Punjab state information commission has, in principle, contemplated initiation of penalty proceedings against Bholath SDM Navjot Pal Singh for his failure to provide timely information to an applicant under provisions of the RTI Act.
In an order passed by a division bench comprising of state information commissioners Harinder Pal Singh Maan and Chander Parkash, the commission has taken serious notice of the willful denial/delay of information regarding allotment of agricultural land to Mela Ram in Bholath village to the complainant Ajit Rai, a resident of Faridabad (Haryana).
The appellant - Ajit Rai, submitted before the commission that the public information officer of SDM Bholath had been denying him information in connection with his RTI application dated 12.10.2011. He alleged that the respondent-PIO had neither been supplying the requisite information nor was he attending hearings in the commission in the instant appeal case.
The respondent failed to appear in person/through his representative on March 28 and even on the previous hearing on February 21. Taking serious notice of the absence and willful denial, the commission has asked the SDM Bholath to show cause in writing or through an affidavit by the May 10, the next date of hearing, as to why penalty be not imposed upon him for wilful delay/denial of the information to the RTI applicant and why the compensation be not awarded to the complainant under the provisions of RTI act, 2005.
The commission has also directed the SDM to supply the requisite information that is legible, duly attested and as per records to the complainant by the next date of hearing.
It also directed the officer to be present in the commission along with a copy of information supplied to the complainant on the next date of hearing.