response to another RTI application , SPIO of the Registrar’s office admitted----

“Department No xxxx dt 07-11-2006 was received by Registrar of Co op. Societies who marked it to the Dy.R.C.S on 13-11-2006. Dy .R.C.S transferred the letter to Asstt. R.C.S. and he marked it to one C.D,O on the same day. The file was duly processed and placed before Dy. R.C.S on 22-11-2006.”

That was the ‘action ’ taken by one P.A in response to a grievance in connection with gross irregularities & corruption and Registrar was asked to take ‘immediate action ‘

Home Department is not efficient enough in dealing with this type of ‘allegation’ or grievance , it seems.

It simply could not locate the concerned ‘representation ‘ . So this type of ‘compensation’ ! Above mentioned example clearly shows how nicely ‘action’ was taken against corruption and ‘information’ furnished , by the office of the Registrar of Co op Societies, West Bengal. No problem.

Media is not at all interested in this type of ‘small’ incidents or ‘ corruption ‘. They are busy with more ‘attractive’ incidents. So, people’s grievance and proper action against ‘corruption and corrupt officers will thus nicely be avoided .

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saroj

Keep fighting. The D.R.C.S in reply to an RTI application has informed me that 19 pages of note sheet is missing. He has also informed me that as per present note sheet 4 enquiries were ordered but reports are are not found. In another case I could not get information whether a report submitted by a Board of Administrators submitted on 30.10.08 has been received. You have to co-operate in the way known to public servants as yoy are at mercy of them. Dont give up I am fighting for 30 years.

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Atul Patankar

As reported by Shiv Sahay Singh at indianexpress.com on January 1, 2010

 

State information panel asks state to pay relief to top cop

 

 

Kolkata : The West Bengal Information Commission has ordered the state home (political) department to pay a compensation of Rs 50,000 to Nazrul Islam, the additional director general of police (traffic), for failing to provide him the information he had sought under the RTI Act about the chief minister’s noting on a complaint he had earlier sent to him about a few senior police officers. Islam, however, has shot off a letter to the state information officer saying the compensation amount should be paid to him by the State Public Information officer (SPIO) of the home department, and not the department itself, which will have to use taxpayers’ money for the purpose.

The order to state home department to pay the compensation to the police officer was given by the state Information Commission on December 15, which set a month’s deadline for the payment.

Islam’s ordeal began on June 4, 2007, when he filed an RTI seeking information on noting made by the chief minister on his letter of complaint against senior police officers and the action taken.

On May 23, 2006 Islam wrote to the CM saying a vigilance inquiry had been initiated against him for acting in an impartial way. The police officer urged the CM to act against the then Chief Secretary A K Deb, Vigilance Commissioner Shyamal Dutta and the then IG (Vigilance) M K Mukherjee for their alleged involvement in corrupt activities. The Calcutta High Court too had directed the state government to quash the Vigilance inquiry and slapped it with a fine of Re 1.

After Islam got no reply in the 30 days of filing RTI, he made the first appeal to the appellate authority the SPIO of home department. In August 2007, he filed a second appeal to the State Information Commission, but it did not take up any hearing on the issue. According to sources in the commission, Islam had given nearly two dozen reminders on the issue it.

On August 27, 2008, the Calcutta High Court directed to State Information Commission to dispose of all his appeals in four weeks.

Despite attempts by Islam and later by the Information Commission, the CM Secretariat said no record of the letter was kept. The home secretary said they had not also received the original application from the Director General of Police.

After a rap from the court, the state Information Commission finally started the proceeding and the order was given on December 15, 2009.

In its order, the commission rapped the home department. “The Commission considers that the home department, being one of the most important departments, shall have to pay a price for such procrastination,” it observed.

Islam, a 1981 batch IPS officer, however, is not satisfied and has written back to the State Information Commission saying it should make the SPIO of the home department pay the compensation amount.

“I request for an order that the amount should be deducted from the salary of the person responsible because the name of the department, which is inanimate, cannot be the offender and the person responsible is the offender,” Islam has said in his latest letter to the Information Commission.

Meanwhile, the West Bengal RTI Manch said it is a case of partisan act by the Commission. “I would not like to comment on the issue. Once an order is passed, this is best we could manage from the provision of the Act,” said Arun Bhattacharjee, the state chief Information Commissioner, when asked why a penalty was not slapped on the erring official.

