Friday, October 29, 2010

New logo for transparency law

New logo for transparency law

Published: Thursday, Oct 28, 2010, 20:39 IST 

Place: New Delhi | Agency: PTI

The Right to Information Act which is synonymous with "empowerment and transparency" will now have its own logo and a dedicated web portal that will not only act as a "knowledge bank" for information seekers and providers but will also provide them a platform to network.

The powerful law, which came into effect five years ago and allows citizens access to government records at a meagre of fee of Rs10, has got a modest logo depicting a sheet of paper with information on it, and the public authority - providing the information.

The new logo was launched today by the minister of state for personnel, public grievances and pensions Prithviraj Chavan in the presence of secretary department of personal and training Shantanu Consul.

The logo will be displayed at all public authorities and will be used in various communications related to RTI, a statement from the ministry said.

The minister said the logo represents people's empowerment and accountability in governance. "The logo's shape and structure make it easy to remember, recall and replicate with minimal distortion," he said.

Chavan said the logo represents the core values of the RTI regime - empowerment, transparency and accountability.

The minister also launched an RTI portal 'www.rtigateway.org.in' which will be a "knowledge bank" for the information seekers, information providers, trainers, Information Commissions, students and academicians.

The portal will have a digital library, discussion fora, e-newsletter and a blog.

It will also carry latest judgments of high courts and Information Commissions; reports, articles, guides, manuals, handbooks for various stakeholders and online certificate course.

There is facility for stakeholders to interact through dedicated and open discussion forum and register as resource persons, the statement said.

Courtesy_


Also view the Govt. RTI Portal at:



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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Right to information Basic to human rights

Right to information Basic to human rights
  
Binod Kumar Upadhyay

Added At: 2010-10-27 10:04 PM

Right to information as basic human right is the foundation of a well-functioning democracy. It informs citizens about their rights and entitlements. It helps them make informed decisions in their life and choose the right politicians and hold them accountable for their promises and actions. It enables them to participate in wider social, political and economic spheres of life and enhances their capability to influence the institutional arrangements. Access to information lies at the heart of good governance as it can ensure transparency, accountability and empowerment of citizens. 

The terms right to information and freedom of information are often used interchangeably and have long been regarded as a fundamental human right Common Article 19 of Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) recognize right to information as an implied right of freedom of expression.

Correct information at the right time reduces the possibility of misuse of resources and lessens corruption. It also helps governance system function better, makes service providers accountable for their actions, creates participatory and transparent environment for people to contribute in policy formulation and establishing rule of law. It also gives people a legal right to demand entitlements and monitor the use or misuse of funds meant for them.

In India, Right to Information Act was passed in June 2005. The Act applies to all States and Union Territories of India, except the State of Jammu and Kashmir. This Act provides every citizen right to information and access to the information held in the public agencies. Similarly, this Act has made provision of an independent 'National Information Commission' to for the protection and promotion of right to information. 

Under the provisions of the Act, any citizen may request information from a "public authority" (a body of Government or "instrumentality of State") which is required to reply expeditiously or within thirty days. The Act also requires every public authority to computerize their records for wide dissemination and to proactively publish certain categories of information so that the citizens need minimum recourse to request for information formally. This act came fully into force on 12 October 2005. 

Arvind Kejriwal, a former bureaucrat with the Revenue Service has created a silent social revolution in the Right to Information (RTI) movement in India through his organization, 'Parivartan'. Propelling common people to invoke the Act, he streamlined the Public Distribution System (PDS) in Delhi where information obtained under the RTI .His passion and dedication to this movement in India have been recognized with Ramon Magsaysay award for Emergent Leadership in 2006.

In Pakistan, the Freedom of Information Ordinance was promulgated in October 2002 to provide for transparency and freedom of information to all. Similarly, the Bangladesh government has issued the RTI Ordinance 2008 that has been warmly welcomed by civil society, human right activists and the public at large. In Sri Lanka, Right to Information bill was drafted in 2002 but it has not yet been passed. 

