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Government official deposits fine under RTI Act

Finally, a government official had to pay for blocking information to a citizen sought under the RTI Act, reports Chetan Chauhan.

india Updated: Nov 14, 2006 19:41 IST

Finally, a government official had to pay for blocking information to a citizen sought under the RTI Act.

The official, KD Bansor, also created history of sorts, as she became the first Central government official to lose Rs 12,500 from her salary for violations under the RTI Act. The RTI Act even made the government to work on a fast track. In just two months, fine was deducted from salary of the official held guilty of denying information and deposited with the Central Information Commission.

The Central Information Commission (CIC) in September had invoked the penalty clause against two National Commission for Scheduled Castes and Schedulde Tribes, Kansor, an under secretary and Tikam Singh, a section officer. They were fined Rs 25,000, maximum amount under RTI Act and was to be equally shared.

The SC/ST Commission last week sent a cheque of Rs 12,500 deducted from the salary of Kansor, also acting as Additional Public Information Officer (APIO). But, the fine could not deducted from salary of Singh as he was, in the meantime, transferred to the ministry of Social Welfare and Justice.

The SC/ST commission has, however, informed that they had asked the ministry to deduct fine from Singh’s salary and send a cheque to CIC as per the order given by Information Commissioner OP Kejriwal.

The CIC had found both guilty of delay in handling the matter and causing harassment to the applicant Mukesh Kumar, a resident of Ghaziabad. Kumar had sought information on January 1, 2006, on action taken by SC/ST commission on his representation against the ministry of Steel. Kumar wanted to know the number of people from reserved categorised promoted under reservation scheme in different PSUs under the ministry.

However, SC/ST commission took over four months to inform Kumar that the statistics sought by him was not available with them. Kumar contended that under the Constitution, the commission is required to maintain the figures and inquiry should be ordered for failure to fulfil the Constitutional obligations. Even after the CIC’s order, the commission failed to provide the relevant information resulting in penalty clause been invoked.

First Published: Nov 14, 2006 19:41 IST