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  1. Version 1.0.0

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    The Commission is hereby directed to give appropriate show cause notices to the petitioners. After hearing them on the question of penalty as well as on its recommendation to take disciplinary action against them, can pass an appropriate order.
  2. In a significant decision of Dr. Nazrul Islam vs State Of West Bengal & Ors on 31 August, 2016, Calcutta high court has ruled that "It is the Department who has to compensate a citizen for any loss, detriment or harassment suffered by him by reason of failure of its officers to perform their duty.". The Department cannot claim that "responsibility and liability should be fixed only on its officers". The court further added that "In fact, the Department should recover from its concerned officers the compensation that the Department has to pay to the affected citizen." Department not Officer should pay compensation to affected citizen The Department has appointed SPIO and a first Appellate Authority who are officers of the Department. If such Officers did not discharge their duties, the department must own up responsibility for the same. The Department must accept the liability for any negligent act of commission or omission on the part of its officers in the course of their employment or discharge of their duty. This is akin to vicarious liability, a well- recognized tortious principle of law. It is the Department who has to compensate a citizen for any loss, detriment or harassment suffered by him by reason of failure of its officers to perform their duty. It makes little difference whether such duty is statutory or non-statutory. It does not lie in the mouth of the Department to say that it is an inanimate or impersonal entity and responsibility and liability should be fixed only on its officers. The Department must make good the loss suffered by a citizen by non-discharging of their duties by the Department's recalcitrant and indolent officers and, thereafter the Department is at liberty to take appropriate steps against its erring officers and bring them to books. In fact, the Department should recover from its concerned officers the compensation that the Department has to pay to the affected citizen. The High court further added that "in contrast to Sec. 20 of the RTI Act, Sec. 19 does not require that a Public Authority against whom the Commission awards compensation, must be given a prior hearing." The decision of the High Court can be downloaded from here!
  3. In an unprecedented decision, CIC imposed a penalty over RTI Applicant even though the RTI Act do not provide for the same. Central Information Commission while deciding the case recorded that "Though the RTI Act has not provided to impose penalty against the RTI applicant, the Commission record its contempt against RTI Applicant for misusing the RTI Act against the school child and imposed a penalty of Re. 10/­ which is to be paid to the Principal of the School". Commission, also directed the then CPIO and the Principal of the School to show cause why maximum penalty should not be imposed on both of them and disciplinary action be initiated against both of them for not complying with the provision of Section 11 of RTI Act and causing breach of the privacy of the child and his parents. The Commission directs the Principal and CPIO to show cause why compensation of Rs 1000 each be paid to the child for the loss they caused by breaching his privacy. The Commission holds that information exempted under section 8(1)(j) was disclosed and because of which the right to privacy of the child and his parents was violated by the Principal and CPIO. The Commission directs the CPIO and Principal not to disclose the personal information of the students to any person, much less to his so called relatives without following the procedure under Section 11 of the RTI Act. CIC imposed penalty over both PIO and RTI Applicant Hon’ble Supreme Court of India in the case of R.K Jain vs. Union of India [sLP © No.22609 of 2012] dated 16.04.2013 had Highlighted the importance of Section 11 of the RTI Act. Read more about Privacy under RTI Act here: What is Privacy under RTI Act. You can download the decision here: Lalit Kapur v. PIO, Deputy Director of Education (North East­B) Appellant had sought for information regarding a student of R.D Public School. He wanted copy of the transfer certificate of class XI on the basis of which the student got admission in class XII, details of the school no./roll no./school registration no. and date of admission of the school etc CIC noted that it is interrogative in nature and RTI Applicant is fishing to find basis to embarrass the child or his family not with a good motive and for some unspecified purpose, which is certainly not ‘public purpose’. The CPIO committed breach of S 11 of RTI Act and ignored the order of Supreme Court of India in the above mentioned case. The CPIO should have considered the question of welfare of the child from the relatives who were in family dispute with the parents of the child.
  4. Although the information was not provided within the stipulated time, it cannot be said that the CPIO acted consciously and deliberately with intent to deny the information sought by the appellant and thus CIC refused to initiate penalty procedure under Section 20(1) of the RTI Act. CIC instead has quoted High Court judgement for not initiating penalty procedure. Penalty only if applicant proves mala fide intent of PIO In WP© 3114/2007 Bhagat Singh Vs. CIC & Anrs. Hon’ble Delhi High Court vide order dated 03.12.2007 held that “……This Court takes a serious note of the two year delay in releasing information, the lack of adequate reasoning in the orders of the public information officer and the Appellate Authority and the lack of application of mind in relation to the nature of the information sought. The materials on record clearly show the lackadaisical approach of the second and third respondent in releasing the information sought. However, the petitioner has not been able to demonstrate that they malafidely denied the information sought. Therefore, a direction to the Central Information Commission to initiate action under Section 20 of the Act cannot be issued…..” You can discuss this article on our forum here! The decision can be read here!
