The state information commission seemed to have taken a combative posture against infringements of the rights guaranteed under the Right to Information (RTI) Act.
In a latest move the commission imposed a penalty of Rs. 2,500 on the Ludhiana improvement trust on January 9, 2013. The commission penalised the trust for not providing the audit report for the year 2010-11 to a city-based RTI activist.
The commission had issued a show-cause notice to the public information officer (PIO), Sukhvir Singh Jhakar, on November 29, 2012 for having failed to furnish the information asked for.
The commission order noted, "In exercise of the powers conferred on the commission under Section 19(8)(b) of the RTI Act, 2005, a compensation of Rs. 2,500 is awarded in favor of the appellant, which is payable to him by the public authority in the department of local government, Punjab, through the executive officer, improvement trust, Ludhiana."
In the second instance, the PIO of the lights branch of the Ludhiana municipal commission SP Singh was penalised on January 6, 2013 under Section 19(8)(b) of the RTI Act.
The commission awarded a compensation of Rs. 3,000 to Harbakhsh Singh Heera for being denied information. Heera had sought some information regarding the condition and upkeep of streetlights through an RTI application dated August 2, 2011.
Earlier, the commission had pulled up the PIO of the municipal corporation, AS Shekon, on November 23, 2012. It had ordered the corporation to pay Rs. 1500 to RTI activist Ravi Sharma as a penalty for not providing information on time.