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Atul Patankar

PIO asks for application on prescribed form, reprimanded

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Atul Patankar

As reported by Jasneet Bindra at indianexpress.com on January 8, 2010


Chandigarh : A PIO of the office of Director, Food and Civil Supplies Department, Punjab, got an earful from a Punjab State Information Commissioner for denying information to a retired employee of the department on the ground that his RTI application was not filed on a prescribed form. The case concerns retirement benefits of complainant Brij Lal Sharma of Barnala that have not been released by the Food and Civil Supplies Department as a case involving loss of wheat worth Rs 60,817 in 2002-03 was stated to be pending against him.

The complainant had filed an application under the RTI Act, asking for an attested copy of any notice, if it was issued, for this alleged shortage, and a copy of evidence showing that it was delivered to him.

The respondent wrote to the complainant, saying that he should file the application on the prescribed form and also send the amount required to be spent on photocopying the information and sending it by post.

Displeased over the response, SIC P K Verma said, “This reply of the respondent suffers from two defects. Firstly, it has been held by the commission in various cases that if an application is made on plain paper and application fee has also been sent, the information cannot be refused merely on the ground that the plea was not made on the prescribed form. Secondly, the amount required to be sent by the complainant as fee was not intimated to him. The complainant nevertheless sent Rs 100, after which the respondent directed the superintendent of the Shortage and Excess Branch to supply the information to the complainant, which has still not been done.”

While directing the respondent to ensure that copies of documents sought by the complainant are given, Verma said, “Supply of information has already been delayed. The respondent has also ignored the notice issued by the commission and is not present either personally or through any representative. It is clear that if these orders are not complied with, steps would be taken for imposition of penalties under Section 20 of the RTI Act.”




Source: PIO asks for application on prescribed form, reprimanded

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