  5. Appellant lost it because, instead of giving a fresh application she chose to file RTI with the help of NGO representatives.- Response of Public Information Officer (PIO) during hearing at Central Information Commission (CIC) CIC noted "It appears that the whole issue is of ego of the officers exhibiting anger for approaching through RTI and intolerance to the presence and support of NGO to the appellant." CIC observed that a woman officer was so unkind towards a 70­ yr­ old poor woman surviving on pension. After hearing the ‘explanation’ to show cause notice and reading written submission made by PIO/Dy Director (FAS) Women and Child Development Department, GNCTD, Delhi the Commission noticed that PIO tried to shift the blame on to the NGO for not helping appellant to act as per publicity given by Government. The Commission finds PIO has no regret and she is in no mood to restore pension or pay compensation. Hence, the Commission considers it a fit case to impose maximum penalty of Rs 25,000 to be recovered from her pay in 5 equal monthly instalments. If you have any questions, you can head straight to our forum and post. If you want to become RTI Activist, visit our site here on how to become RTI Activist. The Commission recommends the public authority to take disciplinary action against the PIO for defying RTI Act, order of the CIC, besides dereliction of duty, being adamant to right of appellant to pension, and information, and for non-­compliance of orders of Commission. CIC threatens to invoke IPC against Officer The Commission directs the head of the public authority to ensure compliance of the all the orders of CIC in this second appeal. If there is no compliance and compliance report is not received by the public authority within one month, the Commission will be compelled to initiate measures to prosecute officers guilty of non­-compliance under Indian Penal Code for following offences: S 166. Public servant disobeying law, with intent to cause injury to any person. S 187. Omission to assist public servant when bound by law to give assistance. S 188. Disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant.­ Case history: RTI Applicant had an account in Post Office and her pension earlier was being credited there. To prevent the various kinds of scams resulting in denial of pension to hundreds of old person and appropriation by the others, the Delhi Government, in 2009 took a policy decision to credit old age pension amount in bank accounts only and not in Post Office accounts any more, for that, it was directed that those having post office account, should open a bank account as a precondition to get pension regularly. Government had given a very wide publicity by publishing in print media, Radio­ jingles etc to make the people aware of the new policy to enable them to get their account transfer. Besides they have also organized camps at different places from time to time and visited the houses of people receiving old age pension personally. They were given prolonged 2­ year ­time to shift to bank. Three times the camps have been organized there but she did not turn­ up there and was not even found at home when officials visited. They made all their efforts to contact her and help but failed to trace her, then they have deleted her account in January 2013. PIO stated that instead of running behind NGO and waiting for date of hearing before the Commission, she should have applied for her pension afresh, then she would have got the pension. PIO ruled out payment of arrears under any circumstances because her account was deleted. A woman below poverty line, surviving only on pension sanctioned by the state is now left without any source of survival, despite complying with requirement of shifting Account from post office to Bank, even after CIC’s order. The rule of pension is that once government found her eligible to get pension as per the qualifications prescribed, the pension gets attached to her and it cannot abate until her death. It is the responsibility of respondent authority to inform her, see that she noticed the change of policy and understand need to have bank account. By opening account in bank, informing the authority about it and filing RTI appeal, she was seeking the payment of pension. But on the pretext that formal, separate and straight application was not filed before the officer, she was deprived of her pension. The complete case can be read here
  6. In a much relief for an RTI applicant, CIC has given a judgement that claim by Public Information Officer that similar RTI application was earlier answered is no defence for denial unless that claim is proved. Secondly CIC ruled that giving reference to website alone to obtain information sought is not complete provision of information under RTI Act. It should be accompanied by offer of supply of hard copies on payment of cost of copying. (If you want to file RTI online visit this article to know about it) If the RTI application is a repetition and information was furnished, the PIO has to discharge the burden of proving the same. He should have to at least sent a copy of the same information to the appellant with reference to the present RTI application also, as non ­furnishing of information to the RTI application will be viewed seriously by the Commission and the respective PIO will be liable for penalty u/s 20 of the RTI Act. Reference to website by PIO alone to obtain information sought is not complete The respondent/PIO should also note that every appellant may not have the facility of checking their website for downloading the desired information. They should see that the appellant is furnished the required information by collecting the costs, even though the same is available on the website. CIC Decision: Aseem Takyar Vs. Delhi Jal Board, GNCTD file number: CIC/AD/A/2013/001911­SA dated 18­-07­-2014 You can discuss this decision at our forum here! This is an extract of the decision available on the CIC public website, and is meant for generating interest in our readers only. For the true detailed and authentic copy you must download the decision from the CIC website!
  7. All public toilets at MCD, Delhi jurisdiction should have the information on their walls/boards in Hindi Language whereby the users would be able to identify the facilities available and the charges if need to be paid any. Therefore, CIC under its powers under Section 19(8)(a)(iii) of the RTI Act has directed MCD that the following information must be painted on the Walls/Boards on the public toilets (prominently): It is also in conformance with the requirements of Section (1)(b)(xvii). (Please read the guide here to file RTI Online) 1. Charges for using the toilet for different categories. 2. Timings for the opening and closing of the toilet. 3. Contact details (including mobile number) of the agency responsible for operation and maintenance of the toilet. 4. Name and contact details of the caretaker of the toilet. 5. Facilities available for users in the toilet complex. 6. Name, designation and contact of the authority for redressal of grievances/lodging complaints related to the functioning of the public toilet. 7. Availability of complaint register. 8. Copy of the MoU/agreement on the website. If you have any question regarding RTI head straight to our forums and post. The direct link to forum is here: Ask for RTI Query! And why don't you take our small RTI Quiz here! Not painting of information on walls of Public Toilets by MCD irks CIC The RTI applicant earlier had submitted that through her RTI application dt.31­12­2012, she had sought information about the toilets present in the Jagadamba camp – regarding the name of the contractor who has been given for their maintenance, what are the timings, what extra amount has to be paid if a family is having more than five members, etc. Claiming non­ satisfaction over the information furnished by the respondent authority, the appellant filed 2nd appeal before the Commission. Various officials involved in MCD have not implemented the decision of painting the walls/ boards on public toilets, and CIC issued show cause notice to (1) Director­in­ Chief, DEMS, MCD, (2) Engineer­-in-­Chief, Engineering Department, MCD and (3) The CEO, Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board, why penalty cannot be imposed on them for not implementing the Commission’s order, as complained by the appellant. Citation: Ms.Bandana Vs. Delhi Urban Shelter Improve­ ment Board, New Delhi You can discuss this decision at our forum here! This is an extract of the decision available on the CIC public website, and is meant for generating interest in our readers only. For the true detailed and authentic copy you must download the decision from the CIC website!
  8. Central Information Commission issued a show cause notice to Public Information Officer of Consumer Affairs Department, GNCTD for not appearing for the hearing and authorizing a junior official who is not aware of the case to appear and thereby obstructing the supply of information. (If you want to file RTI Online, use our Guide here!) Shri Randhir Kumar Bhaskar, FSO (Gen) Consumer Affairs Dept GNCTD authorised Shri Shakti Singh to appear before the Commission and to submit the documents. When the Commission queried as to where the information sought would be available, it was the submission of Shri Shakti Singh that he was instructed only to supply the documents to the Commission and is not aware of anything. Not appearing for the hearing RTI Applicant filed complaint before the CIC requesting to treat his appeal as complaint filed u/s 18 of the Act and to decide in terms of judicial pronouncement in the case of J.K.Mittal Vs CIC as no purpose would be served in case the Respondent is directed to provide the requisite information after a lapse of a period of more than 2.5 years. The Commission directed Shri Randhir Kumar Baskar, FSO (Gen) to show cause as to why maximum penalty should not be imposed upon him for not appearing for the hearing and authorizing a junior official who is not aware of the case to appear and thereby obstructing the supply of information. L.G. Dass Vs. Consumer Affairs Dept, GNCTD You can discuss this decision at our forum here! This is an extract of the decision available on the CIC public website, and is meant for generating interest in our readers only. For the true detailed and authentic copy you must download the decision from the CIC website!
