Failure to provide information under RTI Act costs Haryana MC official ₹5,000
State Information Commission, Haryana, has penalised a former official of Panchkula municipal corporation (MC) for not providing information sought by a resident under the Right to Information (RTI) regarding rumble strips installed on the city roads.
The commission has imposed a penalty of ₹5,000 on then executive engineer-cum-state public information officer (SPIO), LC Chauhan, who was earlier posted with Panchkula MC. Presently, he is posted with Karnal MC. The commission has also directed the present executive engineer of Panchkula civic body, Ankit Lohan, to provide information to Sector 15 resident and president of Citizen Welfare Association, Panchkula, SK Nayar.
Lohan has also been directed to appear before the commission on April 21. The orders were issued last week on the date of hearing of a show-cause notice. Nayar had filed a RTI application on May 29, 2018, before Chauhan, who was then posted as the executive engineer-cum-SPIO with Panchkula MC. Through the application, Nayar had sought a certified copy regarding the installation of rumble strips and cat’s eyes in Panchkula city along with name and address of their contractor. After Chauhan did not give response to the RTI sought, a show-cause notice was issued against him in January 2019.
During the hearing, Chauhan had submitted that the RTI application was presented before him only on August 9, 2018. He stated that he had written a letter to a junior engineer for supplying the information to the appellant and later issued two reminders also. “The requisite information was procured from the branch concerned and was furnished to the appellant on January 30, 2019,” he said, adding that there was delay on part of his subordinate.
After hearing the arguments, the commission said, “On perusal of the case file, the commission observes that then SPIO Chauhan had not transferred the RTI application under Sections of the RTI Act, to the branch concerned.” “The responsibility of supplying information cannot be shifted, hence, LC Chauhan, the then SPIO, is liable for symbolic penalty,” it ruled.