In Nepal, the Interim Constitution (IC) recognizes the right to information under fundamental rights. Article 27 of the IC guarantees the right to information. It provides that every citizen has the right to seek and receive information of a personal nature or relating to matters of public importance, provided that no one shall be required to provide information which has been declared secret by law. In 2007, the government has enacted 'Right to Information Act 2007'. Article 3 of this Act provides every citizen right to information and access to the information held in the public agencies. The Act specifies that citizens have a right to: Request any information (as defined); take copies of documents; inspect documents, works and records; and take certified samples of materials of work. 

According to law, Right to Information denotes the right to request and obtain information of public importance held in public agencies. It also includes the right to study or observe any written documents, materials held in public agencies or proceedings of such public agencies, to obtain a verified copies of such written documents, to visit or observe the places where any construction of public importance is going on and to obtain verified samples of any materials or to obtain information held in any type of machines.

The public is guaranteed with access to information except on matters relating to someone's privacy and matters that could pose a threat to sovereignty, national security, integrity, communal harmony, criminal investigation, international relations, nation's fiscal or monetary interests or individual's security.

The government authorities are hardly open to the idea of openness. Right to Information Act compels them to provide information to the citizens.

Upadhyay is associated with RATC

Courtesy_


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Not following RTI Act costs ex-registrar Rs 10k

Not following RTI Act costs ex-registrar Rs 10k

Express News Service

First Published: 27 Oct 2010 02:39:59 AM IST

BANGALORE: The Karnataka Information Commission (KIC) has slapped a penalty of Rs 10,000 on the vice-chancellor of Gulbarga Universiry, to be paid from his salary, for not giving information to a candidate under the Right to Information (RTI) Act that was sought when he was registrar.

E T Puttiah, who was earlier working as the registrar (Examination) at University of Mysore, had failed to provide information to C Jayaprakash, a senior technical assistant at the Defence Food Research Lab in Mysore.

Jayaparkash had applied for MSc in Food Science at the University of Mysore in 2009 and his application was rejected.

Jayaprakash, in a complaint to the State Chief Information Commissioner, wrote that his application for MSc in Food Science was rejected without any reason.

He applied under the RTI Act on October 31, 2009, to know the reason of rejection but did not get the information even after 45 days.

He got a reply from the university six months later, after he had complained to the KIC.

In his complaint, he also mentioned that he lost an opportunity to purse higher education.

The KIC has ordered Puttaniah to pay a penalty of Rs 10,000 from his salary.

The KIC has ordered to deduct Rs 5,000 from his salary in November and December.

The commission has also said it will inspect the salary details on February 9, 2011.

Courtesy_

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Adventures of an RTI explorer

Courtesy_


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

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HC imposes cost of Rs.25,000 on Madras University

High Court imposes cost of Rs.25,000 on Madras University

Special Correspondent

CHENNAI: Coming down heavily on the University of Madras for getting an M.L. answer sheet revalued by an examiner who is neither academically nor otherwise qualified, the Madras High Court has imposed a cost of Rs.25,000 on the university to be paid to the student for making him approach the court for a second time.

"Students are applying for revaluation only with a hope that revaluation will be done without any bias and by a properly qualified examiner. But, here is a case where the paper in question has been revalued by an examiner who is neither academically qualified nor otherwise qualified," Justice K. Suguna observed while allowing the student's writ petition.

The case of the petitioner, M. Sivakumar, was that he enrolled for M.L. (non-semester) during 2001-2002 in the university as a private student. In the first year, he completed all papers. In the second year, except Comparative Labour Law (USA and UK), he completed the other papers. He wrote the examination in 2009, and was declared failed in the subject. He sought revaluation and filed a writ petition. It was disposed of after the university produced the answer sheet that had been revalued by two professors. They had granted 34 marks and 33 marks. The Judge declined to grant the relief.

When the writ petition was taken up for hearing, the university had represented that K. Balasubramaniam was the examiner who revalued the paper. But, on enquiry, the petitioner came to know that no person by that name belonging to Madurai Kamaraj University had revalued the paper.