  9. In the case of Mr. Prem Raj Vs. Food & Supply, Delhi, Central Information Commission had directed the PIO to explain why penalty u/s 20(1) should not be imposed for not complying with the FAA order within the mandatory time period prescribed by the said order. The PIO and FAA during that time got transferred. The new PIO is not in a position to tell who the PIO was, reflecting pathetic conditions. (If you want to file RTI Online follow our new guide to file RTI online) CIC directed to clarify who was the concerned PIO at the time of FAA order and send the Show Cause Notice to that PIO, who has to explain why penalty cannot be imposed on him, within 21 days from date of receipt of this order. New PIO doesn't know who the earlier PIO was The PIO, Mr. T.N.Meena, Deptt. Food & Supply, GNCTD present during the hearing, submitted that he was not the PIO at the time of filing of the RTI application and the FAA order thereon. Hence he shall not be punished under the RTI Act and penalty should not be imposed on him. In his capacity as present PIO, he has a responsibility to transmit the Show Cause Notice of this Commission to the concerned PIO, who was functioning on the date of RTI application (whether it was Shri Shakti Bangar or Shri Pankaj Sud or any other officer). Citation: Mr. Prem Raj Vs. Food & Supply, Delhi You can discuss this decision at our forum here! This is an extract of the decision available on the CIC public website, and is meant for generating interest in our readers only. For the true detailed and authentic copy you must download the decision from the CIC website or from here!
  10. This is a case study of how after two years of suffering and harassment, a teacher got his respect back by using an RTI. A must read for all of us who are still exploring about RTI. If you want us to help you in drafting or correcting your RTI, please post at our forum here. You can also learn how to file RTI Online by following our guide. On a false complaint of a student, an inquiry was ordered against a maths teacher wherein feedback was taken from students asking them whether they liked the teacher or not. The school dropped the charges against the teacher after finding that there was some kind of politics at play in the school and there was an attempt to vilify the teacher. RTI brought respect to teacher after 2 years However, this did not end here. The report that the charges has been dropped against him, was never told to him from the past 2 years. He was put to serious suffering, agony and anguish for the last two year's. When he filed RTI to know the inquiry report and feedback received, this was denied by PIO. The school went ahead of suppressing the vital information to First Appellate Authority, ie Directorate of Education, GNCTD, Delhi. The teacher filed a second appeal with the central information commission (cic) but school didn't give any bit of information to the teacher even then. During the hearing at CIC, however the school did produce the inquiry report wherein it finally revealed that the charges were already dropped on Feb 2013 and that it was never told to the teacher. It was indeed a very pathetic non-responsive attitude of the PIO against a teacher who was liked by most of the students and he is made to suffer without any relief or information about the dropping of charges against him. CIC recorded that PIO has a harassing attitude as was evident from the denial of teacher right, and from the fact that there was an attempt of suppression of information from FAA. Teacher has the right to have a copy of the inquiry report, whether it is favorable or not. Teacher also has right under RTI Act but also under the principles of natural justice, especially when the inquiry into allegations was completed. CIC issued show cause notice to PIO for imposing maximum penalty, ordered that certified copies of inquiry must be supplied and ordered token payment of Rs. 1000/- as compensation. The citation is available here Vinod Kr. Malik Vs. Dte of Education, GNCTD (This is an extract of the decision available on the CIC public website, and is meant for generating interest in our readers only. For the true detailed and authentic copy you must read and download the decision from the CIC website)
  11. [caption id=attachment_2823" align="alignright" width="400] RTI caught in Passing the Parcel Game[/caption] RTI Applicant had to finally get all the officials present before Central Information Commission by his second appeal and get the directions from CIC to ensure that PIO (Deptt. Of Urban Development), Delhi collects the information from all the concerned PIOs and provide reply. CIC directed that all the PIOs should look into the RTI application without making a claim that ‘they are not concerned with’, etc. and provide the information regarding their role with regard to the area mentioned in the RTI application. The Public Information Officers took the shelter of Section 6(3) of RTI Act in transferring the RTI application to one another. Do you also face the indiscriminate use of this section by PIO in transferring the applications? Please share with us at our forum here! If you have any questions our experts shall be glad to help you. RTI caught in Passing the Parcel Game Earlier, an RTI Applicant who sought information regarding the Unauthorised Regularised colonies relating to major consumer markets, malls, multiplexes, hotels, district centres, community centres and retail shopping centers etc. and facilities and services provided by the Government of NCT of Delhi of a particular area, went into tizzy as PIO went on passing the RTI application and each PIO stating that 'they are not concerned with RTI'. The Commission directed the concerned PIO, to show cause, why penalty cannot be imposed on them for transferring the RTI application without proper application of mind and not providing answers to the RTI applicant. The full case can be read and downloaded from here! Citation: Mr.K.Chand Vs. Dept.of Urban Development, GNCTD Date of decision 30-06-2014 This is an extract of the decision available on the CIC public website, and is meant for generating interest in our readers only. For the true detailed and authentic copy you must read and download the decision from the CIC website
  12. Queries under RTI on encroachment of colony land had put the authorities in defensive. The behaviour of APIO, Urban Development , GNCTD, Delhi while defending his decision for denial of information to an RTI applicant during hearing was so adamant that Central Information Commission had to record that the conduct of APIO was serious violation of the RTI Act and that this kind of attitude and irresponsible answers before the Commission constitutes the obstruction of supply of information under the RTI Act. (Please note: If you have specific query regarding RTI, please post it at our forum here or if you want to request our team to help you in drafting the RTI, please go ahead and post it here.) The learning for others is the questions that can be used to know about unauthorised colonies in your locality too, even though the authorities takes the plea that information is available on their website. If the information available on the website is not specific to your locality, then these set of questions shall come handy. Please read below the set of questions. The RTI applicant sought the complete details of unauthorized colonies on Government/DDA land in Rohini area with following queries: Details of unauthorized colonies present in Rohini area. The extent of encroachment in that area and the present status The procedure for regularization and notifications from the Urban development authority Who will collect the charges for regularisation What are the efforts made to remove the encroachments Obstruction of supply of information under the RTI Act As per Section 19 (5) of the RTI Act, in any appeal proceedings, the onus to prove that a denial of a request was justified shall be on the Central Public Information Officer or State Public Information Officer, as the case may be, who denied the request. In defending the denial, the APIO took the plea that details of unauthorized colonies, names and addresses and their locations are available on the website, though RTI applicant has specifically asked for details of unauthorized colonies present in Rohini area. The Commission took a serious note of the adamant attitude of the APIO Mr. Ashwani Kumar, who could not answer about the procedure to be adopted by them to regularize the unauthorized colonies and to whom the regularization charges are to be paid. The APIO was not prepared to reply to this question except saying that the notification contains all the details, which is being disputed by the appellant. The APIO does not have any answer, except saying again and again that what all information is available with them, has been supplied to the appellant." The Commission considers the APIO as highly irresponsible, as he was not having time to open the file and acquaint himself with the case, even though he was functioning as APIO for the past one year, as told by him. This conduct of APIO is serious violation of the RTI Act and he is personally directed to explain why maximum penalty cannot be imposed on him for this kind of attitude and irresponsible answers before the Commission, as it constitutes the obstruction of supply of information under the Act. This article has been generated from the CIC decision available on the public website here in a case of Mr. Rahul Gupta Vs. Urban Development, GNCTD, case file number: CIC/AD/A/2013/001299­SA dated 18­06­2014. The purpose of this article is to generate interest in our readers about the RTI Act only and is not meant for opinion or factual correctness of the decision. You should read the decision and make the final views from the CIC website. If you have queries regarding RTI, please go ahead and post it at our forum here! If you have anything to add to the story, kindly post it at the comments below.