 

Source: State information panel asks state to pay relief to top cop

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saroj

The Information Commission has failed perform its duties in accordance with the provisions of the Act. Section 20 (1) clearly states that "it shall impose a penalty of two

hundred and fifty rupees each day till application is received or information is furnished..."

The Act does not provide any power to the information commission to avoid imposing penalty. The Commission must perform under the provisions of the Act. As penalty has not been imposed the reason for the same must be recorded. Compensation is not a valid reason for not imposing penalty.

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abhijeet

Compensation is not a valid reason of not imposing penalty. But how many times SIC, W. Bengal had imposed penalty till date ? SPIOs are nicely exempted , so some of them almost have stopped furnishing information within the period of 30 days. One SPIO did not provide information within the period of 30 days, at least for 7 times within 8 months period and the matter was intimated to the SIC , but all in vain. Probably SIC thinks that the concerned SPIO has legitamate ground in each case to provide information in such a manner. SIC had, ' always the same opinion that the concerned SPIO had "reasonable cause" but without mentioning it in 'ORDERS', So what should we do ? Even in one instance the SPIO was served with so cause notice for furnishing delayed information ( 84 days) , but status of that show- cause notice could not be known , even after five months or so.SIC is not at all interested to look after the interest of applicants. Rather it is better to save SPIOs from imposing penalty.

President of RTI Forum, West Bengal is probably aware of this fact.

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taurus

It is high time CIC and SICs try to wield the stick more frequently against delinquent PIOs.

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fdf2007in

I request all the RTI Applciants /Seekers to save the contents of this thread and use it whenever an opportunity of the same type arises in your cases.

 

I hope the application of RTI Act and the clauses therein will be applied equally to all the RTI Applicants/seekers without any discrimination based on Status of the RTI Applicant

 

I wish all the State IC's & the CIC also adopt the same attitude as applied in case of Dr.Nazrul Islam IPS.

 

I have found the following from Google search on the Net:-

Office:WEST BENGAL INFORMATION COMMISSION

 

Bhabani Bhaban, 2nd Floor, Alipore

Kolkata-700 027

Telefax (033)2479-1966

Website : www.wbic.gov.in

E-mail : scic–wb@nic.in

 

No. 1694(3)–WBIC/RTI/116/07 (Pt. I) DATE: 17.08.2009

 

From: The Secretary & Acting Registrar,

West Bengallace

Information Commission

 

To: 1. Shri A.G. Ghosh,

Special Secretary

&

Appellate Authority,

Home Department

Writers' Buildings

Kolkata – 700 001.

 

2. Shri S.L. Chakraborty,

Joint Secretary

&

State Public Information Officer,

Home (RTI) Department,

Writers' Buildings

Kolkata – 700 001.

 

3. Dr. Nazrul Islam, IPS,

Additional Director General of Police,

Traffic, West Bengallace

Bhabani Bhaban,

Alipore,

Kolkata – 700 027.

 

NOTICE FOR HEARING

 

WHEREAS, Dr. Nazrul Islam, the then IGP, E.B., West Bengal preferred a 2nd appeal dated 03.08.2007 as he had not been supplied with any information in respect of his RTI application dated 04.06.2007 to the SPIO, Home Department seeking information relating to his letter dated 23.05.2006 addressed to the C.M., Government of West Bengal and its subsequent appeal dated 04.07.2007 except an intimation from the SPIO, vide No. letter No. 134–RT/1A–33/07 dated 19.06.2007 that the matter was being taken up with the office of the C.M., and

 

WHEREAS, the Appellate Authority, Home Department vide his letter No. 251-RT/1A-33/07 dated 29.8.07 informed Dr. Islam that as his representation dated 23.05.2006 addressed to Hon’ble C.M. was not received by the C.M.’s Secretariat, it was not possible to furnish information as sought for relating to that letter dated 23.05.2006, and

 

WHEREAS, Dr. Islam, in his further appeal dated 31.08.2007 to this Commission, argued that his letter was forwarded to the D.G. & I.G.P., lace>West Bengallace> by the Additional Director General of Police, E.B., W.B. vide his Memo. No. 239/Con/EB dated 23.05.2006 and was duly received by that office on 23.05.2006 as was informed to him vide Memo No. 154/Con/EB dated 31.08.2007 by the A.D.G.P., E.B., West Bengal and on 24.05.2006, it was sent to the Additional C.S., Home Department vide Memo No. 461/DG/06 dated 24.05.2006 and also an advance copy of the said letter was received in the C.M.’s Secretariat and hence it was not acceptable that the said letter did not reach C.M.’s Secretariat; and

