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    Can clerical mistake condone penalty?


    rtiindia

    clerical mistake condone penaltyWhen Public Information officer of Delhi Subordinate Services Selection Board apologized for the clerical mistake, CIC accepted the explanation and dropped the penalty proceedings. Not only PIO had earlier given wrong reply stating that stay is pending in the High Court when actually stay was already vacated and the writ petition was dismissed by the High Court but also had destroyed the copies of previous question booklets in respect of LDC & Steno examination in spite of the fact that High Court and the CIC were seized of the matter.

     

    However, when CIC issued show cause notice to the PIO to explain why penalty cannot be imposed for (a) destroying the question papers in spite of the fact that High Court and the CIC were seized of the matter and (b) giving wrong reply stating that stay is pending in the High Court when actually stay was already vacated and the writ petition was dismissed by the High Court, the PIO not only traced out the distorted copies of previous question booklets in respect of LDC & Steno examination but also apologized for the clerical mistake committed by the then PIO who stated that there was a stay was granted by the Delhi High Court when actually the stay was vacated.

     

    The PIO while hearing has also stated that "the Board has decided to upload the question booklet on the website a day after the completion of examination conducted by the Board "

     

    What are your views? Is it a success story of RTI that now the question booklet are being uploaded on the website a day after the completion of examination? Or do you think that PIO was let go by CIC easily? Post your views in the comments below or at the forum here!

    Can clerical mistake condone penalty?

    As per section 18 (1) (e)  Subject to the provisions of this Act, it shall be the duty of the Central Information Commission, to receive and inquire into a complaint from any person who believes that he or she has been given incomplete, misleading or false information under this Act; and & under Section: 20 Penalties (1) Where the Central Information Commission or the State Information Commission, as the case may be, at the time of deciding any complaint or appeal is of the opinion that the Central Public Information Officer has, knowingly given incorrect, incomplete or misleading information, or destroyed information which was the subject of the request it shall impose a penalty.

     

    The decision can be downloaded from here! This article has been prepared from the decision posted by CIC on its website

     

    Kishan Lal Meena Vs Delhi Subordinate Services Selection Board , CIC/AD/A/2012/003146­SA dated 16.6.2014

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    Section 21. Protection of action taken in good faith.—No suit, prosecution or other legal proceeding shall lie against any person for anything which is in good faith done or intended to be done under this Act or any rule made there under. So if the mistake is genuine and there was no intention to hide the information, IC is right in accepting the explanation and dropping the proceedings under Section 20.

    However, if the attempt is deliberate to hide the information. the IC has erred. .

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