Many State Information Commissioners play truant when media ask them about fines levied on information officers. Here is an instance, perhaps rare, of someone getting his just desserts.
CIC imposes maximum penalty on Delhi HC official
New Delhi (PTI): The CIC has imposed the maximum fine of Rs 25,000 on a Delhi High Court official for failing to respond to an RTI application forwarded to it by the Supreme Court of India.
“…it appears that he has no submission justifying the failure to respond to the application transferred to him by the CPIO, Supreme Court of India. He has therefore rendered himself liable for the full penalty of Rs 25,000,” Chief Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah ordered. This is the maximum fine permitted by RTI Act.
Mr. Habibullah directed the Registrar of Delhi High Court to recover this amount from Joint Registrar (establishment) and PIO P S Chaggar either directly or through deductions from his salary not exceeding Rs 5,000 per month from April 3.
The case relates to RTI application filed by one Vijay Pal Singh who sought information, regarding a case filed by MCD against him, from the Supreme Court of India. The apex court forwarded the application to MCD and Delhi High Court as it was not the custodian of the information.
While the Central Public Information Officer (CPIO) of the MCD provided the information, though unsatisfactory as per Mr. Singh, the High Court representative did not even appear during the final hearing of the case at the CIC.
Mr. Habibullah said Mr. Singh was free to move an appeal against the response given by the MCD and a second appeal before CIC if dissatisfied.