Friday, November 5, 2010

CIC orders SBI to Publish Bank’s Loans Manual

Central information Commission Orders SBI to Publish Bank's Loans Manual

THURSDAY, 04 NOVEMBER 2010 21:37 WRITTEN BY DINESH SINGH RAWAT 

New Delhi (ABC Live): The Central information Commission has asked State Bank of India to publish bank's manual on loans and advances pertaining to micro and small enterprises on its website and put these under Right to information Act.

It is to mention that Chakradhar Panigrahi of Mumbai asked information under RTI act from State Bank of India, Mumbai on 08.05.2010 but SBI refused to give information to Chakradhar Panigrahi giving reason that sought information it was exempted from disclosure under Section 8(1)(d) of the RTI Act.

Chief Information Commissioner A.N. Tiwari after hearing both sides has decided on November 4, 2010 vide CIC/AT/A/2010/000596 that the policies and procedures followed by the Bank in matters of microfinance touch the lives of millions of people.

There is good reason why these policies as well as the procedures established thereof should be in the public domain in order that the customers of the Bank and the potential customers for microfinance are suitably made aware about all its pros and cons before taking the decision to become a loanee of the Bank.

Further stated that he failed to understand as to how such an important policy/procedure if disclosed would jeopardize the bank's commercial interest visàvis others or impair its intellectual property rights. In fact this information ought to have been put up on the public domain suomotu by the Bank for the public's knowledge.

The State Bank of India discharges an extremely important public responsibility and citing technical reasons to prevent disclosure of essential information such as this, does not do justice to its standing and image.

Also he asked bank to give the information as requested by this appellant must bedisclosed in public interest and urged the Bank that they voluntarily place this information on the website for the information of the general public.

Courtesy_

Also read the FULL Order at: http://www.indiankanoon.org/doc/269583/

CENTRAL INFORMATION COMMISSION

F.No.CIC/AT/A/2010/000596

Dated, the 04 November, 2010.

Appellant : Shri Chakradhar Panigrahi

Respondent : State Bank of India, Mumbai

Pursuant to Commission's notice dated 27.09.2010, this matter came up for hearing on 08.10.2010. Appellant was present in person, while the respondents were represented by Shri R.P. Singh, AGM (Law).

2. Appellant's RTIapplication dated 08.05.2010 was for certified true copies of current relevant bank's manual on loans and advances pertaining to micro and small enterprises.

3. The requested information has been denied to him by CPIO and Appellate Authority, who claimed that it was exempted from disclosure under Section 8(1)(d) of the RTI Act.

4. I do not agree with the reasoning of the respondents. The policies and procedures followed by the Bank in matters of microfinance touch the lives of millions of people. There is good reason why these policies as well as the procedures established thereof should be in the public domain in order that the customers of the Bank and the potential customers for microfinance are suitably made aware about all its pros and cons before taking the decision to become a loanee of the Bank. I fail to understand as to how such an important policy/procedure if disclosed would jeopardize the bank's commercial interest visavis others or impair its intellectual property rights. In fact this information ought to have been put CIC_AT_A_2010_000596_M_45183.doc up on the public domain suomotu by the Bank for the public's knowledge. The State Bank of India discharges an extremely important public responsibility and citing technical reasons to prevent disclosure of an essential information such as this, does not do justice to its standing and image.

5. In my view, the information as requested by this appellant must be disclosed in public interest. I would urge the Bank that they voluntarily place this information on the website for the information of the general public.

6. It is directed that the requested information be transmitted to the appellant by the CPIO within two weeks.

7. Appeal allowed.

8. Copy of this direction be sent to the parties.

( A.N. TIWARI )

CHIEF INFORMATION COMMISSIONER

CIC_AT_A_2010_000596_M_45183.doc

Courtesy_

http://www.indiankanoon.org/doc/269583/


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The outgoing CIC interprets the RTI Act

Widening horizons

V. VENKATESAN
in New Delhi

The outgoing CIC interprets the RTI Act in a liberal spirit to direct the Calcutta High Court to provide information to an applicant.

