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Are the Group C clerk responsible if RTI application got delayed at PIO office.


venugopal

Question

My application got delayed and the officer was apparently not responsible but his office assist were.

 

I learned that in RTI rule 20 only officers are liable for punishment under RTI. Then how those clerks can be held responsible?

 

There should be a clause to fix the people below ACPIO too.:(

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Yes they can be penalized. Here is the abstract quoted from the recent decision of CIC:

 

Whereas under Section 5(5), an officer does not himself have to be designated as a PIO/APIO to be liable for penalty for contravention of the provisions of this Act, officials functioning even at the clerical level and above category of Class-IV will be deemed to be “officers” in the application of this Act. In the normal course, therefore, they would be liable to penalty under Section 5(5) if their assistance had been sought under Section 5(4) of the Act. In this case, therefore, as already held, they cannot plead exemption from application of this provision.

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The RTI is applicalbe to all government personal. The central idea is to provide one window system to citizen. So that the citizen dont have to run to differnt coutners for obtaining information.

The CPIO will inturn with the assistence of other officer will provide information. Inorder to empower CPIO Section 5 subsection 5 of RTI, 2005 make all those person from whom CPIO seeks help equally responsible as CIPO.

 

Section 5 subsection (5) reads as

 

Any officer, whose assistance has been sought under sub-section (4), shall render all assistance to the Central Public Information Officer or State Public Information Officer, as the case may be, seeking his or her assistance and for the purposes of any contravention of the provisions of this Act, such other officer shall be treated as a Central Public Information Officer or State Public Information Officer, as the case may be.

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Although I am not very clear about "Groups" in the Government Service, here is a contrary decision of the CIC regarding levying penalty on "non-officers":

 

http://cic.gov.in/CIC-Orders/Decision_19122007_04.pdf

 

It is not our practice to impose financial penalties on dealing assistants who cannot be considered “an officer” whose assistance has been sought u/s 5 (4). A dealing assistant could bean LDC or a UDC, which would put him in class III employees, or an Assistant who is a class II non-gazetted employee. We cannot, therefore, hold such an official liable u/s 5 (5) of the RTI Act. It is the officer who is so liable.

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SNEHAL SHAH
Yes they can be penalized. Here is the abstract quoted from the recent decision of CIC:

 

SIR, this is beautiful. can you please give me the order no or link? I need this judgement in one of my appeal.

 

snehal

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karira
SIR, this is beautiful. can you please give me the order no or link? I need this judgement in one of my appeal.

 

snehal

 

Snehal,

 

The link is available just above the quote...in light green colour.

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