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Archive for the ‘RTI Penalties’ Category

RTI shock for university registrar

Posted by rtiact2005 on October 23, 2006

RTI shock for university registrarAdd to Clippings

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/2229906.cms

BANGALORE: A registrar has the dubious distinction of attracting the highest possible penalty for denying the right to information (RTI).

Under the RTI Act, the Central Information Commission has slapped a fine of Rs 25,000 on Banaras Hindu University registrar N Sundaram.

His offence: he did not make available to applicant Dhananjay Tripathi an inquiry report on incidents leading to the death of Yogesh Roy, a student, in January. This is the first instance where the CIC has levied the maximum penalty.

The full penalty has to be paid by the registrar in the form of a DD within 15 days. If he fails, the V-C will recover the penalty amount from Sundaram’s salary as per CIC’s directive.

The commission noted: “The only contribution of the registrar in meeting the requirement of the applicant was delay and denial of information. He has never spelt out the valid grounds of rejection of the applicant’s request.”

The CIC held the submissions made by the registrar in response to the show-cause notice as “quite superfluous and explains nothing.”

Sundaram had given a 9-point reply. Tripathi filed an application under RTI seeking the inquiry report of professor Harikesh Singh.

This probed into incidents on January 11 and 12, 2005, including the death of Roy, a student at Sir Sunder Lal Hospital attached to the university.

But Sundaram, who is in charge of administration and the appellate authority under RTI, rejected the application and the subsequent first appeal.

He also communicated his reply 86 days after the date of the application, which is almost two months after the statutory 30 days.

Tripathi appealed before the CIC and the registrar was directed to provide the inquiry report within 15 days.

But BHU V-C Panjab Singh told the commission that the university’s executive council had resolved not to accept the findings of the report.

Still, the commission directed the V-C to make public the report with the proviso that the university had rejected it. But the report was never made available.

What section 20 (1) of the RTI Act states:

Where the CIC or the SIC 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 has without any reasonable cause refused to receive an application for information or has not furnished information within the time specified or denied the request with mala fide intention 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 Rs 250 each day till application is received or information is furnished. However, the total amount of such penalty shall not exceed Rs 25,000.

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Total Forty Thousand penalty against Sub Divisional Officer (Revenue) Raigarh proposed by Chhattisgarh CIC

Posted by rtiact2005 on August 6, 2006

Chhattisgarh CIC proposed Total Forty Thousand penalty against Sub Divisional Officer (Revenue) Raigarh.


In two seprate important orders on 31 July, Chief Information Commissioner Mr. A.K.Vijayavargia ordered to issue so cause notice for proposed total Forty thousand Penalty in two cases (Twenty thousand in each case) against Sub Divisional Officer (Revenue) Raigarh and awarded Reimbursement of total five hundred (Rs.250/- in each case) to appellant.

Brief Summery

Appeal No.80/06

Appellant Ramesh Agrawal, Satyam Kunj, Raigarh (C.G.)

Public Authority Sub Divisional Officer (Rev) Raigarh (C.G.)

Application Submitted 14.12.2005

Information sought Regarding commencement of work / construction prior to Environment Clearance by Industries in Raigarh District.

First Appeal Submitted 18.1.2006

Order on first appeal 17.03.2006

Second Appeal 26.03.2006

First hearing 16.05.2006

Second Hearing 12.06.2006

Final hearing 31.07.2006

Order 31.07.2006 :So cause notice against penalty of Rs.20,000/-, Reimbursement of Rs.250/- to appellant & Information free of charges within 15 days.

Appeal No.81/06

Appellant Ramesh Agrawal, Satyam Kunj, Raigarh (C.G.)

Public Authority Sub Divisional Officer (Rev) Raigarh (C.G.)

Application Submitted 14.12.2005

Information sought regarding Land acquisition for expansion plant of M/s Jindal Steel & Power Ltd. Patrapali district Raigarh.

First Appeal Submitted 18.1.2006

Order on first appeal 17.03.2006

Second Appeal 26.03.2006

First hearing 16.05.2006

Second Hearing 12.06.2006

Final hearing 31.07.2006

Order 31.07.2006 So cause notice against penalty of Rs.20,000/-, Reimbursement of Rs.250/- to appellant & Information free of charges within 15 days.

