Tuesday, August 26, 2008

DPI's PIO penalised under RTI Act

DPI's PIO penalised under RTI Act

Fatehgarh Sahib, Aug 24 : Punjab Information Commission has imposed a penalty of Rs 10,000 upon the Public Information Officer (PIO) of Director Public Instructions (Secondary) for not supplying information to a complainant under Right to Information act.

Om Parkash Aggarwal of Kharar had sought some information from Punjab Education Department, which was to be supplied by the PIO of DPI (Secondary).

Though the State Information Commissioner Surinder Singh had directed the PIO on March 13 to supply requisite information to Aggarwal but when the Commissioner heard the case on April 17, it was found that no information was supplied to Aggarwal and none was present on behalf of the PIO before the Commission.

The commission directed the PIO to be present in person on the next date of hearing and again directed the PIO to supply requisite information and documents to Aggarwal within a period of 15 days.

However, even on the next hearing on May 15 the PIO failed to attend the proceedings and the Commissioner reserved the judgment in the case.

In the judgement pronounced recently, the commission directed that the amount of penalty shall be paid by the Respondent (PIO) as his personal liability. The Principal Secretary, School Education, Punjab shall ensure that the amount of penalty imposed upon the PIO shall be deducted from its salary and deposited in the treasury under the relevant head.

In addition to the penalty the Commissioner also awarded a compensation of Rs 5000 which shall be paid by the Respondent Public Authority.

The Commission had also directed the PIO to supply the information to the complainant as expeditiously as possible.

--- UNI


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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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