SHANKER CHAKRAVARTY 
 
Wajahat Habibullah, who completed his term as Chief Information Commissioner on September 30. He said that in the "context of the present when so-called Majesties have ceased... any claim of any public authority in India to have been established by an authority other than those mentioned under the RTI Act cannot be accepted".

IN a landmark decision before he completed his term as Chief Information Commissioner on September 30, Wajahat Habibullah rejected the Calcutta High Court's contention that it was not subject to the CIC's jurisdiction under the Right to Information Act, 2005.

The Calcutta High Court has the distinction of being the first High Court in India and one of the three chartered High Courts to be set up in India, along with the High Courts of Bombay and Madras. Formerly known as the High Court of Judicature at Fort William, it was brought into existence by the Letters Patent dated May 14, 1862, issued under the High Court's Act, 1861, which provided that the jurisdiction and powers of the High Court were to be defined by Letters Patent. (As legal instruments, letters patent were issued by the monarch, in the form of open letters, granting an office or a right to an institution.) The Act vested the authority in Her Majesty to issue letters patent under the Great Seal of the United Kingdom to establish High Courts of Judicature at Calcutta, Madras and Bombay. The Charter establishing the Calcutta High Court was published on July 1, 1862, establishing the High Court from the next day.

This background to the Calcutta High Court constitutes a key milestone in the evolution of India's legal history. With the attainment of Independence and the inauguration of the Constitution of India in 1950, the above background must have been confined to history. Or so one would have assumed, as the Calcutta High Court came to be treated on a par with any other High Courts in India.

High Court's stand

In a bizarre response to the CIC, however, the Calcutta High Court claimed that the Commission had no jurisdiction over it under the Right to Information Act. The Act has defined the CIC's jurisdiction as per the constitution of public authorities. In case the public authorities are established, constituted, owned, controlled or substantially financed by the Central government, then the jurisdiction to hear appeals and complaints is of the Central Information Commission.

The Principal Information Officer (PIO) of the High Court of Calcutta, Imran Hafiz, claimed in his written submission to the CIC, in an appeal case, that the High Court did not qualify as a public authority because it was not constituted by the Central government or even under the Constitution of India but by Her Majesty the Queen of England under Letters Patent dating from the time of Queen Victoria. He argued that the powers of such legislation (letters patent) were preserved and therefore could not be deemed to have been transcended by the power of the Government of India. He went on to submit that as per Article 246 of the Constitution, which deals with the law-making powers of Parliament, the Calcutta High Court was not under the control of the President of India or the Government of India.

Item 78 of List 1 of the Seventh Schedule, which is referred to in defining the powers of Parliament under Article 246 of the Constitution, includes the following in the powers of the Union: Constitution and organisation (including vacations) of the High Courts except provisions as to officers and servants of High Courts; persons entitled to practice before the High Courts.

Item 79 of the same list mentions: "Extension of the jurisdiction of a High Court to, and exclusion of the jurisdiction of a High Court from, any Union Territory."

Whatever doubts one might have on the basis of the historical background of the Calcutta High Court about its present status must have vanished after these clear and unambiguous provisions of the Constitution, which did not make any exemption with regard to the Calcutta High Court.

However, Hafiz persisted with his outlandish claim in order to deny information sought by an applicant, Sundeep Goyal, under the RTI Act. Goyal sought the name and address of the person holding the position of "Receiver" in the Calcutta High Court in a pending suit. In two other applications, Goyal sought details of money held by the "Receiver" in the same suit, and copies of orders passed by the High Court in the same suit in 2006 and 2007.

To all his three applications, Goyal received an identical response from the PIO of the High Court: "The information asked for cannot be supplied as the matter being sub judice the disclosure of information may constitute contempt of court."

RTI applicant's challenge

Goyal challenged this response in his first appeal to the Appellate Authority of the High Court saying that the PIO had not stipulated the relevant provision of the RTI Act under which he had rejected Goyal's request for information.

On not receiving any orders on his first appeal, Goyal moved his second appeal before the CIC, referring to various decisions of the CIC that had held that "sub-judice" is not a valid ground for withholding information sought under the RTI Act.