Ramesh Agrawal

‘Jan Chetana’

159 – Kelo Vihar Colony

Raigarh (C.G.) 496001

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RTI impact: Registrar faces fine

Posted by rtiact2005 on August 5, 2006

RTI impact: Registrar faces fine
Sonia Sarkar
[ 4 Aug, 2006 0227hrs ISTTIMES NEWS NETWORK ]

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/1849943.cms

NEW DELHI: Not even educational institutions have been able to escape the clutches of the Right to Information Act (RTI).

The Central Information Commission (CIC) has imposed a penalty of Rs 13,750 on the registrar of Jamia Hamdard University, Akhtar Majeed, for denying information to one Asgar Khan.

Khan wanted to know the name of the public information officer (PIO) in the varsity and the prescribed proforma for seeking information from the university about the reasons for terminating the services of a non-teaching staff member.

“The penalty has been imposed on Majeed as the commission found that no PIO was appointed even after we asked the registrar to do so.

He denied information to Khan who wanted to know the reasons for terminating the services of Izhar-ul-Hasan who worked as junior assistant in the department of social work in the university,” says O P Kejariwal, information commissioner, CIC who dealt with the case.

Khan — state president of All India Minority Sadbhavna Congress — filed a complaint with the commission in February.
Responding to it, the latter wrote to the university officials drawing their attention to the provisions of the RTI Act and directed them to appoint a PIO.

Not receiving the reply, the commission fixed a hearing on the matter on June 26. “We asked the registrar whether the university had appointed a PIO as per section 5(1) of the RTI Act which states that within 100 days of the enactment, every public authority would designate CPIOs or SPIOs in all administrative units or offices to provide information to people requesting for it under the Act.

The registrar did not reply to this but maintained that as per the memorandum of association (MOA) and rules and regulations of the university, the registrar is competent to give reply or information on behalf of the university,” said Kejariwal.

He further said: “When asked whether he had given this information to the complainant who asked for the name of CPIO, he had no answer.

Finally, we directed him to comply with the provisions of sections 4 and 5(1) of the RTI Act and explain the reasons as to why penal action under section 20 should not be taken against him.

He was asked to explain this within 21 days after the issue of the order on July 3 but the registrar did not appear on the next hearing on July 24 and did not reply either.

He added: “So, we have asked the vice-chancellor S Ahmad to recover the penalty from the salary of Majeed and remit the amount to the commission as the minimum delay of 55 days occurred to deal with the case.”

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Central Information Commission imposes penalty

Posted by rtiact2005 on July 31, 2006

Central Information Commission
Appeal: No. CIC/OK/C/2006/00042
Dated, the 28th July, 2006

Name of the Appellant: Shri Asgar Khan, AIMSC B-11, IIIrd Floor, Bhaskar Compound Abul Fazal Enclave, Okhla New Delhi – 110025

Name of the Public Authority: Jamia Hamdard University Hamdard Nagar, New Delhi – 110062

ORDER

WHEREAS this Commission by its Order dated 3rd July, 2006 directed the Registrar, Jamia Hamdard University, to explain the reasons as to why penal action under Section 20 should not be taken against him for denial of information to Shri Asgar Khan leading to his filing of a complaint with the Commission on 18th February, 2006;

WHEREAS his explanation was to reach this Commission within 21 days of the issue of the Order dated 3rd July, 2006;

WHEREAS the Registrar, Prof. Akhtar Majeed, affirmed before the Commission that he was competent to give reply/information on behalf of the University by virtue of the Memorandum of Association and Rules & Regulations of Jamia Hamdard University, adopted in 1989;

WHEREAS the Commission is of the opinion that he had denied the Appellant the information;

WHEREAS the Registrar failed to appear before the Commission on the date of hearing i.e. 24th July, 2006;

WHEREAS the Registrar did not make any request to the Commission seeking exemption from appearance on the date of hearing; and

WHEREAS the Commission has come to the conclusion that it is a fit case for imposition of penalty under Section 20(1) of the Right to Information Act, 2005 and a minimum delay of 55 (fifty-five) days has occurred from 6th May,2006 to 30th June, 2006 despite the Commission directions issued on 17.4.2006;

and

NOW the Commission imposes a penalty of Rs.13,750/- (rupees thirteen thousand seven hundred fifty) on Prof. Akhtar Majeed, Registrar, Jamia Hamdard, New Delhi.

