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HindustanTimes Wed,22 Oct 2014

Info panel slaps Rs. 25,000 fine on govt college principal

Rajesh Moudgil, Hindustan Times  Chandigarh, June 17, 2014
First Published: 11:18 IST(17/6/2014) | Last Updated: 11:21 IST(17/6/2014)

The Haryana information commission has slapped a fine of Rs. 25,000 on the principal of a government college, Birohar, (Jhajjar district) for misleading it, non-compliance of its order and the delay in supplying the information to an applicant.

The state information commissioner, Yoginder Paul Gupta, in his recent order also asked the college to ensure that the penalty imposed on principal JS Mor was deducted from his salary and intimate the commission by June 30, 2014. Besides, the commission also took a note of detriment suffered by appellant in getting requisite information and directed the college to pay Rs. 10,000 compensation to him within six weeks.

The case pertained to an application filed by one Ashok Kumar, a resident of Charkhidadri, under the Right to Information Act about a year ago, seeking some record of the college.

However, respondent JS Mor who was a associate lecturer-cum-state public information officer (SPIO) of the college, on November 15, 2013, submitted before the then state information commissioner Maj Gen JS Kundu (retd) that he had assumed the charge of SPIO from July 17, 2013, and prior to his joining, the RTI application dated May 6, 2013, was dealt with by his predecessor Anita Phogat.

Believing Mor, the commission held Phogat responsible for the delay in providing information to the appellant and sent a show-cause notice to her subsequent to which she appeared before the commission on February 12, 2014, and later filed an affidavit affirming that she was not the SPIO in the said RTI matter.

Meanwhile, the appellant filed another complaint alleging that the order of the commission had not been complied with, subsequent to which the commission sent show-cause notices to Mor and LK Rao, the then principal-cum-first appellate authority (FAA), for non-compliance of the order of the commission and also directing Rao to inform the commission who was the SPIO on May 6, 2013.

In his reply, Mor held that Phogat was the SPIO and a letter for this particular case was marked to her by Rao on June 14, 2013. Rao (now retired), however, submitted on May 27, 2014, that Mor was SPIO on May 6, 2013 and he was relieved on June 13, 2013, to join his present posting, government college, Loharu.

The commission thus dropped the show-cause notices issued to Phogat, Rajesh Kumar, who also remained SPIO for a limited time and Rao and imposed Rs. 25,000 penalty on Mor and also ordered the college to pay Rs. 10,000 compensation to the appellant.

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