The state information commission has imposed a penalty of Rs 5,000 on the public information officer of the Improvement Trust, Amritsar, for providing wrong information to one Parbodh Chander Bali of Amritsar.
Pronouncing the order, information commissioner Satinder Pal Singh also announced a compensation of the same amount to be paid to Bali in the shape of a demand draft and handed to him on the next hearing on July 3.
Bali had sought information about certain irregularities in the development works carried in an area of Amritsar city falling under the jurisdiction of the Improvement Trust in July 2014.
The order says that after hearing both the parties, it emerged that the information, which was sought by the appellant, was for the period April 2007 to March 2013 but the one supplied pertained to the year 2014.
"Obviously, the respondent (PIO) has not bothered to check as to which period the information being sought pertained to. Earlier also, part information was supplied pertaining to only one work executed in ward number 52 by the Improvement Trust, but the copies of the document concerned, that is tenders and quotation, were not supplied despite assurance by the respondent," adds the order.
The order says that on the last date of hearing, the PIO was asked to appear personally for a hearing, failing which the proceedings were to be taken ex-parte.
"The PIO is absent and neither any reply has been submitted by him regarding the notices issued to him. I presume he has nothing to say in the matter. Accordingly, I deem it fit that the PIO office has not bothered to apply its mind for the information being sought which has not been supplied though almost one year has passed since the filing of the RTI application. Therefore, ex-parte proceedings are ordered against him," says the order.
Imposing the penalty, the information commissioner directed that the penalty amount be deducted from the PIO's salary, deposited in the government treasury and a photocopy of the challan is to be produced in the court on the next date of hearing.