In the mean time, the High Court's First Appellate Authority gave the decision stating that according to the High Court's rules, search of records, copies, and inspection at the request of any person not a part to a suit or proceedings, should be allowed when the matter is pending before the court, subject to the order of the judge. He, therefore, justified the denial of information by the PIO as the suit Goyal had referred to in his application was pending for disposal and there was no specific order of the court to supply information to him.

Goyal appealed to the CIC to set aside Hafiz's and the Appellate Authority's decisions and direct the PIO to fulfil the obligations of the High Court under the RTI Act.

CIC's stance

In his decision, Habibullah, interpreting the RTI Act, held that in case public authorities are established, constituted, owned, controlled or substantially financed by the Central government, then the jurisdiction to hear appeals and complaints is of the CIC. He agreed with Hafiz that the Calcutta High Court was not established or constituted by the Government of India or the Constitution of India, but added:

"Quite clearly, in the context of the present when so-called Majesties have ceased to exist and have been succeeded within India or from outside by the Sovereign Democratic Republic of India of which the Head of State is the President of the Union of India, any claim of any public authority in India to have been established by an authority other than those mentioned under the RTI Act cannot be accepted."

Interpreting Rule 10 of the Calcutta High Court (Jurisdictional Limits) Act 1919, Habibullah held that this rule does not debar disclosure of information in the manner prescribed. As part of the procedure for accessing such information, he held that it would be necessary for the PIO to make a reference to such judge, whose order would be required for the disclosure. It is not acceptable, he held, that because the application did not obtain the orders of the judge, it should be rejected.

Section 8(1) (h) of the RTI Act enables public authorities to deny information that would impede the process of investigation or apprehension or prosecution of offenders.

Interpreting this provision, the Delhi High Court held in 2007 that the authority withholding information must show satisfactory reasons explaining why the release of such information would hamper the investigation process. "Such reasons should be germane, and the opinion of the process being hampered should be reasonable and based on some material," the court held. Habibullah relied on this order of the Delhi High Court to reject the contention of the Calcutta High Court claiming exemption under this very provision.

Habibullah set aside the Calcutta High Court Appellate Authority's decision and directed the PIO of the High Court to supply Goyal the information he had sought, free of cost within 15 working days from September 29.

Courtesy_


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CIC: 6 officials told to pay 25k for RTI violation

6 officials told to pay 25k for RTI violation

Himanshi Dhawan, TNN, Oct 24, 2010, 01.44 am IST

NEW DELHI: The Central Information Commission (CIC) has slapped the maximum penalty ever on any agency at one time by directing six MCD officials to cough up Rs 25,000 each for withholding information related to transfer of staff. These errant MCD officers will have to pay Rs 1.5 lakh for a 100-day delay in providing information under the RTI Act. 

Noting the delay in disclosure of information, information commissioner Shailesh Gandhi said, "Since the delay in providing the information has been over 100 days, the Commission is passing an order penalising all six officers Rs 25,000 which is the maximum penalty in the Act." 

The applicant Ravi Bhushan Bali had in February 2010 asked for information related to direct recruitment, ad-hoc promotion and regular promotion of 13 officers. Bali has also asked details of how many officials had been transferred from DDA to MCD and under what terms and conditions. He also sought information on the status of his own promotion that has been pending before a higher authority. 

In his reply in April 2010, MCD PIO had argued that the department was still in the process of collecting the information but could not provide the relevant facts. In fact, it was only after a rap on the knuckles by the CIC in September that the municipal corporation provided Bali with service books of all the sanitary superintendents and allowed the applicant inspection of the relevant files. 

Arguing that the Commission was obliged to levy a penalty if it found that information had not been furnished without reasonable cause, Gandhi in his order said no reasonable cause for delay had been cited in this particular case. 

He has asked the MCD commissioner to recover Rs 25,000 each from the salary of sanitary superintendents Nand Lal (south zone), Rajendra Prasad (south zone), Raj Pal Singh (SP zone), Om Prakash (Najafgarh zone), Ravinder Rai (west zone) and Naresh Kumar (central zone). An amount of Rs 5,000 will be deducted from their monthly salary.