  13. Public Information Officer of the food & Supply Department, Govt. of NCT of Delhi sent a clerk to the Central Information Commission hearing of RTI appeal. Attending on behalf of PIO, he claimed that he does not know anything about the case and he is attending as the PIO has asked him to attend. In the RTI application, the current address of food & Supply Department circle No.5 office and that of Fair Price Shop No.3326, Circle­ 55 of M/s Raja Ram, and whether the FPS can shift its shop, without the food & Supply Department authority’s permission, etc were asked. The representative of the PIO claimed that there is no record available with them regarding the Fair Price Shop referred in the RTI application. CIC issued the show cause notice as to why maximum penalty cannot be imposed for their irresponsible conduct, being non­responsive to RTI application. If you have questions regarding RTI please go ahead at our forum here and post them, our experts shall guide in drafting a good RTI for you. Unaware clerk attends hearing on behalf of PIO CIC observed that this is a serious lapse on the part of the food & Supply Department. CIC also observed that "The authority is directed to give point­wise revised ­ reply to the RTI applicant on all the four questions within 15 days from the date of receipt of this order and the Commission directs the concerned PIO Mr. Shankar Manjhi and the representative sent by him for the hearing, Mr. Jai Bhagwan Sharma, UDC to explain why maximum penalty cannot be imposed for their irresponsible conduct, being non­responsive to RTI application." The link to the decision is available here! (Sh. Suresh Kumar Vs. Food & Supply Dept). Do you have anything to add to the story, kindly post it in the comments below. The Decision has been taken from the CIC website available on the web. For authentic true copy of the decision, kindly contact CIC.
  14. When 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
  15. CIC has directed to treat the RTI application as a complaint which sought to know the action being taken against those who register agreement to sell/Release deed after 5.00 pm in Sub-­registrar office. When the applicant went to First Appellate Authority (FAA), has held that the information sought seems to be in the nature of grievance and advised the Appellant to file a complaint so that the case would be investigated and brought to its logical end. The Commission however, recommended to the public authority Revenue Department, GNCTD to treat the RTI application itself as a complaint and after completion of the enquiry, the action taken report to be shared with the Appellant. (We are building RTI Wiki, if you are interested in contributing, please tweet #RTIWiki, we shall get back to you) The appellant filed RTI application dated 19­09­2012, whereby he sought information as to the a Registered Release Deed, Copy of Perpetual Lease etc. PIO replied on 18­10­2012. Being unsatisfied with the reply of PIO, the appellant preferred First Appeal. FAA by his order dated 06­03­2013 directed PIO to provide modified reply as to Point No. 4 to 8 and 13. Having not received the information, the appellant has approached the commission in Second Appeal. Treat the RTI application as a complaint Decision: The Commission directed the PIO to comply with the order of the Appellate Authority within two weeks and also to show cause as to why penalty u/s 20(1) should not be imposed upon him for not complying with the order of the Appellate Authority. The decision is available at the CIC website here! If you have queries regarding Right to Information kindly post at our forum here and if you have anything to add to this decision, kindly post it in the comments below.
  16. Registrar of Cooperative Societies Delhi treated RTI application as a grievance and did not provide information stating that it will not fall under the expression ‘information’. Central Information Commission did not accept this argument while hearing the second appeal filed by sh. Vinod Kumar Bansal regarding information on action taken on his letter regarding the grant of society membership in violation of the provisions of section 75 of the DCS Act, 2003. The Commission observes that the information asked by the appellant is to be provided under RTI Act and that it does not fall under any exemptions. CIC also directed to show cause why maximum penalty cannot be imposed for refusal of information by CPIO, Registrar of Co-operative Societies Delhi. The Registrar, Cooperative Societies, appointed by the Lt. Governor, Delhi under Delhi Cooperative Societies Act, 2003, heads the Cooperative Department and plays a pivotal role in monitoring the functioning of Cooperative Societies registered under the Act. The Office of the Registrar is working on nine-district pattern and has nine Zones headed by Assistant Registrar level Officers. Each zone handles the matters of various cooperative societies on the basis of their registered office located in that particular zone. All issues concerning in particular society are examined at the zonal level only. Registrar of Cooperative Societies Delhi The appellant submitted that through his RTI application dt. 29­8­2012, he is seeking information on action taken on his letter dt. 9­5­2012 regarding the grant of society membership in violation of the provisions of section 75 of the DCS Act, 2003. The PIO replied on 28­9­2012 saying that the complaint has already been forwarded to the concerned society and reply is awaited from them. Not satisfied with the reply, the appellant made first appeal before the FAA. FAA by his order dt. 7­12­2012, directed the PIO to forward the copy of his comments dt. 26­11­2012 to the appellant within 15 days. Upon this FAA order, the appellant filed 2nd appeal before the Commission. The Decision can be read here: File No.CIC/AD/A/2013/000974­SA Mr. Vinod Kumar Bansal Vs. Registrar, Coop. Societies If you want to read more discussions relating to RTI for Cooperative Housing Society, please refer to the tag here Society and RTI, and if you have any queries please post it at our forum here! Do you have anything to add to this story, kindly post in the comments below.