 

WHEREAS, this Commission, vide letter No. 1438-WBIC/RTI/116/07(Pt.I) dated 17.09.2007, requested both the SPIO and Appellate Authority to offer their views on the said appeal; and

 

WHEREAS, Dr. Islam submitted a reminder dated 17.09.2007; and

 

WHEREAS, the Joint Secretary & A.A., Home Department, vide his letter No. 284–RT/1A–33/07 dated 01.10.2007 furnished clarification and submitted that both the SPIO And Appellate Authority initiated action and perusued authorities concerned diligently to obtain materials in order to dispose of the application; and

 

WHEREAS, this Commission, vide letter No. 1619 WBIC/RTI/116/07(Pt-I) dated 15.10.2007 sought explanation of D.G.P. and I.G.P., West Bengal about the delay caused in the disposal of the request made by Home (Poll) Department vide No. 217-RT dated 27.07.2007; and

 

WHEREAS, this Commission, vide letter No. 1610-WBIC/RTI/116/07(Pt.I) dated 15.10.2007, also sought clarification from the Joint Secretary., C.M.’s Secretariat about the apparent discripancy noted by the Commission on the statements made by the C.M.’s Secretariat that the letter did not reach them; and

 

WHEREAS, the D.G. and I.G.P., lace>West Bengallace>, vide his Memo No. 6128-ADM/C/ADM/C-387-05(Pt 35) dated 30.10.2007/01.11.2007 furnished clarification and a report on action taken in the matter; and

 

WHEREAS, the OSD and Joint Secretary, C.M.’s Secretariat informed this Commission, vide No. 888-CMS dated 29.10.2007 that the said representation of Dr. Islam could not be traced out; and

 

WHEREAS, Dr. Islam submitted some reminders before the Commission in November and December, 2007; and

 

WHEREAS, the Commission, vide letter No. 15-WBIC/RTI/116/07(Pt.I) dated 02.01.2008 addressed to the Additional Chief Secretary and Home Secretary, observed that the representation of Dr. Islam which was submitted through proper channel was then rest with him and accordingly sought his views / comments / action taken in this regard; and

 

WHEREAS, in response, the Joint Secretary, Home Department, vide his letter dated 30-RT/1A-33/07 dated 25.01.2008, requested the Commission to ask Dr. Islam to submit a fresh petition expressing his grievances which would be looked into by Home Department expeditiously; and

 

WHEREAS, the Commission, vide letter No. 204-WBIC/RTI/116/07(Pt.I) dated 05.02.2008, furnished that letter dated 25.01.2008 of Joint Secretary, Home Department to Dr. Islam with the request to do the needful; and

 

WHEREAS, Dr. Islam in his further letter dated 18.02.2008 argued that it was not believable that none of the copies of representation could be traced and demanded that responsibilities for non-tracing of both the copies must be fixed and to inform what action was taken against the persons responsible; and

 

WHEREAS, the Commission, vide letter No. 333-WBIC/RTI/116/07 dated 22.02.2008, forwarded that letter to the Joint Secretary, Home Department for taking appropriate measures; and

 

WHEREAS, ultimately Dr. Islam, vide his letter dated 11.03.2008, submitted fresh petition for expeditiously looking into his grievances; and

 

WHEREAS, the Commission sent that petition to the Joint Secretary, Home Department vide letter No. 2-WBIC/RTI/116/07(Pt.I) dated 13.05.2008 with the request to do the needful ; and

 

WHEREAS, it appears that no further action has been taken by the Joint Sectary, Home Department till date;

 

NOW THEREFORE, the Commission has decided to conduct a hearing on the appeal dated 03.08.2007 of Dr. Nazrul Islam in the Conference Hall of the Commission at 2nd Floor, Bhabani Bhaban, Alipore, Kolkata – 700 027 on 07.09.2009 at 12:30 P.M.

 

Secretary & Acting Registrar

West Bengallace Information Commission

 

 

If the fines are levied on all the Defaulting CPIO's /PIO's or any other designated authority, as done in the above case then alone will the application of RTI Act of 2005 will be total and Justifiable

fdf2007in

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abhijeet

"The Act does not provide any power to the information commission to avoid imposing penalty . "

But according to the RTI Act, 2005, if SIC is satisfied that the PIO had 'reasonable ground' to furnish information even after a period of 7 months ; then SIC would be pleased and defaulter PIO would be exempted from penalty. SIC , has got the 'right' not to mention any REASON for not imposing penalty to the erring SPIOs and it would not mention anything in the order in this regard.