Courtesy_

Also read the FULL Order at: http://www.indiankanoon.org/doc/1157884/

CENTRAL INFORMATION COMMISSION

Club Building (Near Post Office)

Old JNU Campus, New Delhi - 110067

Tel: +91-11-26161796

Decision No. CIC/SG/A/2010/002127/9341Penalty

Appeal No. CIC/SG/A/2010/002127

Relevant Facts emerging from the Appeal:

Appellant : Mr. Ravi Bhushan Bali SS- SZ, Ward No. 6, House No. 881, Mehrauli, New Delhi 110030.

Respondent (1): Mr. Nand Lal, Deemed PIO & SS, MCD South Zone, Green Park, New Delhi

(2) Mr. Rajendra Prasad, Deemed PIO & SS South Zone, (formerly in Narela Zone), MCD South Zone, Green Park, New Delhi

(3) Mr. Raj Pal Singh, Deemed PIO & SS SP Zone, MCD SP Zone, Idgah Road, Sadar Pahar Ganj Zone, New Delhi

(4) Mr. Om Prakash, Deemed PIO & SS, MCD Nazafgarh Zone, Overhead water tank, Najafgarh Zone, Nazafgarh Zone, New Delhi

(5) Mr. Ravinder Rai, Deemed PIO & SS, MCD West Zone, Rajouri Garden, Vishal Enclave, New Delhi

(6) Mr. Naresh Kumar, Deemed PIO & SS, MCD Central Zone, Jal Vihar, Lajpat Nagar, New Delhi

(7) Mr. Surender Singh, Deemed PIO & SS West Zone, MCD, Vishal Enclave, Rajouri Garden, New Delhi

(8) Mr. Devender Kumar, Public Information Officer & Chief Engineer, Municipal Corporation of Delhi, Office of Assistant Commissioner/DEMS/HQs, Gandhi Mela Ground, Town Hall, Delhi- 110006.

(9) Mr. Kishan Lal, Deemed PIO & SS City Zone, MCD City Zone, Delhi

(10) Mr. J. K. Gupta, Deemed PIO & SS Sahadara, MCD Sahadara North Zone, Sahadara, Delhi

(11) Mr. Vijender Rana, Deemed PIO & SS Rohini Zone, MCD Rohini Zone, Rohini Zone, Delhi

RTI application filed on : 11/02/2010 

PIO replied : 05/04/2010 

First appeal filed on : 20/04/2010 

First Appellate Authority order : 24/06/2010 

Second Appeal received on : 26/07/2010

Sl. Information Sought Reply of the Public Information Officer (PIO)

1. Provide the information under the RTI Act as The PF file and S/book of the officials of the officials per the following format mentioning Direct mentioned in point 1 are not available at the office. Letters Recruitment /Adhoc promotion /Regular dates 18/12/2010 and 04/03/2010 were sent to the Zonal promotion with the then office order no and officers, to provide the PF File & S/Book, with a copy to the date, shown in the table in the application for 13 appellant. PF File of Mr. Bal Kishan and Mr. Jagdish officers: Chander have been received in this office and the same can 1- Mr. Nand Lal be inspected on any working day within 15 days, and the 2- Mr. Surender Singh appellant may obtain a copy of the documents as the desired 3- Mr. Bal Kishan information in the prescribed proforma is not available. The 4- Mr. Raj Pal department is in the process for obtaining the PF File and 5- Mr. Krishan Kant S/book of the remaining officials. 6- Mr. Kishori Lal, 7- Mr. Lakhara, 8- Mr. Suraj Bhan, 9- Mr. K. C. Gulati, 10- Mr. Ravinder Ray, 11- Mr. Om Prakash, 12- Mr. Naresh Kumar, 13- Mr. Jagdeesh Chandra

2. How many officials were transferred from DDA It is a voluminous record, hence the appellant may come and to MCD with designation? inspect the relevant files and collect the desired documents.

3. At what designation DDA staff had been As Above. transferred to MCD and what designation considered by MCD?

4. Since when seniority had been given to said As Above. staff in each category?

5. Photocopies of office orders for all above As Above. mentioned officials for each designation'

6. Photocopy of terms and conditions on which As Above. DDA supervisor staff was transferred to MCD.

7. What is status of promotion case of under The representations have not been dealt with so far. signed for which a representation has already been submitted.

