Secretive government officials who stand in the way of your right to information should gear up for penalties being deducted from their salaries.
The Central Information Commission (CIC) has asked the finance ministry to recover fines levied on officials by cutting it from their salaries rather than wait endlessly for departmental heads to do their job.
The commission has imposed penalties to the tune of Rs 10 lakh in the two years the law has been in place. But an audit report revealed that the CIC has been able to recover only one-fifth of the fines it has imposed.
Soon after a report in the
pointed to the wide gap, the commission decided to ask the department of expenditure to direct the chief controller of accounts of each department to deduct the penalty from the salary of the erring officials.
And why not, asked Wajahat Habibullah, Chief Information Commissioner. "It is the government's money."
The commission recently acknowledged that it had imposed fines to the tune of Rs 10 lakh in the case of an RTI application filed by Delhi citizen Dev Ashish Bhattacharya, but had recovered only Rs 1.81 lakh from the secretive babus.