The State Information Commission (SIC), in two different cases, has issued bailable warrants against additional deputy commissioner (ADC, development) Ram Vir posted in Muktsar and tehsildar Jaswinder Singh Tiwana posted in Ludhiana (east), for not providing information under the provisions of the Right to Information Act.
Information commissioner Surinder Awasthi, who passed both the orders on Tuesday, has asked local police in Muktsar and Ludhiana to ensure the two officers appear before the commission on December 4.
The bailable warrant to ADC Ram Vir, who also holds the charge of public information officer (PIO) in the office of the Muktsar deputy commissioner, pertains to delay in providing information to Kuldip Kumar Kaura, a resident of Ludhiana, about a school in Muktsar.
In his orders on November 11, the SIC pointed out that Ram Vir was absent and had sent a letter showing his inability to attend the proceedings in view of official engagements.
“In the previous hearings it was stated by the PIO that information had been provided by registered post on August 28, but the appellant was yet to receive any information,” pointed the SIC, adding that on the last date of hearing, the PIO was directed to supply the information again through registered post to the appellant and the commission within the next five working days.
The SIC added that the PIO had not complied with the directions and remained absent in Tuesday’s proceedings.
“The commission takes serious note of it and is forced to issue a show cause notice to him,” said the order, asking the PIO to explain why a penalty of `250 per day, going up to a maximum of `25,000, should not be imposed on him till the information is actually furnished.
The orders further say, “To ensure the presence of the respondent PIO on the next date, the commission has issued bailable warrants against him as per Section 18(3) of the Right to Information Act, 2005.”
In a similar case, Jasmeet Kaur Guron of Chandigarh, demanded information related to demarcation of her property.
Information commissioner Surinder Awasthi inferred that the said PIO, Jaswinder Singh Tiwana, tehsildar Ludhiana (east), in defiance of the commission’s previous orders on October 21, preferred to abstain despite the fact that a show cause notice has already been issued to him.