  17. A senior citizen was made to wait for three years to get his due remuneration of working as Guest teacher in a school. When confronted by Central Information Commission, Dte of Education agreed that the Guest teacher was entitled for the remuneration. The Commission found this delay as a serious lapse on the part of the Public Authority, who indulged in unnecessary correspondence among various officers of the same Department, instead of making payment to a senior citizen like the RTI applicant of the age of 69 years, who has been made to wait for 3 years. Not only CIC directed the Public authority to pay within a week but also ordered to pay 125% more than the remuneration apart from the remuneration and interest, within 3 weeks from the date of receipt of the order for the delay in information supplied. At our forums we have a lot of discussions on School & RTI and if you have any questions to ask regarding RTI please go ahead and post it here! In this case the CIC went further ahead and directed the PIO/APIO(NW)/Principal of the GBSS School and the DDE (Planning) North­West District to show cause why penalty cannot be imposed on them for the inordinate delay in furnishing the information about the payment of dues to the RTI applicant. Guest Teacher Mr. Attar Singh Kaushik aged 69 years submitted that he is seeking information through his RTI application dt. 3­9­2012 regarding the non­payment of his salary for the relevant period he worked as guest teacher. PIO replied on 14­9­2012 saying that the payment of appellant’s salary is the responsibility of the concerned Head of the School. Being unsatisfied with the reply of PIO, the appellant preferred First Appeal dt. 27­12­2012. As he could not receive any order from the FAA in the prescribed time, he approached the Commission with the 2nd appeal. Decision: (Verbatim as per CIC decision) Commission heard the submissions. "The appellant is entitled to remuneration as a guest teacher for the teaching and relating work for the period from 7­3­2011 to 31­3­2011. The Principal of the school calculated the amount as Rs.7,200/­ to be paid to the appellant. He has quoted sanctions from Planning section, etc. and presented papers for non­payment of the dues to the appellant. The Commission finds this delay as a serious lapse on the part of the Public Authority, who is indulging in unnecessary correspondence among various officers of the same Department, instead of making payment to a senior citizen like the appellant of the age of 69 years, who has been made to wait for 3 years. The respondents agree that the appellant is entitled to receive the payment. The Commission, therefore, directs the respondent authority to inform by what date the payment of Rs.7,200/­ will be released, within one week along with interest on the same, from the date it was due to be paid till the date on which it is being paid at a simple interest prevailing in the banks. The Commission also directs the respondent authority to pay the appellant a compensation of Rs.9,000/­ apart from the remuneration and interest, within 3 weeks from the date of receipt of the order for the delay in information supplied. The Commission also directs the PIO/APIO(NW)/Principal of the concerned School and the DDE(Planning) North­West District to show cause why penalty cannot be imposed on them for the inordinate delay in furnishing the information about the payment of dues to the appellant." The decision is available here at CIC website: Mr. Attar Singh Kaushik Vs. Dte. Of Education, Delhi
  18. BSNL delayed responding to an RTI applicant by more than one and half years which had sought to know the BSNL complaint redressal mechanism itself and then BSNL provided information a day before the case was listed for hearing at Central Information Commission. Central Information Commission rightly ordered compensation for the inconvenience caused due to non reply of an RTI. CIC found that BSNL could not reply to the RTI application and therefore, in exercise of the powers vested in the CIC in Section 19(8)(b) of the RTI Act directed the department BSNL to compensate RTI applicant by an amount of Rs.750/- for the inconvenience and detriment caused to him. Under Section 19 (8) (b), "the Central Information Commission or State Information Commission, as the case may be, has the power to require the public authority to compensate the complainant for any loss or other detriment suffered;" From the CIC decision posted on the website, it is clear that the RTI applicant telephone was not in working order from a lot of time and he had to run from pillar to post to get his telephone put in working order. The consumer then applied under RTI to know the mechanism by which such complaints like his are addressed by BSNL. He applied RTI to BSNL on 17/10/2012 and CPIO provided this information on 1st June 2014 a day before the case was listed for hearing at CIC. Dr. Haroon Siddiqui from Allahabad after getting fed up with the non working of the phone has applied for the following information/documents:- The date of establishment of “Telecom Complaint Redressal Centre” for L.L/BB internet in your service area at Allahabad. The numbers of Land Line/Mobile phones available in these centers and its details numbers. The number of staffs, the names, designation in these centers. The time of lodging the complaint including the Sunday/holidays in these centers, whether it is registered by giving a unique docket number. Whether in a time bound manner for resolution of complaint and the action taken is communicated to the customers through SMS as per guide line of TRAI. The detail of setting up of a “Web based complaint monitoring system” where the customers can track their complaints. The details of IRVS or Interactive Voice Response is installed as per TRAI rules. The name, address of the appellant authority for Redressal of the complaint and copy of procedure for filing of appeal. BSNL complaint redressal mechanism The appellant stated that the information has been provided only yesterday and he needs some more details regarding query ©. He pleaded that due to non-provision of information he suffered detriment and had to run from pillar to post to get his telephone put in working order and some compensation should be allowed. The CPIO stated that he will provide the remaining information. Decision notice: The CPIO is directed to provide the information as above to the appellant within 15 days from the date of receipt of this order. From the foregoing it is apparent that the appellant did not receive the information till the matter came up for hearing. For the inconvenience caused to him, he deserves to be compensated. Therefore, in exercise of the powers vested in the CIC in Section 19(8)(b) of the RTI Act we direct the department to compensate him by an amount of Rs.750/- for the inconvenience and detriment caused to him. Accordingly, the CPIO should ensure that this amount is remitted to the appellant by demand draft/pay order within 21 days from the date of receipt of this order. The decision is available here! At our forum we have many discussions with regard to BSNL issues. You may like to visit the search result here to read them! If you have any query, kindly post it at our forums here! Have you faced similar problems or do you have anything to add to the story, post it in the comments.
