The Central Information Commission (CIC) has imposed a monetary penalty on an official of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD). The reason: He supplied misleading information and delayed in replying to an application by an RWA under the Right to Information (RTI) Act.
Fed up with years of dilly-dallying by the MCD, residents of Raja Garden used the RTI to find out about civic facilities in their area. But even the RTI failed to evoke a response from the civic body, when they approached the CIC.
The CIC in its decision in June pulled up the MCD’s public information officer (PIO) for not providing information on time and to fix responsibility for the delay. In its decision on August 25, the CIC has imposed a penalty on him under section 20 (1) of the RTI Act for a delay of 32 days at the rate of Rs. 250 per day, amounting to Rs. 8,000.
The case pertained to an area occupied in allegedly in an unauthorised manner in Raja Garden. Almost two decades ago, a fire destroyed a timber mart in the area and the traders had been relocated. But many of them came back and continued to occupy the original place.
The RWA filed an RTI application in August 2008 and sought to know whether the MCD had acquired any land for civic facilities.
The CIC had in June asked the MCD to give the names of the officers responsible for the delay to the commission before June 30 and also asked to ensure that the applicant is provided with the relevant information before June 25.
When the MCD sent its reply, Commissioner Shailesh Gandhi on August 25, imposed this penalty on the PIO and asked the MCD to ensure that the amount is recovered from his salary by November 2009.