The Commission further authorises and requests the Vice Chancellor, Jamia Hamdard, New Delhi to cause the recovery of the amount of penalty from the salary of Prof. Akhtar Majeed and remit the amount by Demand Draft/Banker’s Cheque drawn in favour of Pay & Accounts Officer, DP&AR, payable at New Delhi, to Shri Pankaj K.P. Shreyaskar, Assistant Registrar, Central information Commission, 4th Floor, Block No. IV, Old J.N.U. Campus,

New Delhi – 110067, by 15th September, 2006
Sd/-
(O.P. Kejariwal)
Information Commissioner

Authenticated true copy :
Sd/-
( L.C. Singhi )

Additional Registrar

CC:

1. Dr. S. Ahmad, Vice Chancellor, Jamia Hamdard University, Hamdard Nagar, New Delhi – 110062.
2. Prof. Akhtar Majeed, Registrar, Jamia Hamdard University, Hamdard Nagar, New Delhi – 110062.
3. Shri Pankaj K.P. Shreyaskar, Assistant Registrar, Central information Commission, 4th Floor, Block No. IV, Old J.N.U. Campus, New Delhi -110067.
4. Officer Incharge, NIC.
5. Press E Group, CIC.

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First penalty case hits roadblock

Posted by rtiact2005 on July 14, 2006

First penalty case hits roadblock

Will not pay fine, file review plea: MCD PIO

Shilpa Venkataraman -
Friday , July 14, 2006

http://cities.expressindia.com/fullstory.php?newsid=192792

New Delhi, July 13: THE first case in Delhi so far, wherein fine was imposed on an official under the Right to Information Act, has hit a roadblock.

MCD Deputy Commissioner (Shahadra South Zone) S.C. Kohli, whom the Chief Information Commission (CIC) found guilty of refusing information to an applicant, says he will not pay the fine.

“Why should I pay? I was not the DC when the penalty order was issued,” Kohli told Newsline.

Kohli is now the Secretary to the Commissioner, MCD.

Present incumbent Jai Prakash Agrawal, during whose tenure the penalty order was issued, says he will not pay the fine either.

“I took over only on June 1, 2006, four days before the penalty order was issued,” says Agrawal.

The reason for the confusion: the order only mentions the designation of the guilty public information officer (PIO) and not the name. Three officials have held that position between the period since the information became due (December 18, 2005) and the date the penalty order was issued (June 5, ’06).

The order said the guilty PIO would have to pay a fine of Rs 250 per day, “since December 18, ’05”, subject to a maximum of Rs 25,000.

Acknowledging the confusion regarding the name not being mentioned, Chief Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah said, “The penalty order is directed to the official (Agrawal) who was holding the post when the order was issued.”

“It has been pointed out that not mentioning the name of the guilty PIO is causing some confusion. We are considering mentioning the name in further orders,” he added.

According to the CIC, the RTI Act does not mention the time frame within which the fine has to be paid.

The case pertains to an RTI application filed by one Ajay Kumar Goel in November 2005 regarding the removal of two weekly markets in Pandav Nagar and Mayur Vihar, claiming that it violated a High Court order. In the order issued last month, the CIC has found the MCD PIO guilty on four grounds: refusing to receive an application, not furnishing information in the time frame specified, malafidely denying the request for information and obstructing the furnishing of information.

However, the two MCD officials concerned in this case claim that the civic body has been wrongly accused. “The order is in blatant violation of the RTI Act and is ultra vires. We are in the process of filing a review petition,” said Agrawal.

According to him, the applicant had without fully exhausting the first appeal appealed to the CIC. “The CIC should have rejected the appeal on this ground. Both the applicant and the CIC have violated the RTI Act,” adds Agrawal.