  19. [caption id=" align="aligncenter" width="620] Penalties under RTI[/caption] There are multiple discussions and request over our forum asking "When can penalty be imposed on PIO" for not providing information, false and malafide information e.t.c However, one should be clear about the cases on which such Penalty can be imposed by Central Information Commission or state Information Commission. The provision relating to Penalty under RTI Act is dealt under section 20 (1) of RTI Act. Thus according to section 20 (1) the Penalties will only lie on the following grounds: refusal to receive an application delay in supply of information Malafidely denied the request for information knowingly giving incorrect, incomplete or misleading information; destroyed information which is the subject of the request or obstruct in any manner in furnishing the information. Though the Act states that the burden of proving that PIO acted reasonably and diligently shall be on the Public Information Officer. [CIC/OIC/A/2006/00637 Dated. 04.07.2008) " Therefore, it can be interpreted by the Information Commissioner that the PIO "knowingly" committed his actions of omission or commission, and it is for the PIO to produce evidence that he did so unknowingly. However, CIC has many a times interpreted in favor to PIO stating that "If there was no malafide in denial of information in servicing requests for information and that the refusal stems from a genuine conviction within the public authority that the information was exempted from disclosure, the CIC has not imposed the penalty. Further, remember that Section 7(1) allows only for 30 days for responding to an application under the RTI Act from the date of receipt to the date of dispatch of the information. It does not allow for 30 working days. [Decision on 07th May, 2008, Adjunct to appeal No. CIC/WB/A/2007/00274 dt 10 -03- 2007] You should read our Guide segment on this topic: What are the Penalty and Compensation provisions under the RTI Act 2005. There is a fantastic article available over CIC titled: "LESSONS FROM PENALTIES IMPOSED BY CIC" written by Sh. T N Krishnamoorthi, Deputy Chief Engineer, Andaman Harbour Works. He has compiled a lot of good information about Penalty in reference to RTI Act. We are quoting few of them here: In the following explanations, Reply, statements & Comments furnished by the Public Information Officers (PIO) / Deemed PIO's were not accepted by the CIC during hearing on the issue of delay in furnishing information under RTI Act. There was a “System failure” and nobody could be identified and made accountable for the delay in replying to the RTI application. [ C IC/OK/C/2006/00 147 dated, 01st March, 2007 ] PIO cannot take a recourse that the applicant is satisfied with the information and therefore no Penalty be levied upon him. Commission pointed out that the views of the applicant cannot be a reasonable cause for dropping penalty proceedings against the PIO. [ CIC/OK/A/2006/00400 dated, 18th May, 2007] The Commission takes strong exception for terming an RTI applicant as an irritant. [ CIC/OK/C/2006/00134 dated, 13th September, 2007] Ignorance of the RTI Act is not a reasonable cause for delay in supply of information. [CIC/OK/C/2006/00 208 dated, 13th September, 2007] The Plea by the CPIO that delay was entirely due to the failure of junior officer is being taken rather routinely. CPIO’s claim that he had sought assistance from ‘X’ under Section 5 (4) cannot be sustained as ‘X’ was a part of the CPIO’s office and he could not be treated either as a holder of information or an independent functionary. [ CIC/AT/C/2008/00121 dated, 01st October, 2008] The following explanations, Reply, statements & Comments furnished by the Public Information Officers (PIO) / Deemed PIO's were accepted by the CIC during hearing as reasonable cause under RTI Act and drops the penalty proceedings. The custodies of the information stated that he had denied the information with the approval of his administrative head. Since, the information was denied under the directions of the Administrative Head, the commission exonerates him from levy of penalty. [CIC/OK/C/2006/00139 dated, 6th November, 2007] The PIO submitted that the delay was caused because he had to collect the information from several departments. [CIC/OK/A/2006/00839 dated, 29th September, 2008] The Commission taken lenient view on the number of days the PIO was temporary duty at different places during the delayed period. [ C IC/OK/C/2006/00 147 dated, 01st March, 2007 ]
  20. [caption id=attachment_2106" align="alignright" width="300] false and misleading information[/caption] Senior citizen was made to run from pillar to post by providing false and misleading information. When the appeal came for hearing at CIC and the misdeed was exposed, the CPIO again requested for 30 more days to trace out the information after spending 9 months over it. Rightly so, the CIC imposed a compensation for the detriment and harassment caused to the appellant on account of this delay and Commission directed the public authority to pay compensation of Rs. 3000/– to the appellant. Providing false and misleading information The Fact of the case are as under: It was confirmed by the representatives of DTL that the information sought by the appellant was in fact held by them but they could not offer any reasons by way of explanation as to why they had previously stated before the Commission that the information was held by GENCO. It was confirmed that the holder of information is Shri SK Jain, Assistant Manager Finance After hearing the averments of both parties, Commission passes stricture on Shri KG Vishwanathan, Manager (Finance)/PIO and Shri Vasu Dev, Manager (HRD)/PIO who appeared before the Commission in the same matter on 24 October 2013 and provided false and misleading information to the Commission that the information sought by the appellant was held by GENCO when all along they were in fact the holders of the requested information. This has wasted the time and resources of the public authority and the Commission and they are warned to be more careful in future. The appellant is a senior citizen who has retired from the services of the public authority and has been running from pillar to post to obtain the requested information which is yet to receive even though his RTI application dated 25 February 2013 is addressed to the PIO DTL and as per the provisions of the Act, the appellant was intended to receive the requested information from the PIO within 30 days of preferring his RTI application. However more than nine months had elapsed and now the CPIO, DTL has requested for 30 more days time to trace out the information and furnish the same to the appellant. 3. Accordingly, Commission allows 30 days time from today to the CPIO/Assistant Manager Finance, and CPIO, HRD, DTL to provide the requested information to the appellant failing which they will attract penalty. 4. For the detriment and harassment caused to the appellant on account of this delay, Commission directs the public authority namely DTL to pay compensation of Rs. 3000/– to the appellant within one week of receipt of the order. (Smt. Deepak Sandhu) Chief Information Commissioner Adjunct to Appeal: No. CIC/DS/A/2013/001281 Appellant /Complainant : Shri S.K. Jain, New Delhi Public Authority : Delhi Transco, New Delhi (Sh.G. Srikumar, PIO/HR, Sh. Vasu Dev, PIO(HR) DTL Sh. Satya Parkash, Asstt. ) Date of Hearing : 03 December 2013 Date of Decision : 03 December 2013 Decision download: http://rti.cc/3j Here are the various discussion threads on False and misleading information: http://rti.cc/3k
