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  1. 262 officials booked under RTI Act in Bihar as reported by Amarnath Tewary | Patna Daily Pioneer When the Bihar Government set up State Information Commission to provide information to seekers under RTI Act through Jankari on telephone a year ago, it was first of its kind in the country, prompting other States to emulate it. Again, another achievement: 262 Government officials were punished in a year for not supplying information, willingly or unwillingly, to RTI applicants. In recent times several reports have come up when Government officials had demanded huge sums of money up to Rs 74 lakh in the name of miscellaneous charges from RTI applicants. The State Information Commission took notice of such cases and others before cracking the whip against the erring officials. While addressing a seminar on Sunday, Secretary of State Information Commission SK Mishra said in the last one year altogether 262 officials have been charged under RTI Act. “Besides, during the last three years, altogether 12,000 cases were brought to the notice of the commission and around 1.35 lakh people sought various kinds of information from different departments,” he said. “The RTI Act has become a potent tool in the hands of the common people and more and more are using it for their purpose,” said Mishra. The given information even surprised a team of young researchers from the US and China who had visited the State recently. The visiting team wondered why so many Government officials from top to bottom were punished for not providing the required information within stipulated time. Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had launched the Jankari scheme, through which one can get information by making a phone call. “This system has worked wonders and the Government has been taking action against those officials who were found guilty of not providing the required information on one pretext or other,” said Nitish Kumar. “There should be transparency in the functioning of the Government and everyone has the right to know what he wants to know,” he said. The Pioneer > Online Edition
  2. sidmis

    24 depts ignore penalty

    24 depts ignore penalty Express Buz, Express News Service, 11 Oct 2008, CHENNAI The State Information Commission is yet to recover the penalty imposed on 24 departments and institutions for not complying with the Right to Information (RTI) Act. University of Madras, Manonmaniam Sundaranar University, Health and Family Welfare Department, Tamil Nadu Electricity Board, Chennai Corporation, Highways Department, Chennai Police Commissionerate, Directorate of Rural Development and Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority are some of the defaulters. Madhav Vishnubhatta of the Association for India’s Development on Friday said the commission, which received 8,000 appeals in the first year and 30,000 in the second year, dealt with 1.2 lakh appeals in the third year. Of them, 24 cases were found to be gross violations of the RTI. At a press conference here, he said the Tamil Nadu Right to Information Campaign, organised by non-governmental organisations across the State, would take off on October 13 to create awareness on the RTI, which came into force three years ago on October 12. In Chennai, the campaign would be launched with a human chain at Gandhi Statue on the Marina between 10.30 am and 12.30 pm. RTI volunteers would set up stalls outside five tahsildar offices in and around the city to educate people about the RTI Act and how they could use it to their benefit. “It is the only Act that the people can use. So, the awareness campaign aims at encouraging people to make use of it,” said Vijay Anand of Fifth Pillar, one of the seven NGOs participating in the campaign. Indira of Human Rights Foundation detailed how the campaigns in the past had helped more people seeking redress to their problems through the RTI. This year, the activists would reach out to college students, besides distributing pamphlets on the RTI at railway stations. 24 depts ignore penalty=
  3. sidmis

