Saturday, December 25, 2010

Court employee fined for not providing info under RTI Act

Court employee fined for not providing info under RTI Act

TNN, Dec 25, 2010, 06.00 am IST

LUCKNOW: In an important decision, the Information Commission has slapped a fine of Rs 25,000 on Mohammed Ishtiaq, assistant registrar of the Allahabad High Court, for his failure to part with information sought under the Right to Information (RTI) Act.

A decision to this effect was given by information commissioner Virendra Saxena while hearing a petition filed by Ajay Kumar Poiya, a former MLA, with regard to corruption charges against Bhagwan Singh, additional chief judicial magistrate (IV), during his posting in Mathura.

Poiya pleaded that he had not been provided any information even after a clear-cut order issued to this effect by the commission. The commission, which had heard the matter on October 22, 2010, had directed Mohammed Ishtiaq to furnish the information sought by the petitioner within 40 days. The matter was also taken up for hearing on November 26, 2010, at the request of Mohammed Ishtiaq.

But despite seeking a date, he did not provide the requisite information even after 40 days, ending on November 2, 2010.

Taking strong exception to this, information commissioner Virendra Saxena slapped a fine of Rs 25,000 on Istiaq. While fixing the next hearing date for the matter on January 24, 2011, Saxena, in his order, observed that the order would come in force with retrospective effect from April 22, 2010, and the fine would be recovered from the salary of Mohammed Ishtiaq at the rate of Rs 250 up to a maximum of Rs 25,000.

He further said that a strong disciplinary action would be recommended against him under proceedings of the RTI Act, if he failed to submit the action-taken report to the commission on its order during the next hearing.



Saturday, December 4, 2010

Doctor's anti-RTI missive gets CIC angry

Doctor's anti-RTI missive gets CIC angry

Shimona Kanwar, TNN, Dec 1, 2010, 01.21 am IST

CHANDIGARH: The Right To Information Act has been hailed as an important legislation for development of our democratic society by most people. But the openness that RTI Act requires can still be opposed in 'confidential' official communication. That has come to light in the case of associate professor of department of physiology at Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32 - Dr Gurjit Kaur - who termed an RTI query by PGI doctor Rakesh Sehgal about her qualifications "a disturbing activity" in a letter to PGI head. Now, the Central Information Commission has criticized her sending the missive. 

Dr Sehgal had sought information from GMCH-32 on May 20, 2009, about how Dr Kaur was eligible to hold the post of incharge of genetic centre at the hospital. That information was not provided. Dr Sehgal then moved the Central Information Commission and presented what he said was Kaur's subsequent complaint to the PGI director. 

The CIC decided in favour of Dr Sehgal and said the associate professor needed to clean the cobwebs in her mind so as to allow this unique legislation to illuminate her thinking. 

CIC stated, "The letter (as provided by Dr Sehgal, which was addressed to the PGI director) identifies seeking information under the RTI Act as 'negative activities' and is described as being equal to making a serious offence against the decorum of the institute." 

Taking a serious note of this approach of not providing timely RTI information, the CIC wrote, "The incharge, Genetic Centre, GMCH, has considered it appropriate to express such views in an official communication to the PGIMER director. The commission, through this order, wishes to disabuse her of this erroneous interpretation of the RTI Act wherein her view seeking information regarding an area not related to his (the appellant's) field of research and his institution is considered a disturbing activity." Dr Sehgal could not be contacted for his comments as he is on a visit abroad. 

Dr Kaur said, "The letter to the PGI director was confidential. So how could anyone get a copy of it? I have not written anything adverse against anyone or criticized the RTI Act."


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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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This Blog Spot is meant for publishing reports about the usage of RTI Act (Right to Information Act, 2005) so as to create an awareness to the general public and also to keep it as a ready reckoner by them. So the readers may extend their gratitude towards the Author as we quoted at the bottom of each Post under the title "Courtesy".Furthermore, the Blog Authors are no way responsible for the correctness of the materials published herein and the readers may verify the concerned valuable sources.

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