The state information commission (SIC) here on Tuesday served notices to deputy commissioners (DCs) of seven districts, seeking action-taken reports on the revision of the districts' Below the Poverty Line (BPL) lists.
The SIC notice has been served to the DCs of Mandi, Shimla, Una, Sirmaur, Kangra, Chamba, and Lahul and Spiti, after the districts had earlier failed to provide the reports to the commission.
In August 2013, an application had been filed before the SIC, seeking the status of the action-taken reports. On this, the SIC had asked the public information officers (PIOs) of the department of rural development of the seven districts to file the action-taken reports. However, the PIOs had informed the SIC that action-taken reports could not be provided to the appellant as the seven districts had not yet submitted them.
A year ago, the state government had received a complaint that nearly 10,000 entries in the BPL lists were of former and present panchayti raj representatives. Taking a serious note, the government had forwarded the complaint to the chief secretary, who further forwarded the matter to the principal secretary of panchayti raj department. On this, principal secretary (rural development) had ordered all deputy commissioners to revise BPL lists and exclude fictitious entries, besides considering eligible candidates.
He had sought action-taken reports from all deputy commissioners. Later, the appeal filed in August 2013 had sought the status of the action-taken reports from the PIOs of rural development department.
The PIOs had forwarded the RTI application to the DCs concerned, who did not submit the action-taken reports. The SIC also took a serious concern over non-submission of the action-taken report, which PIO had sought from the district headquarters. “Under Section 5.5 of the RTI Act, a PIO can take assistance of any official for maintaining information and in case of non-assistance, officials can be booked under Section 20 of the RTI Act and even penalised penalty,” the SIC said.