    SIC fines information officer

    SIC fines information officer Rs25,000 will be deducted from Gaikwad?s salary as reported by DNA Correspondent IN DNA Epaper State information commissioner (SIC) , Pune region, Vijay Kuvalekar has fined a public information officer for failing to provide information and later providing insufficient and wrong information. The error on the part of this officer was proved when an officer who took over from him after transfer, provided all the information to the appellant. Narayan Atmaram Gaikwad is the officer who has been fined for Rs25,000 by the SIC, Pune bench. The amount is to be deducted from his August salary. The SIC has ordered that this should be mentioned in the service book and the confidential report of the officer. The SIC has also ordered an enquiry about why the documents were not made available to the appellant within the stipulated time period. The divisional commissioner has been asked by the SIC to submit the enquiry report by September 5. The order has been given on the appeal by Dattatraya Shreerang Kengar of Solapur. He had appeared for interview for the post of cattle supervisor from the category of Scheduled Castes. He believed that he was selected for the post and his name was there on the list of successful candidates. But later, the list was changed and his name was dropped. Hence, he resorted to Right to Information (RTI) to unearth the truth. Kengar filed an application under RTI and asked for copies of the first list of successful candidates displayed on the board, the revised list, the order by the district collector in this regard etc. According to Kengar, the then public information officer Gaikwad did not provide him proper information and told that the copy of an order by the district collector about the revision in the list was not available. Incidentally, when Gaikwad was transferred to other post and MB Bansode took over, Kengar again filed an application under RTI and asked for the information. Bansode provided him all the documents including a copy of an order by the district collector. Kengar on that basis claimed that Gaikwad did not provide information in spite of it being available. The SIC accepted that claim. An explanation was sought by SIC from Gaikwad to know his stand. In his delayed response, Gaikwad did not provide explanation about why he did not give information and why Kengar was told that the copy of district collector?s order was not available. DNA E-Paper - Daily News & Analysis -Mumbai,Pune, Ahmedabad, Jaipur, India
  4. As reposted in zeenews.com http://www.zeenews.com/articles.asp?d=457256&sid=REG CIC pulls up MCD for not responding to notice, summons New Delhi, July 22: The Central Information Commission (CIC) has pulled up the MCD for not responding to a notice issued to it over a petition seeking details on appointments made in the civic agency on compassionate grounds. "This Commission takes an adverse view of the MCD failing to respond both to our appeal notice and summons for appearance in hearing," Central Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah said. The Commission has decided to proceed with the hearing of a case without the presence of MCD officials. It's observation came while hearing a petition filed by Mahinder Kaur of Haryana seeking information on MCD employees who were appointed on the compassionate grounds. She said that the full information has not been provided to her by MCD. The Commission directed the MCD to give the petitioner information pertaining to appointments made on compassionate grounds along with the criteria adopted in the process. The CIC also ordered the MCD to upload the information sought on its website and kept it up-to-date every time such an appointment is made. It asked the MCD to complete its updation within a period of 20 days. The Commissioner ordered the Health Officer of the MCD to explain the delay in furnishing the information and asked why a penalty of Rs 8,000 should not imposed on him. Bureau Report
  5. As reported by —iGovernment Bureau http://www.igovernment.in/site/rti-violation-proves-costly-for-120-pios/ RTI violation proves costly for 120 PIOs The Central Information Commission in India has penalised over 120 public information officers (PIOs) for not providing information under Right to Information Act of 2005. Published on 4/15/2008 3:02:00 PM New Delhi: The Central Information Commission (CIC) in India has penalised over 120 public information officers (PIOs) for not providing information under Right to Information Act of 2005, imposing a penalty amounting Rs 13 lakh until March 2008. Disclosing this at the seminar on Right to Information Act 2005 organised by Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry in India (Assocham), the Chief Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah stated that over Rs 5 lakh penalty has been recovered of the guilty PIOs out of the total imposed penalty. He clarified that the full penalty could not be recovered as more than 100 PIOs, accused of not providing information under the Act, have moved various courts against the CIC orders. Habibullah said that the Commission would become more proactive to take stern action against PIOs that refuse to provide information to those who have sought. Also, the Commission has asked all government departments and public authorities to put their policy decisions on their respective website. “With this, the public can access the information from the government and public authorities without even fulfilling the required applications,” he said. Habibullah, however, said that use of the information act has exceeded the public expectations as everybody is asking for relevant information under the Act. He added that the government has not been able to keep a rapid pace with it and is therefore under heavy pressure to provide information within 30 