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Officer fined Rs 25,000 under RTI Act for denying info

Posted by rtiact2005 on July 10, 2006

Officer fined Rs 25,000 under RTI Act for denying info
Tribune News Service

http://www.tribuneindia.com/2006/20060710/delhi.htm#3

New Delhi, July 9
A Delhi Municipal Corporation officer who denied a citizen data on neighbourhood weekly markets has become the first official to be fined Rs 25,000 by India’s Right to Information Commissioner.

The officer, Mr S. C. Kohli, who till a few weeks ago was Shahdara Deputy Commissioner, South Zone, has since been transferred as Secretary to Commissioner Ashok Kumar, officials said. The position is currently occupied by Mr J. P. Agrawal.

While designated as Public Information Officer, Mr Kohli was requested by Pandav Nagar resident Ajay Kumar Goel for data on makeshift weekly markets and the revenue they generated.

Driving his father to a neighbourhood clinic for emergency treatment about a year ago, Goel found that makeshift shops hampered vehicle movement and access. He discovered a high court order against allowing such weekly markets in residential areas and queried municipal officials in the matter.

According to Chief Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah, Mr Goel raised five points. He heard on two from the PIO, but on the remaining three “there was no response.” The CIC’s order indicates that evasive responses by PIOs are inadequate and won’t do.

“The PIO did mention that the removal of weekly bazaars being a policy matter could not be decided at the zonal level,” the order noted but pointed out that the appellant had sought information— not action.

The order said, “The choice before the PIO was clear.” If the information on implementation of the high court orders is in his possession he should have provided it;

if it is not, he should have sought it under Section 5 (4) from any level of the public authority of which he is the PIO;

If the information is not with that public authority, he should have referred it to the requisite public authority under Section 6 (3) (ii) within five days of getting the appeal.

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Babu penalised for delaying tactics

Posted by rtiact2005 on July 9, 2006

Babu penalised for delaying tactics
Manoj Mitta
[ Thursday, June 01, 2006 01:32:01 amTIMES NEWS NETWORK ]

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/1600454.cms

 NEW DELHI: After coming close to doing it in several cases, the Central Information Commission (CIC) has finally imposed a penalty under the Right to Information (RTI) Act 2005.

But even then, the CIC bench headed by its chief, Wajahat Habibullah, stopped short of ordering the officer concerned, Shiv Pujan Chaubey, general manager (personnel and administration) of South Eastern Coalfields, to pay any fine.

Instead, it recommended to the government to initiate departmental action and issue at least a warning to Chaubey for his delay in giving information to a colleague under the Act.

This is nevertheless the first ever instance of CIC enforcing Section 20 of the Act, which provides two kinds of penalties: first, ordering the errant officer to pay a fine up to Rs 25,000 from his pocket and, second, recommending disciplinary action under service rules.

The distinction of enforcing Section 20 for the first time in the country however goes to the information commission of Madhya Pradesh, which passed an order last week not only recommending disciplinary action against the SDO of Gyarspur, Sharad Shorti, but imposing a penalty of Rs 25,000 on a tehsildar, H S Chauhan.

Though the penalty contained in CIC’s order is milder, it is worrisome to the bureaucracy because, while attributing responsibility, it went beyond the hierarchy of officials appointed under the RTI to give information…

 CIC spared the public information officer and the appellate authority of South Eastern Coalfields as it accepted their plea that the seniority and promotions related information sought by the application, Mujibur Rehman, was not in their custody.

CIC hauled up Chaubey because, as general manager (personnel and administration), he was found to be actually responsible for the delay in providing the required information to Rehman.

The Bench comprising Habibullah and O P Kejariwal arrived at its decision to penalise Chaubey after giving him a hearing through a video conference on May 12 between New Delhi and Raipur.

Why did CIC settle for a warning instead of imposing a monetary penalty? “Well, we don’t look at disciplinary action as a lesser penalty.

We recommended a warning because we felt that was the minimum action warranted in the case,” Habibullah told The Times of India.

Chattisgarh-based Chaubey, when contacted, said he was unaware of the disciplinary action recommended against him.