Using the RTI Act, he found that the evaluation was done by Balasankaran Nair and not Dr. K. Balasubramaniam. Upon enquiries, the petitioner came to know that Dr. Nair had neither studied Labour Law nor taught the subject at the post-graduate level. The petitioner said that appointing such an examiner for the answer paper was arbitrary. Hence, the present petition.

In the order, Ms. Justice Suguna said that in the university counter, there were no particulars about the academic qualification of Dr. Nair in the subject. In the absence of the particulars, it had to be inferred that he was not qualified enough to be a Lecturer in Labour Law or to be the examiner for the Comparative Law paper at the PG level. "It is a very sorry state of affairs," the Judge observed.

In view of the university's stand that it was willing to revaluate the answer sheet, the Judge directed that it be done by a qualified teaching staff within four weeks.

Courtesy_

Monday, October 25, 2010

CIC penalised Official for delay in providing correct information

Official penalised for delay in providing correct information to RTI applicant

Staff Reporter

NEW DELHI: The Central Information Commission has slapped a penalty of Rs. 10,000 on the State Government's Social Welfare Department senior superintendent (administration) for delay in providing correct information to an RTI applicant.

The complaint to the CIC was filed by Subhash Baghel of non-government organisation Pratidhi pointing out deficiencies in the information provided by the Department on queries regarding any departmental enquiry against the officials accused in two cases registered by the Anti-Corruption Branch in 2008 and whether the name of any accused official was recommended for promotion.

The CIC had in August issued show-cause notices to a former and an incumbent public information official observing that the former appeared to have provided false information and the other had not supplied complete information within 30 days to two RTI applicants seeking details on the officials booked in the corruption cases.

The matter pertained to separate RTI applications filed by two Pratidhi representatives in November 2009 and in May this year.

In reply to the first application, the then PIO K.K. Bhalla had last year informed that enquiry proceedings had been initiated against some officials booked by the ACB. However, in reply to the second application this year, PIO O.P. Bhatti informed that no departmental inquiry was initiated.

First order

Information Commissioner Shailesh Gandhi, in his first order on the issue, had directed PIO (Administration) R.K. Meena to give an affidavit to the complainant regarding the reply that no official had been recommended for promotion to the post of Joint Director in the Department during the month prior to the day the RTI application was filed.

During the show-cause hearing on October 1, the CIC stated that Mr. Bhatti and Mr. Meena had defied the Commission's order to provide affidavits before August 30 and September 5, respectively. "They have only given a statement on a simple paper to the complainant," it said. The CIC also asked Mr. Bhalla to produce documentary evidence to substantiate that inquiry proceedings against some accused officials had been ordered.

The Commission also issued a show-cause notice to Mr. Meena as to why penalty under Section 20 (1) of the RTI Act should not be levied on him for failing to comply with the CIC order.

During the show-cause hearing on October 18, the Information Commissioner noted that Mr. Meena had failed to provide the affidavit to the complainant and had also failed to come before the Commission for explanation. He found it a fit case for levying penalty.

As the appellant produced documents before the Commission purportedly showing that the promotion of an accused official in a case was already in progress, the CIC directed Mr. Meena to show-cause on December 8 why penalty and disciplinary action should not be imposed on him for providing false information.

The CIC also pulled up Mr. Bhalla regarding information on departmental enquiries, stating that he should convey information verbatim based on the findings.

Courtesy_

For FULL Order click at: http://www.indiankanoon.org/doc/631181/

CENTRAL INFORMATION COMMISSION

Club Building, Opposite Ber Sarai Market,

Old JNU Campus, New Delhi - 110067.

Tel: +91-11-26161796

Decision No. CIC/SG/C/2010/000963/9070Penalty-I

Complaint No. CIC/SG/C/2010/000963

Complainant : Mr. Subhash Baghel C/o Pratidhi, Room No. 38, Iind Floor, Shalarpur, Police Station Complex, Pusta Road, Ramesh Park, Delhi 110092.

Respondent : Mr. R. K. Meena Public Information Officer & Senior Superintendent/Dy. Director, Social Welfare Department, GNCTD, GNLS Building Complex, Delhi Gate, Delhi.