  21. Commission found that there has been a delay of over 500 days in providing the information to the appellant and imposes a maximum penalty of Rs. 25,000/– on the former PIO Earlier, vide Commission’s order of even number dated 21 August 2013, matter pertaining to show cause notice was issued to the former PIO. Respondent who had appeared on behalf of the public authority confirmed that the notice of the Commission was served on the former PIO. The Ghost of RTI behind the former CPIO Commission was satisfied that the show cause notice has been served on the former PIO who has chosen not to appear before the Commission for personal hearing before imposition of penalty. Therefore as per the provisions of section 20 (1) of the Act, Commission notes that there has been a delay of over 500 days in providing the information to the appellant and imposes a maximum penalty of Rs. 25,000/– on the former PIO, Shri J P Sharma Transport Dept., GNCTD. This amount will be deducted in five equal instalments @ Rs.5,000/­ pm. The Transport Commissioner, GNCTD of Delhi is directed to recover the amount of Rs. 25,000/- from the salary of the Shri J.P. Sharma, former CPIO and remit the same by a demand draft or a Banker’s cheque in the name of the Pay & Accounts Officer, CAT, payable at New Delhi and send the same to Shri Pankaj K.P. Shreyaskar, Director and Joint Registrar of the Central Information Commission, 2nd. Floor, August Kranti Bhawan, New Delhi ­110066. The amount may be deducted at the rate of Rs. 5000/­ per month every month from the salary of the CPIO and remitted by the 10th of every month starting from January, 2014.The total amount of Rs. 25,000/­ will be remitted by 10th of June, 2014. Adjunct to Appeal: No. CIC/AD/A/2012/003082/DS Appellant /Complainant : Shri Yashpal Arora, Delhi Public Authority : Transport Department (GNCT),Delhi (Shri Ashok Kumar, MLO) Date of Hearing : 02 December 2013 Date of Decision : 02 December 2013 Decision: http://rti.cc/2u (Smt. Deepak Sandhu) Chief Information Commissioner
  22. In the first case of its kind, an Information Commissioner has been directed to pay costs of Rs 1 lakh by the Apex Court for filing a frivolous petition. This judgment has wide ramifications for the transparency movement in the country. Hon'ble Supreme Court recorded that "With the above observations, the special leave petition is dismissed. For filing a frivolous petition, the petitioner is saddled with cost of Rs.1,00,000/-. The amount of cost shall be deposited by the petitioner with the Supreme Court Legal Services Committee within a period of 2 months from today. If the needful is not done, the Secretary of the Supreme Court Legal Services Committee shall recover the amount of cost from the petitioner as arrears of land revenue."
  23. In most of the cases filed by a citizen for not receiving any reply from Public Information Officer (PIO) of various Departments, the Commission were merely directing the CPIO to provide the information which the complainant had sought instead of deciding the complaints on merits. There can be no dispute that while considering a complaint made under Section 18 of the Act, the Commission cannot direct the concerned CPIO to provide the information which the complainant had sought from him. The Commission has no power, while dealing with a complaint, to direct providing of the information subject- matter of the complaint. Thus Information Commission has no power to send the complaint back. The only order which can be passed by the Central Information Commission or the State Information Commission, as the case may be, under Section 18 is an order of penalty provided under Section 20. Now in a landmark decision on 28.10.2013 J.K.MITTAL Vs CENTRAL INFORMATION COMMISSION AND ANR, Delhi High Court has quashed the practice of summary disposal of complaints by remanding the matter to First Appellate Authority/ CPIO, without even hearing the complainant or deciding the complaint on merits. So now onwards when you do not receive the reply from CPIO, insert this judgement that "Information Commission has no power to send the complaint back" and add the following link: "CPIO had failed to provide information sought in the application, therefore, the petitioner is filing a complaint before the Central Information Commission or State Information Commissioner under Section 18 read with Section 20 of the Right to Information Act, seeking imposition of penalty against the said CPIO under Section 20 of the Act." Information Commission has no power to send the complaint back Such a power can only be exercised when a Second Appeal in terms of Sub-section (3) of Section 19 is preferred before the Commissioner. The scope of the powers of the Commission under Section 18 of the Act came up for consideration of the Hon’ble Supreme Court in Central Information Commissioner vs. State of Manipur 2012(286) E.L.T. 485(S.C.) Section 18 of the Act, to the extent it is relevant provides that it shall be the duty of the Commission to receive and enquire into a complaint from any person who has been refused access to any information requested under the Act or who has not been given a response to a request for information or access to information within the time limits specified under the Act. It is, therefore, obligatory for the Commission to decide such a complaint on merit instead of simply directing the CPIO to provide information which the complainant had sought. If the Commission finds that the CPIO had without reasonable cause refused to receive an application for information or had not furnished information within the prescribed time or had given incorrect, incomplete or misleading information, it is required to impose prescribed penalty upon such a CPIO/SPIO, as the case may be. In the cases covered by Sub-section (2) of Section 20 of the Act, the Commission is also required to recommend disciplinary action against the concerned CPIO or SPIO, under the service rules applicable to him. The standard procedure Information Commission has been adopting from quite a long time has been to decide the complaint as: (i) In case no reply has been given by the CPIO to the Complainant to his RTI- request dated 14.2.2012 CPIO should furnish a reply to the Complainant within two weeks of receipt of this order. (ii) In case CPIO has already given a reply to the Complainant in the matter, he should furnish a copy of his reply to the Complainant within one week of receipt of this order.” It is learnt that nearly 8600 matters have been summarily disposed by the CIC in recent years out of which more than 4000 have been disposed off by Information Commissioner Information Commissioner. In the present case of J.K.MITTAL Vs CENTRAL INFORMATION COMMISSION AND ANR, the same thing happened. Sh. J.K. Mittal filed an application dated 4th February, 2012 before the Central Public Information Officer (CPIO) of Central Excise & Service Tax Appellate Tribunal (CESTAT) seeking certain information. Alleging that the CPIO had failed to provide information sought in terms of the aforesaid application, the petitioner filed a complaint before the Central Information Commission under Section 18 read with Section 20 of the Right to Information Act, seeking imposition of penalty against the said CPIO under Section 20 of the Act. The court has decided that "As regards, the grievance expressed by the petitioner that the Commission, despite its attention being drawn to the above referred decision of the Apex Court continues, while considering a complaint under Section 18 of the Act, to direct the concerned CPIO to provide information instead of deciding the complaint on merits, it is expected that the Commission henceforth will decide the complaints on merits instead of directing the CPIO to provide the information which the complainant had sought. Of course, it would be open to the Commission to give such a direction while entertaining a second appeal under Sub- section (3) of Section 19 of the Act." Citation: J.K.MITTAL Vs CENTRAL INFORMATION COMMISSION AND ANR Decision Number: W.P.© No.6755.12 dated 28.10.2013 Download: Click here to download the decision Forum Discussion Thread: Del H.C. quashes practice of summary disposal of complaints by CIC and remanding them back