days as provided under the Act. The CIC also went on to the extent of saying that public has become more demanding and asking for any sort of information which has built up even a case for contempt and if the flow continues, the Commission would move and file a contempt case with relevant bodies. The Chief Information Commissioner admitted that publicity and awareness among public about Right to Information Act has yet to be percolated as a large section of people are not adequately aware of it in the absence of adequate publicity campaign. Interestingly, he said that in the rural segment, particularly people below poverty line (BPL) are much more aware about the right to information act as nearly 10 per cent of such a lot in the countryside is making use of this Act to obtain relevant information from public authorities. Habibullah said that the government machinery is learning to get used with the Act as its enactment was done only in 2005 and it is because of this reason that sometimes, the dissemination of information takes time beyond 30 days as provided in the Act. Seeking public participation to cooperate with the government, the the Chief Information Commissioner urged the masses not to seek those information that have no relevance as it would ease out the pressure on the government. Speaking at the seminar, Assocham Legal Affairs Committee Chairman Suman Jyoti Khaitan offered the facilities of Assocham in consultation with NGOs to popularise the salient features of the Right to Information Act. He further said that in doing so, a larger section of society would gain out of it as the Act would bring about a revolution in India in public participation with government for good governance.
  6. Need to have penal provisions for misusing RTI Act As Reported In 'The Hindu' New Delhi (PTI): In view of growing misuse of the Right to Information Act by citizens for ulterior motives, the Central Information Commission (CIC) has expressed the need to amend the law to incorporate penal provisions against such information seekers. "The recent cases show the necessity of some provisions in the RTI Act for taking punitive action against information seekers who seek to misuse the Act in such blatant fashion," the Commission said, while dismissing a plea of a Navodaya Vidyalaya teacher after finding his application to be "a tool for vendetta" against the school. In probably a first order of its kind, the CIC directed a government functionary to ignore RTI pleas of school teacher Ramesh Chandra who along with his wife Uma Kanti made every possible effort to use the pro-people legislation to harbour revenge against his department. The CIC took the decision after noting that the couple in a bid to challenge Ramesh's transfer had earlier unsuccessfully moved the Central Administrative Tribunal, the High Court and the National Commission for Scheduled Castes before finally banking on the RTI Act. Terming it as a "worst misuse of RTI Act," Information Commissioner O P Kejariwal said "the present case is an example to the ridiculous length to which a person can take a beneficial piece of legislation and make a mockery of it." The apex RTI body passed the strictures against the couple after they sought over 20-year-old records concerning thousands of employees of the school. Disgusted over the applicant's behaviour, it said "The Commission directs Navodaya Vidyalaya not to consider the RTI applications filed by Ramesh and his wife since the RTI cannot be turned into a tool for vendetta of an employee against his organisation for some grievance one harbours against it."
  7. As posted by Yahoo News on 16 January 2008: Jharkhand files petition against CIC order - Yahoo! India News Jharkhand files petition against CIC order Wed, Jan 16 02:45 AM The Jharkhand State Information Commission (JSIC) may soon have some clarifications to provide to the High Court regarding its jurisdiction to impose penalty on officers of the state Government. The state Government has filed a writ petition in the Jharkhand High Court, challenging CIC Harshanker Prasad's order slapping a fine on its senior officer for not providing peons to JSIC. Prasad has claimed that he is prepared to reply to the petition filed by the state's Personnel Department (PD) on January 3. "I will reply as and when the court asks me to do so," he said. However, the court has not yet responded to the petition that involves a resident of Palamau, Binod Prajapati. Prajapati had approached the JSIC with a complaint that Palamau District Education Officer had not furnished information sought by him last year under the RTI Act. While disposing of the case in his favour, Prasad in his order, dated December 20, complained about the shortage of 'good' staff in the JSIC and held then PD Secretary S K Satpati, an IAS officer of 1986 batch, responsible for it. "Several letters were written and the Commission also desired that seven peons be deputed. But the PD deemed it fit to post some assistants who were not equipped to do the job. For non-cooperation and failure in performing statutory duty of providing personnel, the Commission, under Section 19 (8 read with Section 20 of the RTI), imposes a penalty of Rs 5,000 on Satpati. The penalty will be deducted from his salary in five monthly installments of Rs 1,000 each, beginning from January," stated Prasad in his order. The PD's secretary R S Sharma, who succeeded Satpati recently, moved the court with a writ seeking to quash this order. "The main question involved in the case is whether the CIC has any jurisdiction to pass any order against the petitioner in an appeal wherein he is not a party," asked the petition. Another question was whether the law conferred any jurisdiction upon the JSIC to impose punishment not violative of the RTI Act. "We are waiting for the court to hear our submissions," said Sharma.
  8. ganpat1956