RTI application filed on : 11/05/2010 PIO, Replied : 26/06/2010, First Appeal filed on : Not filed Complaint Received on : 02/07/2010

Sl. Information Sought Reply of the PIO

1. Whether ACB had approached the Govt. for prosecution/sanction of the officers No. who were accused in FIR No. 18/08 and 19/08. If yes, then copy of the letter and concerned file.

2. The time for which the file was pending before the concerned authority along Not applicable in with name and designation of concerned officer and time frame for such view of point no. 1 sanction.

3. Status of the departmental enquiry against the officials along with the details ofNo RDA has been each official. recommended against accused person till then.

4. Time frame to finalize such departmental enquiry as per the Govt. rules. Not applicable in view of point no.3.

5. Whether any official name had been recommended for the promotion to the Not related to ACB post of Joint Director in the Department of Social Welfare during last one month. If yes, then name of the official. Whether the same officer was involved in FIR No. 18/08/ and 24/06/2008. Whether such officers were eligible for promotion if any criminal/departmental case was pending against them.

6. Whether those officers were posted in important/sensitive position within the As above. department, if so, details of posting of each officer against their name. Details of policy regarding posting of tainted officers.

Grounds for Complaint:

Non-receipt of proper information from the PIO.

Relevant Facts emerging during Hearing on 20 August 2010: "The following were present

Complainant: Mr. R. M. Prasad and Ms. Sonam Gulati representing Mr. Subhash Baghel; Respondent: Mr. R. K. Meena, Public Information Officer &Senior Superintendent/Dy. Director; Mr. O. P. Bhatti, Senior Superintendent (Vigilance);

The complainant states that most of the queries should have been addressed by Department of Social Welfare to whom the RTI Application has been sent. He states that instead providing information which was held by them they unnecessarily transferred the RTI application to the Anti Corruption Branch and the Department of Vigilance. He also states that he was not informed about this transfer and was informed about this transfer only on 05/08/2010. Considering the information provided to the complainant from the different PIOs the following deficiencies have been found:

1- Query-3: The PIO Mr. O. P. Bhatti from Social Welfare has informed the complainant that no departmental inquiry has been initiated against the accused persons. The complainant has earlier been given information in an earlier RTI application by Mr. K. K. Bhalla, Senior Superintend (Vigilance) that inquiry proceedings have been ordered by the competent authority. Thus there is an evident contradiction in the two statements. Mr. O. P. Bhatti will also provide an affidavit stating that no departmental inquiry has been initiated against the accused persons.

2- Query-5: In response to the complainant's query any officers name has been recommended of promotion to the post of Joint Director, the information provided by the PIO (Admin) Department of social of Welfare on 31 May 2010 is, "Not yet". The Complainant states that this statement is false. The PIO (Admin) will provide an affidavit to this effect to the Complainant.

The complainant has pointed out to the Commission that though the application was completely transferred by PIO Social Welfare, the FAA of Anti Corruption Bureau had sought to put the responsibility of filing the first appeal on the complainant against the PIO of Social Welfare. This position is now correct and if the PIO of ACB felt that some queries needed to be answered by the PIO Social Welfare he should have transferred it back.

It is apparent that the information has been received very late on 21/07/2010 from the PIO of social welfare department. The PIO of Social Welfare Department has most of the information but instead of providing the information transferred it unnecessarily.

It appears that Mr. K. K. Bhalla the then PIO has provided false information to the Complainant."

Commission's Decision dated 20 August 2010:

"The Complaint is allowed.

The PIO Mr. O. P. Bhatti is directed to provide the information on point-1 (query-3) as directed above to the complainant before 30 August 2010.

Mr. R. K. Meena, Public Information Officer &Senior Superintendent/Dy. Director will provide an affidavit as stated above on point-2 to the complainant before 05 September 2010.

It appears that Mr. K. K. Bhalla the then PIO has provided false information to the Complainant. A showcause notice is being issued to him, and he is directed give his reasons to the Commission to show cause why penalty should not be levied on him.

