RTI fines: Bringing recalcitrant Information Officers around

In a rights-deprived country such as ours, getting basic information is in itself a feat. But Public Information Officers are not so easy to handle, and many simply ignore properly filed Right to Information Act petitions.

The Hindu reports today that in 24 cases where such PIOs have been taken to the higher forum, the State Information Commission, the SIC has responded with the maximum penalty (fines). It is another story that most of these fines may not be realised by the Government, as provided under law — from the pockets of the PIOs concerned, and not the treasury. Strangely, neither the Central Information Commission nor the State Information Commission has data on whether the fines were actually paid by the errant officers.

If you regularly file RTI petitions, or even if you just want to know more, this is an informative report.

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