CIC penalises 4 MCD officials, fines Rs 1 lakh in single case
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Last Updated: Wednesday, January 19, 2011, 16:13
  
New Delhi: In a first-of-its-kind penalty, the Central Information Commission has slapped a maximum fine of Rs 25,000 each on four MCD officials for failing to provide information despite orders of higher authorities.

The case relates to an RTI application filed by a senior citizen J N Kapur who sought to know reasons for demolishing Mansarovar Garden Club in West Delhi.

When no information was provided by the Central Public Information Officer (CPIO), Kapur filed an appeal with higher officials as per the provisions of the RTI Act.

The higher authorities directed the information should be provided. But despite three such orders, CPIO V R Bansal did not provide any information.

During the hearing at the CIC, Bansal claimed he had sought information from several MCD officials but they did not cooperate and despite repeated reminders, no information was provided to him.

Information Commissioner Shailesh Gandhi said public information officers had to seek the assistance of other officials under section 5(4) of the RTI Act to furnish replies to information seeker.

"In such cases, if each officer has, without any reasonable cause, failed to provide the complete information within the prescribed time period, then he is liable to be penalised under Section 20(1) of the RTI Act," he said while imposing a penalty of Rs 25,000 on each of the four officials responsible for delay in providing the information.

As per Section 20(1), if the CIC at the time of deciding any complaint or appeal is of the opinion that the CPIO, without any reasonable cause, did not provide information within 30 days of receiving the application, it shall impose a penalty of Rs 250 each day till information is furnished, however, the total amount shall not exceed Rs 25,000.

"In the instant case, no reasonable cause has been given for the delay in providing the information to the appellant.

The Commission holds all the four officers -- K D Sharma, the then AE (West Zone), A K Gupta, present AE(WZ), T C Meena, JE (West Zone) and V R Bansal, PIO and SE-I (WZ) -- responsible individually for the delay of over 100 days in providing the information," Gandhi said while penalising the officers.

PTI


First Published: Wednesday, January 19, 2011, 16:13


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