Mr. K. K. Bhalla will present himself before the Commission at the above address on 01 October 2010 at 2.30pm alongwith his written submissions showing cause why penalty should not be imposed on him as mandated under Section 20 (1). He will also submit proof of having given the information to the Complainant .

If there are other persons responsible for the delay in providing the information to the Complainant the PIO is directed to inform such persons of the show cause hearing and direct them to appear before the Commission with him.

The Commission has also observed that Mr. O. P. Bhatti is responsible for not supplying the complete, required information within 30 days as required by the law. It appears that the PIO's actions attract the penal provisions of Section 20 (1). A showcause notice is being issued to him, and he is directed give his reasons to the Commission to show cause why penalty should not be levied on him.

Mr. O. P. Bhatti will present himself before the Commission at the above address on 01 October 2010 at 2.30pm alongwith his written submissions showing cause why penalty should not be imposed on him as mandated under Section 20 (1). He will also submit proof of having given the information to the Complainant .

If there are other persons responsible for the delay in providing the information to the Complainant the PIO is directed to inform such persons of the show cause hearing and direct them to appear before the Commission with him."

Relevant Facts that emerged during the Showcause Hearing on 01 October 2010: The following were present

Complainant: Mr. R. M. Prasad representing Mr. Subhash Baghel; Respondent: Mr. K. K. Bhalla the then PIO presently Sr. Superintendent, Dept. of Woman & Child Development, 1, Canning Lane, K. G. Marg, New Delhi; Mr. O. P. Bhatti, Sr. Superintendent & present PIO;

"Mr. O.P. Bhatti and Mr. R. K. Meena have defied the order of the Commission to provide the affidavits before 30 August 2010 and 05 September 2010 respectively. They have only given a statement on a simple paper to the Complainant . Mr. O. P. Bhatti was asked by the Commission why he did not give the affidavit he only state that he will now provide the affidavit on 04 October 2010 to the Complainant . Mr. Bhatti was asked for reasons for defying the order of the Commission. Mr. Bhatti is able to give no reasons to justify not giving the affidavit as ordered by the Commission. Mr. K. K. Bhalla has in an earlier RTI application informed the Complainant that, "inquiry proceedings have been ordered by the competent authority in one case involving Mr. R. K. Sharma Mr. Mahesh Sharma and Mrs. Rajeshwari Chauhan." The Complainant states that this information appears to be false since Mr. Bhatti in the present RTI application has stated that no inquiry proceedings have been ordered. Mr. K. K. Bhalla is directed to produce any documentary evidence to substantiate his claim before the Commission on 18 October 2010 at 05.00PM. If he does not produce any evidence the Commission will assume that he has given false information. Mr. Bhalla is directed to showcause why penalty under Section 20(1) and disciplinary action against Section 20(2) should not be recommended against him if he do not produce any evidence that the information provide by him was not false.

The Commission also issues a showcause notice to Mr. R. K. Meena, Public Information Officer &Senior Superintendent/Dy. Director on 18 October 2010 at 05.00PM. To showcause why penalty under Section 20(1) should not be levied on him for failing to comply with the order of the Commission.

Mr. K. K. Bhalla is directed to produce any documentary evidence to substantiate his claim before the Commission on 18 October 2010 at 05.00PM."

Relevant Facts emerging during Showcause Hearing on 18 October 2010: The following were present

Complainant: Mr. R. M. Prasad representing Mr. Subhash Baghel; Respondent: Mr. K. K. Bhalla the then PIO; presently Sr. Superintendent, Dept. of Woman & Child Development, 1, Canning Lane, K. G. Marg, New Delhi;

The Complainant also claims that the information provided by him is false. The Complainant is directed to send his reasons for claiming that the information is false to respondent and the Commission. The Commission has looked at the file noting based on which respondent had given the statement. After hearing both sides it comes to the conclusion that where as the statement by Mr. Bhalla is not strictly true it would have to give the benefit of doubt that he was conveying the meaning in the statement when he had given the information to the Complainant earlier. The Commission warns Mr. Bhalla that in matters such as this he should convey the information verbatim based on the findings.