    Railway officials penalised

    New Delhi, September 22 The Central Information Commission (CIC) has asked some railway officials to pay Rs 20,000 as compensation for harassing a Delhi based lady doctor, who was harrased for seeking information under the Right to Information (RTI) Act. She had sought information on the departmental action being initiated against a section engineer who allegedly inflicted grievous injuries on her brother. Dr Meenu Sharma lodged a police complaint against engineer Devender Kumar Midha on April 24, 2006 for allegedly inflicting injuries on her brother. However she claimed that railway officials concerned was trying to shield their colleague. Midha, a senior section engineer (Tracks) in Bareily, was granted bail by the court but Dr Sharma had alleged that he was evading trial proceedings after his release on bail. The CIC Information Commissioner O P Kejarivwal in a recent order said that Dr Sharma should be compensated for the mental agony she had undergone while seeking information under RTI from the Railway Information Officer. The CIC directed that the Rs 20,000 compensation to be paid should be recovered from those officials, who had not only harassed her but also made indecent remarks against her. Midha had allegedly evaded trial proceedings by fleeing to Sought Africa but the railway officials concerned tried to conceal this information from the lady doctor. They also allegedly had stated that Midha had not gone to South Africa but was in Mozambique. The CIC noted that the railway officials instead of helping Dr Sharma had retaliated by using objectionable language. “By any stretch of imagination nothing can be more objectionable for a government department,” the Commission said. The Tribune, Chandigarh, India - Delhi and neighbourhood
  9. New Delhi, Sep 16 (PTI) The Central Information Commission (CIC) has observed that authorities should ensure that no action is taken against persons seeking information under the Right to Information Act. The observation came during the hearing of a RTI application by city resident Harish Tripathi, who had sought details of certain dues of the Delhi Gymkhana Club pending with the government. "The Commission...Makes a strong recommendation to the concerned authorities to ensure that members are not victimised/penalised for taking recourse to a piece of legislature which has the sanctity of Parliament," Information Commissioner O P Kejariwal said in a recent decision. Tripathi, in November last year, had filed a RTI plea with the land and development office of the urban development ministry, and later moved an appeal with the Commission after he did not get any response within the stipulated 30 days. He also alleged during the hearing that his 40-year-old membership of the club was suspended after he sought the information. Tripathi, a resident of Saket, had wanted information on "misuse/damage charges" liable to be paid by Delhi Gymkhana Club since July 2004, and a summary of its correpondence with the land and development office. Kejariwal, who directed the ministry to allow Tripathi to inspect the relevant records pertaining to the club's correspondence with the office, also issued a show cause notice seeking reasons for the delay of nearly three months. Displeased at the allegations raised by Tripathi over his suspended membership, Kejariwal observed, "By doing so, they (Delhi Gymkhana Club) would only be bringing a bad name to an organisation which otherwise enjoys a good reputation." PTI Full text of the decision is available in : Decision No. CIC/OK/A/2007/00290 dated 11/09/2007 on Appeal from Shri Harish Tripathi Vs Ministry of Urban Development
  10. ganpat1956

    KIC imposes max penalty

    Karnataka Information Commission imposed a penalty of Rs.25000/- on a Public Information Officer who not only failed to failed to provide the information but also wilfully ignored the summons issued by the Commission to appear before the commission personally. Mr. Ranganath, Additional Tahasildar of Yalahanka failed to provide the information sought by one Mr. Aswath Narayana Gowda regarding burial ground of Kodigehally Hally Village. Mr. Gowda had sought information on 20.12.2006 and despite adjournment for three times and direction from the Karnataka Information Commission to provide the required information, the PIO wilfully disobeyed the orders. Mr. K K Misra, Chief Information Commissioner imposed a penalty and directed the Deputy Commissioner, Bangalore Urban District to deduct the penalty from the salary of the PIO in five equal instalment of Rs.5000/- This is the first order ever issued by the karnataka Information Commission imposing a maximum penalty of Rs.25000/- under the Right to Information Act. [posted by Shri Veeresh Bellur on Humjanenge]
  11. Penalty of Rs 25,00/- under RTI Act,2005 imposed by State Commission Ananda Bazar Patrika -19/08/2007 State commission has imposed a max. amount of Rs 25,000/- upon Mugbenapur village Panchayat Secretary for not furnishing information even after 2nd appeal on 9thAugust,07.Ratikanta Paul of Pranballavpur village submitted an application to the State Public Information Officer of Village Panchayat on 25th Sept,06. Without receiving any information even after one month he preferred an appeal. Even that he did not receive any information or any clarification of delay in furnishing the information sought for. Then he submitted 2nd appeal to the State Commission on 26th Dec,06. The SIC directed the SPIO to furnish the information within 15days to the applicant, on 18th January, 2007. On 20th March,07 Sri Ratikanta Paul, the concerned applicant informed the State Commission that he did not receive any information. The Commission sent show cause notice on 28th August, 2007, Without getting any response, the Commission on 10th July, 07 asked the concerned SPIO, the applicant and the A.A. But neither the SPIO nor the App. Authority was present to the Commission . At last the State Commission imposed the max. penalty of Rs. 25000/- abhijeet
  12. karira