  24. Public Information Officers beware! Any lackadaisical attitude towards RTI Applicants will cost you fine, at least Punjab Information Commission are after non performers under under Section 20(1) of the RTI Act. If the PIO is unnecessary delaying in conveying the correct State of affairs to the Appellant in regard to his request for information and / or failed to attend the hearing despite registered letters sent by CIC/SIC. As per Section 20 of the RTI Act 2005, CIC or SIC can either penalize the PIO or recommend Disciplinary action against the PIO. Section 20 of (1) reads as: "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 or the State Public Information Officer, as the case may be, has, without any reasonable cause, refused to receive an application for information or has not furnished information within the time specified under sub-section (1) of section 7 or malafidely denied the request for information or knowingly given incorrect, incomplete or misleading information or destroyed information which was the subject of the request or obstructed in any manner in furnishing the information, it shall impose a penalty of two hundred and fifty rupees each day till application is received or information is furnished, so however, the total amount of such penalty shall not exceed twenty-five thousand rupees: Provided that the Central Public Information Officer or the State Public Information Officer, as the case may be, shall be given a reasonable opportunity of being heard before any penalty is imposed on him: Provided further that the burden of proving that he acted reasonably and diligently shall be on the Central Public Information Officer or the State Public Information Officer, as the case may be." Punjab Information Commission are after non performers under RTI In the present case PIO-Respondent, Sh. Jasdev Singh Sekhon (PIO when the RTI application filed by the Appellant) O/o Municipal Corporation, Ludhiana has not performed his duties under the RTI Act 2005 in keeping with either the letter or the spirit of the statute. SIC also to be noticed that the Respondent-PIO Sh. Jasdev Singh Sekhon has been functioning in a most lackadaisical manner which deserves to be strongly deprecated. Sh.Jasdev Singh Sekhon, (PIO when the RTI application filed by the Appellant) has, therefore, become liable to be penalized under Section 20(i) RTI Act 2005. Sh. Jasdev Singh Sekhon was directed to submit an affidavit showing cause why action under Section 20(1) of the RTI Act be not taken against him vide order dated 29.08.2013. But, he has failed to attend the hearing despite registered letters sent to him. SIC noted that "I am, therefore, left with no other option but to decide the question of imposition of penalty upon Sh. Jasdev Singh Sekhon- the then PIO in his absence and without the benefit of any reply by him. From the material on record, it transpires that there has been unnecessary delay in conveying the correct State of affairs to the Appellant in regard to his request for information." Sh. Jasdev Singh Sekhon- the then PIO was, at the relevant time, holding the position of the PIO. No explanation for delay has been given by him. Rather, his failure to even respond to the show cause direction by the Commission reinforces the fact that he has been without any reasonable cause guilty of remissness in the discharge of his duties. He was, therefore, deserved to be penalized. As the delay is of more than six months, maximum penalty of Rs. 25000/- could be imposed upon Sh. Jasdev Singh Sekhon, Suptd. the delinquent PIO. However, taking a lenient view, SIC impose a penalty of Rs. 15,000/- (Rs. Fifteen thousand only) on him. He has been directed to deposit this amount in the Treasury before the next date of hearing. Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, Ludhaina was also directed to ensure that in case Sh. Jasdev singh Sekhon, the then PIO does not deposit the amount of penalty, the penalty amount is recovered from the salary of Sh. Jasdev Singh Sekhon and a compliance report in this regard be sent to the Commission before the next date of hearing. The Decision of the Pubjab SIC can be downloaded from here!
  25. CPIO had been sitting over the RTI application maintaining stoic silence and incommunicado by CPIO and did nothing to collect and furnish the requisite information to the applicant till he was woken from his deep slumber by a notice from the State Information Commission. CPIO preferred not to do give information and feigned to be proactive in collecting, collating and furnishing the information but kept the appellant in dark for months together. The First Appellate Authority had restrained himself to issuing a stern warning as imposing penalty or awarding compensation was not in his jurisdiction. In the Second appeal filed with State Information Commission Punjab, the appellant appealed against the decision of the FAA who had let off the behaviour of stoic silence and incommunicado by CPIO with a simple warning and approached the commission for imposition of penalty on the respondent PIO and compensation for himself. Stoic Silence and Incommunicado by CPIO [caption id=attachment_460" align="alignright" width="200] stoic silence and incommunicado by CPIO[/caption] The commission noted that "the reply and explanation of the Respondent-PIO for the delay is totally unsatisfactory. If the information was not available on record, Respondent-PIO was well within his right to inform the appellant that the information is not available and it cannot be created and thus, would have absolved himself of the responsibility of furnishing information. But he preferred not to do so and feigned to be proactive in collecting, collating and furnishing the information but kept the appellant in dark for months together. Secondly, the Respondent-PIO pleaded that the information was scattered with the PIOs of different zones is too not tenable as the respondent PIO could have returned the application and directed the appellant to approach each PIO individually by filing separate RTI applications. Even assuming that the respondent PIO started collecting information, he could have sought assistance from different zonal officers under Section 5(4) or through any other mode but he failed to show records of any communication addressed to different zones" All this suggests that the Respondent-PIO had been sitting over the RTI application till December 20, 2012 and had done nothing to collect and furnish the requisite information to the appellant till he was woken from his deep slumber by a notice from the State Information Commission. The Commission were of the considered opinion that this is a fit case for imposing penalty where the behaviour maintaining stoic silence and incommunicado by CPIO was not acceptable. The commission noted that "Therefore, a penalty of Rs.25,000/- is imposed on the Respondent-PIO, which he should deposit in the government treasury as per provisions of the RTI Act, 2005 before the next date of hearing. The Commission also awards a compensation of Rs. 5000/- (Rupees Five Thousand only) to the appellant which will be paid by the public authority as per provisions of the RTI Act, 2005 as he had to undergo mental agony and harassment for attending the Commissions’ hearings a number of times." If you are interested in reading the discussion thread started by Applicant, you may kindly visit here! The Appellant is Shri. Rohit Sabharwal.
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