The Commission notes that Mr. R. K. Meena PIO & Sr. Superintendent has failed to provide the affidavit to the Complainant as had been ordered and has also failed to come before the Commission to give any explanation for not following the directions of the Commission. Mr. Meena has not taken the opportunity of hearing given to him and hence it appears that he has no reasonable cause to offer for not providing the affidavit to the Complainant as per the Commission's direction on 20 August 2010. In view of this the Commission finds this as a fit case for levy of penalty under Section 20(1) of the RTI Act on Mr. R. K. Meena, PIO & Sr. Superintendent. The Commission had ordered Mr. Meena to give the affidavit to the Complainant before 05/09/2010 and he has not complied with this direction so far. Since has not provided the affidavit which the information to the Complainant about the truthfulness of his statement the Commission imposes a penalty on Mr. R. K. Meena for a delay of 40 days in providing the affidavit at `250/- per day of delay i.e. `250/- X 40 days = `10000/-.

If Mr. R. K. Meena does not provide the affidavit as directed by the Commission before 30 October 2010 the Commission will consider recommending disciplinary action against him under Section 20(2) of the RTI Act.

The appellant also alleges that the information which was provided by Mr. R. K. Meena that no officers had been proposed for promotion in response to which query no.-5 was false. He has produced before the Commission a set of papers by which he claims that a promotion of Mr. P. N. Jha was already in progress and the PIO Mr. R. K. Meena has given false information. The complainant also shows that there is an arrest report against Mr. P. N. Jha and yet he was sought to be promoted.

The Commission directs Mr. R. K. Meena to present himself before the Commission on 08 December 2010 at 04.30PM to show cause why penalty under Section 20(1) and disciplinary action under Section 20(2) of the RTI Act should not be imposed on him for providing false information to the complainant.

Decision:

As per the provisions of Section 20 (1), the Commission finds this as a fit case for levying penalty on Mr. R. K. Meena, Public Information Officer & Senior Superintendent. Since the delay in providing the correct information has been of 40 days, the Commission is passing an order penalizing Mr. R. K. Meena `10,000/-.

The Chief Secretary of GNCT of Delhi is directed to recover the amount of `10,000/- from the salary of Mr. R. K. Meena and remit the same by a demand draft or a Banker's Cheque in the name of the Pay & Accounts Officer, CAT, payable at New Delhi and send the same to Shri Pankaj K.P. Shreyaskar, Joint Registrar and Deputy Secretary of the Central Information Commission, 2nd Floor, August Kranti Bhawan, New Delhi 110066. The amount may be deducted at the rate of `5000/ per month from the salary of Mr. R. K. Meena and remitted by the 10th November 2010 and 10th December 2010. The total amount of `10,000/- will be remitted by 10th of December, 2010.

Shailesh Gandhi, Information Commissioner.

18 October 2010

(In any correspondence on this decision, mention the complete decision number.) (GJ) 

CC: 

To

1- The Chief Secretary, GNCT of Delhi, New Delhi

2- Shri Pankaj K.P. Shreyaskar, Joint Registrar and Deputy Secretary, Central Information Commission, 2nd Floor, August Kranti Bhawan, New Delhi 110066.

Courtesy_

http://www.indiankanoon.org/doc/631181/


Friday, October 22, 2010

No info about RTI penalties, says State CIC

No info about RTI penalties, says State CIC

Neelambari Bhoge

Posted on Friday, October 22, 2010 at 12:07:15 AM

Information Commissions in the state are failing to provide information about how penalties imposed for improper management of RTI appeals are being recovered. This loophole has convinced officers and activists that the RTI Act needs some amendment

If an answer to a Right To Information (RTI) application is not received within the given period of time (ie 30 days) or is not satisfactory, then the applicant may proceed with an appeal. 

If found guilty in any way, then the Public Information Officer (PIO) has to pay a penalty. However, the new State Chief Information Commissioner, Vilas Patil, feels that the implementation of the Act is not right, as there is no mechanism to collect the penalty imposed on the PIO.