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karira

Abhijeet,

 

Just a request:

 

Can you please file a RTI to that department around 15th January 2010 and get a confirmation that the compensation was actually paid, as ordered by the SIC ?

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saroj

In response to Gautam Bhatta I can not restrain myself to say that officials of Co-operation department are guilty of gangrape of RTI.

In reply to a request for information the S.P.I.O requested me to file an appeal. He also informed me that he has been directed to do so. Another request was submitted to S.P.I.O TO provide details of the official by whom he was so directed. The S.P.I.O provided the following information " the letter was issued on the order of Appellate Authority of this Department after the matter was placed before him by the then S.P.I.O based on the view of the Law Officer of the Department" It is as such evident that information is provided after consulting the Appellate Authority and Law Officer.

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sk.mittal65

Its great and a good lesson for others. but in some states the information commissioners are not imposing penalty as per section 20 of RTI or any compensation. In Punjab The Inf Comm Is working just like a Public Information officer, they are discharging their duty only in collecting the information sought by the applicant but in very rare cases the penalty is being imposed. its very unfortunate. But i congratulate and really appreciate the order of the SIC Bangal.:)

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nr_mohanraam

thankyou . for your kind information

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SHYLOCK

MR. ISLAM YOU COULD GO AFTER THE ERRING GOVT OFFICIALS IN BENGAL BECAUSE YOU ARE Addl DGP. HAD YOU BEEN A COMMON MAN YOU WOULD HAVE NOT PREFERRED APPEALS AFTER THE INITIAL APPLICATION. ALMOST ALL PEOPLE FACE DIFFICULTIES AFTER AN RTI APPLICATION. I AM SURE EVEN THE POLICE DEPT WONT BE READY TO PART WITH ANY INFO TO PUBLIC. ANY WAY GOOD LUCK.

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karira

As reported by Shiv Sahay Singh in indianexpress.com on 03 September 2010:

Nazrul Islam

 

Nazrul Islam’s RTI tussle on, no compensation yet

 

Nearly 9 months after the West Bengal Information Commission (WBIC) directed the state Home department to pay a compensation of Rs 50,000 to IPS officer Nazrul Islam for the “detriment and harassment” faced by him for not receiving information under the RTI Act, the department is yet to comply to the order.

 

Islam is yet to receive any compensation or correspondence from the department, which is directly under Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee.

 

The WBIC had passed the order on December 15, 2009. Islam was then the additional director general of police (Traffic).

 

On May 23, 2006, Islam had written to Bhattacharjee saying a vigilance inquiry had been initiated against him for acting in an impartial way. He urged Bhattacharjee to act against the then Chief Secretary A K Deb, Vigilance Commissioner Shyamal Dutta and the then IG (Vigilance) M K Mukherjee for their alleged involvement in corrupt activities. On June 4, 2007, Islam filed an RTI application seeking information on the notings made by Bhattacharjee in regard to his letter and the action taken.

 

When Islam received no reply in the next 30 days, he appealed to the State Public Information Officer of the Home department. In August 2007, he filed a second appeal with the WBIC, but it did not hear the issue. Following this, Islam had sent nearly two dozen reminders but to no avail.

 

Next, Islam moved the Calcutta High Court. On August 27, 2009, the court directed to WBIC to dispose of all his appeals within four weeks. Following this, the Commission finally started proceedings and passed the order on December 15, 2009.

 

In its order, the WBIC had rapped the Home department. “The Commission considers that the Home department, being one of the most important departments, shall have to pay a price for such procrastination,” it observed.

 

After the order, Islam requested that the Commission should deduct the amount from the person responsible for the incident and not the department.

 

“I request that the amount should be deducted from the salary of the person responsible, because the name of the department, which is inanimate, cannot be the offender and the person responsible is the offender,” Islam had written to the WBIC. He is yet to receive any reply.

 

In May 2010, Islam again filed an RTI application asking what action the department has taken regarding the Commission’s order. At present, Islam is posted in New Delhi as the RPF executive director (security).

 

“The order issued by West Bengal Information Commission is still valid,” said Sujit Sarkar, State Information Commissioner.

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SHYLOCK

If this is the condition the govt treats a top cop, just think of a common man's plight. Any way public money should not be used to punish erring officials and even if any official had claimed for ta for appearing at sic, it too should be recovered.

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