“I thought I had convinced the commission that there was no delay whatsoever in providing information to the applicant,” Chaubey said, adding that Rehman had even been promoted “in the routine course” while his appeal was pending before CIC

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MP Tehsildar Fined under RTI – Rs.25000 fine for tehsildar

Posted by rtiact2005 on June 14, 2006

 MP Tehsildar Fined under RTI

 Rs.25000 fine for tehsildar

In the first incident of its kind, a government official ( of tehsildar rank) was fined Rs.25000 on Friday for having failed to provide the rightful information to an applicant within the stipulated time, and compounding the offence by ignoring the pleas of the state information commision. The fine, the maximum under the act, was levied on a tehsildar of Gyaraspur (H.S.Chauhan) on the order of the chief  information commisioner , Mr..N.Shrivastava. Disciplinary action has also been recommended against the first appelate authority and SDO( Sharad Shorti) of Gyaraspur  for not reating the complaint with the seriousness it deserved.

The applicant Mr.M.K.Sharma, a resident of Vidisha, had on December 5, 2005, applied for a certified copy of a mutation case pertaining to his land at Chuatali village uner the above act. The tehsildar sat over the request for nerly four months. Finally, when the information was provided on April 20, 2006 ( instead on January 4) on the orders of the SIC, it was incomplete.

In his order, Mr.Shrivastava observed that the delay commited by the PIO had harmed the right of appellant. What's worse is that no steps were subsequently taken to make up for the gross negiligence. The tehsildar has been asked to deposit the fine within 30 days of the order or face the music. The SDO's conduct was also found to have been unbecoming of an officer of rank. He failed to issue the order within the prescribed limit, and added insult to injury by defending the conduct of his subordinates. Asian Age 27th May 2006.

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Fine of Rs. 22500 for gramsevak in Maharashtra under RTI – Salute to the efforts of RTI activists !

Posted by rtiact2005 on June 14, 2006

The Gramsevak of village Degaon(Valuj) in Mohol Taluka of Solapur
district was fined Rs.22,500 for having failed to provide the required
information.

Mr. R.A.Chitari(Gramsevak)was fined for delay of 89 days.
Mr.S.Z.Wadne asked the information about the grants and expenditure of
Degaon village-panchayat.

 This is probably the highest amount fined in Maharashtra. 

( Source : Daily Lokmat-Solapur edition-27 May,2006 )

Salute to the efforts of RTI activists !

Ruturaj Buwa.
Solapur.

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Official fined Rs 18,000 under Info Act

Posted by rtiact2005 on June 14, 2006

Official fined Rs 18,000 under Info Act
Bhopal | June 07, 2006 12:40:24 PM IST

http://news.webindia123.com/news/Articles/India/20060607/356193.html

In the second incident of penalising an erring officer under the Right to Information Act in Madhya Pradesh, Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) T N Shrivastava fined Morena District Woman and Child Development Officer (DWCDO) Sajan Aluna for failing to provide information sought under the Act within the time limit and not abiding by the appellate officer's order

.

The CIC imposed the fine of Rs 18,000 after not being satisfied with the explanation given by Mrs Aluna, who was earlier given show cause notice on the second appeal by Mr Balwant Singh Haihayavanshi, who had sought certain information from the department on December 31 last year. The Act came into force on October 12 last year

.

The DWCDO rejected the application on January 8 on the ground that the applicant had been suspended after preliminary inquiry.

 

On an appeal, the Morena District Collector directed the DWCDO on February 8 to provide copies of the document on payment as the applicant had not sought any confidential document.

 

After dillydallying on one pretext or the other, the DWCDO allowed the applicant to deposit Rs 1200 on March 14 to provide copies of the documents. The second appeal was made as the required documents were not supplied by April 14.

 

The Chief Information Commissioner found Mrs Aluna's conduct as ''unfortunate'' and directed to provide the required documents within seven days.

 

A fortnight ago, Tahsildar R S Chouhan of Gyaraspur in Vidisha district was fined Rs 25,000 for refusing to provide copies of land transfer deed to an applicant under the Right to Information Act.

 

UNI SP KD GC1225

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