When Pune Mirror got in touch with Vilas Patil, he said, "Applicants have to be enlightened about RTI applications. Even the PIOs should be given some training about RTI, like higher level officials. 

It is the reponsibility of the Head of the Department to collect a penalty, but there is no mechanism to ensure that the penalty imposed on the PIO is collected. 

When I was in Nagpur working as the State Information Commissioner, I had imposed penalties but there was no way to know whether the penalty had been collected. This Act needs amendment." 

Vihar Durve, an RTI Activist from Pune, revealed information about penalties imposed on officials with the help of RTI. 

"I had filed an RTI on August 25, 2010 to find out how much penalty has been recovered by the State Information Commission in 2008 and also who were the officials with the responsibility of recovering the penalty. 

Around Rs 5,14,000 has been imposed from cities comprising of Kolhapur, Satara, Sangli, Solapur and Pune. There has been no mechanism to find out whether this has been recovered. 

This information should atleast be put up on the website. When the reports of the Central Information Commission (in New Delhi) were compared, it was found that they possess data of recovery and have mentioned it in the RTI answer. 

On the other hand, this data was not mentioned in Maharashtra's RTI answer." 

According to information received from an RTI application, the commission had levied penalties of Rs 18, 52,850 for 143 cases, from Oct 12, 2005 to Dec 31, 2007. 

An order was sent to the respective officials to recover and credit the same into a government account. Out of penalties worth Rs 1,00,000 imposed during this period, Rs 78,750 were recovered. 

Out of Rs 1,76,000, Rs 56,459 were recovered, all recovered from the Mumbai region. 

Out of 17,336 cases of appeals and complaints under section 19(3) and 18 (1) so far disposed, penalties and enquiries have been imposed by the Commission only in 143 and three cases respectively. 

No penalty was imposed in the balance 17,190 cases, which were disposed of without any penal action. In 21 cases disposed of at the level of Chief Information Commissioner, a penalty of Rs 2,20,000 was imposed during Jan 1, 2008 to Dec 31, 2008. Out of this, only a penalty of Rs 2500 in three cases was reported to have been recovered and credited to a government account. 

Adds Durve, "The minimum penalty has to be atleast Rs 250 or it's multiples but in the Konkan Section two PIO's were charged a penalty of Rs 1 as well. 

Several times the PIO's do not give information within 30 days or provide wrong or vague information. It is the duty of the commission to impose penalty under the section (20)."

Pune Mirror got in touch with the PIO of Parbhani, Rajendra Sarag, who said, "The penalties definitely get recovered from the PIO's salary. It is the responsibility of the head of the department to keep track of it. 

His penalty is decided on the basis of the appeal made. The method of maintaining data of the penalties differs from office to office. We at our office never faced this issue, as we were up-to-date in giving information."

Speaking to Mirror, M C Sharma, Deputy Registrar of Central Information Commission, Delhi said, "The rules differ in various states but in our commission the recovery is done. 

The commission orders the department to recover penalties from the salary of the PIO and the Head of the Department keeps a check on it. 

When a penalty is imposed on any PIO, we do consider his side and if we find that he has a genuine issue then the penalty is cancelled. 

Proper data is maintained in the Central Commission about which member's penalties have been recovered."

Courtesy_

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The RTI Act was passed by the Lok Sabha (Lower House) on 11 May 2005, by the Raj Sabha (Upper House) on 12 May 2005 and received Presidential assent on 15 June 2005. Parts of the Act came into force upon Presidential assent, but the Act came fully into force on 12 October 2005, 120 days after Presidential assent.

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This Blog Spot is meant for publishing reports about the usage of RTI Act (Right to Information Act, 2005) so as to create an awareness to the general public and also to keep it as a ready reckoner by them. So the readers may extend their gratitude towards the Author as we quoted at the bottom of each Post under the title "Courtesy".Furthermore, the Blog Authors are no way responsible for the correctness of the materials published herein and the readers may verify the concerned valuable sources.

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