Sunday, September 28, 2008

Lawyer seeks ‘free’ information from varsity for violating RTI deadline

Lawyer seeks ‘free’ information from varsity for violating RTI deadline

Express News Service Posted: Sep 28, 2008 at 0319 hrs IST

Chandigarh, September 27: A Chandigarh-based lawyer has moved the Punjab State Information Commission demanding that he be provided ‘free of cost’ information by the Punjabi University, Patiala, under the Right to Information (RTI) Act. Advocate H C Arora’s demand for ‘free of cost information’ was made after the University allegedly failed to provide him information within the stipulated period of 30 days. “I was supplied the information after 45 days, which is not within the stipulated period laid down under the RTI Act,” said Arora.

As per rules laid down under the RTI Act, the person who has sought information is entitled to information free of cost, if the agency or institution fails to furnish the same within 30 days. Challenging the amount of Rs 25,000 charged by the University, Arora first filed an appeal with the First Appellate Authority of the University, seeking the entire information and 12,500-page document free of cost, as per provisions of Section 7 of the RTI Act, 2005.

Receiving little response, he has filed a second appeal in the State Information Commission seeking not only the information free of cost, but also demanding an imposition of penalty on the Station Public Information Officer (SPIO) for deliberately holding back information.

Arora had sought information in relation to hundreds of appointments made by the University during the tenure of the previous V-C.


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The RTI Act was passed by the Lok Sabha (Lower House) on 11 May 2005, by the Raj Sabha (Upper House) on 12 May 2005 and received Presidential assent on 15 June 2005. Parts of the Act came into force upon Presidential assent, but the Act came fully into force on 12 October 2005, 120 days after Presidential assent.

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