    PWD officers penalised

    PWD officers penalised PANJIM, JUNE 28 – Two PWD officers have been fined heavily for causing inordinate delay in providing information applied under the Right to Information Act. The Goa State Information Commission (GSIC) has imposed a fine of Rs 10,000 on P Arlekar, deputy director of administration, PWD and Rs 5000 on A A Parulekar, Superintending Surveyor of Works for causing a delay of 84 days. Arlekar is the assistant public information officer while Parulekar is the public information officer. The director of accounts has been asked to deduct the penalties from salary bills of two officers. Joao Caldeira of Panjim had sought information under RTI act, in respect of filing up of 33 vacancies of junior engineer, PWD — pursuant to the advertisement published in local daily on October 23, 2005. The Assistant Public information officer did not provide information to the applicant even as application was forwarded to him. But when applicant realized that no information was forthcoming despite reminders he approached PIO asking him to supply information latest by December 17, 2006 failing which he would approach the appellate authority. The GSIC comprising of State Chief Information Commissioner A Venkataratnam and State Information Commissioner G G Kambli held that both officers were responsible for delay caused in providing the complete information to the appellant within the time specified and thus imposed penalty on both. PWD officers penalised | oHERALDo
  13. Hello, I am the PIO in my department, but I do not have the information with me, as my department is very big. Now the time has passed and I kept on asking the section head to give me the information, which was not given to me. Am I liable for the penality for the act I did not do? Kindly advice Kushal?
  14. Days after receiving flak for restrictive use of the penalty clause, the Central Information Commission on Thursday levied maximum penalty under RTI Act against registrar of Benaras Hindu University. The commission found the Principal Information Officer (in this case the registrar) guilty of denying information to the applicant Dhananjay Tripathi, who sought the inquiry report into the death of his friend Yogesh Roy. A penalty of Rs 25,000 has been imposed. For the first time, the CIC invoked the penalty clause against the official who was not the original PIO. A junior level official was earlier the PIO but during the hearing of the case the university informed that the registrar is assisting the PIO in the case. Therefore, under the RTI Act, he became liable for punishment as an official senior of the original PIO. By imposing the maximum penalty allowed under RTI Act, the commission now wants to send the message loud and clear that quoting provisions of Section 8 of the RTI Act to deny the information requested without giving any justification as to how these provisions are applicable is “simply unacceptable and clearly amounts to malafide denial of legitimate information”. The CIC had earlier warned BHU in this regard. When even after a full bench hearing in presence of BHU Vice Chancellor Punjab Singh, the information was denied to Tripathi, the penalty clause was invoked. On Thursday, the Information Commissioner OP Kejriwal also asked the university to provide the copy of the inquiry report to Tripathi within a week. Roy had allegedly died due to medical negligence and the report is believed to have found merit in this view. However, the university debunked the report that it was not according to the terms of reference. That was done after Tripathi sought a copy of the report under RTI Act earlier this year. The CIC is also expected to issue an order into the inquiry conducted on the allegation of the application that he was discriminated by BHU for filing the application. Tripathi had alleged that he was denied promotion to the next class on malafide grounds. CIC sources said that the inquiry officer has finalized its report and an order can be expected on that by end of this week. RTI: CIC levies max penalty against BHU registrar : HindustanTimes.com
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