Punjab state information commission (SIC) has imposed a penalty of Rs 10,000 on block development and panchayat officer of Dhilwan, Nirwair Singh, for willful denial of information to an information-seeker under the provisions of Right to Information Act, 2005.
The SIC also directed the BDPO to pay Rs 2,000 through a bank draft/cheque to the information-seeker as compensation for harassment.
In an order passed by state information commissioner Chander Parkash on May 23, the panel took a serious notice of willful denial/delay in provision of information to complainant Chanchal Singh of Ghania village under Dhilwan block.
"The respondent PIO has caused delay of over eight months in supplying the information in connection with RTI application moved on May 17,2011, and delay of over six months in supplying the information in connection with the RTI application moved on July 26, 2011," said the SIC order.
"Nirwair Singh, public information officer-cum-block development and panchayat officer remained absent on four consecutive hearings in the Commission and also failed to file written submission in connection with a show cause notice issued to him on two consecutive hearings on April 10, 2012, and May 23, 2012. It is clear without any doubt that he has nothing to say in connection with the same."
"Such conduct amounts to willful denial of information to the information-seeker and hence penalty of Rs 10,000 is imposed upon him under Sections 20(1) of the RTI Act which is to be deposited in the treasury and a copy of challan receipt be submitted to the Commission," said the order.
The commission also directed district development and panchayat officer and director, department of rural develoment and panchayats to ensure compliance with the orders.