Grounds for the First Appeal:

Unsatisfactory information provided by the PIO Order of the First Appellate Authority (FAA):

The FAA directs the appellant to inspect the relevant file and obtain the copies of the desired documents free of cost by appearing personally at the PIO's office on any working day within 15 days from the date of the issuance of the order.

Grounds for the Second Appeal:

Unsatisfactory information provided by the PIO

Relevant Facts emerging during Hearing on 10 September 2010: The following were present

Appellant: Mr. Ravi Bhushan Bali,

Respondent: Mr. T. P. Sharma, Assistant Commissioner on behalf of Mr. Devender Kumar, PIO & CE; "The PIO has provided the office orders required by the appellant of 01 officer out of 13 officers from whom the appellant wanted the officer orders. The PIO states that he has sought the assistance of 12 Sanitation Superintendents and 01 EO Pension under Section 5(4) of the RTI Act. The PIO states that he received the service books of only Mr. Bal Krishan and Mr. Jagdish and these were inspected by the appellant and photocopies of records which he sought were given to him. However, the other sanitation superintends did not respond. The PIO is directed to obtain the service books from all the sanitation superintends and give inspection to the appellant on 30 September 2010 and provide photocopies of whatever records the appellant wants free of cost.

Mr. T. P. Sharma, AC is also directed to send copies of the showcause notice issued with this order to all the Sanitation Superintendents who have not provided any information from whom assistance was sought on 18/02/2010 by letter no. 6020/DA-1/AC/DEMS/HQS/2010. He had also sent reminder on 04/03/2010."

Commission's Decision dated 10 September 2010:

The Appeal was allowed.

"Mr. T. P. Sharma, AC is directed to obtain the service books from all the sanitation superintends and give inspection to the appellant on 30 September 2010 and provide photocopies of whatever records the appellant wants free of cost upto 300 pages. The issue before the Commission is of not supplying the complete, required information by the deemed PIOs and sanitation superintends within 30 days as required by the law. From the facts before the Commission it is apparent that the deemed PIOs are guilty of not furnishing information within the time specified under sub-section (1) of Section 7 by not replying within 30 days, as per the requirement of the RTI Act. It appears that the deemed PIOs actions attract the penal provisions of Section 20 (1). A showcause notice is being issued to them, and they are directed give their reasons to the Commission to show cause why penalty should not be levied on them.

All the Sanitation Superintendents will present themselves before the Commission at the above address on 22 October 2010 at 04.00PM alongwith their written submissions showing cause why penalty should not be imposed on them as mandated under Section 20 (1). They will also submit proof of having given the information to the appellant.

If there are other persons responsible for the delay in providing the information to the Appellant 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 emerging during Showcause Hearing on 22 October 2010: The following were present

Appellant: Mr. Ravi Bhushan Bali;

Respondent: Mr. T. P. Sharma, Assistant Commissioner on behalf of Mr. Devender Kumar, PIO & CE; Mr. Nand Lal, SS, South Zone; Mr. Rajendra Prasad, SS South Zone (formerly in Narela Zone); Mr. Raj Pal Singh, SS SP Zone; Mr. Kishan Lal, SS City Zone; Mr. Om Prakash, SS Nazafgarh Zone; Mr. J. K. Gupta, SS Sahadara North Zone; Mr. Vijender Rana, SS Rohini Zone; Mr. Surender Singh, SS West Zone; Mr. Ravinder Rai, SS West Zone; Mr. Naresh Kumar, SS Central Zone;

The Commission noted that the PIO was required to provide information from the service file(s) of 13 officers. He sought the assistance of various Sanitary Superintendents on 18/02/2010 and sent reminder(s) on 04/03/2010. Only two service files from Rohini Zone were made available for which information was provided.

After the order of the Commission on September 10, 2010, the PIO provided the requisite information after obtaining the service files from various Sanitary Superintendents for another seven officers in September 2010. The service files of the following officers have not been provided so far: 1- Mr. R. K. Lakhara, 2- Mr. K. C. Gulati, 3- Mr. Om Prakash, 4- Mr. Kishori Lal

The Appellant stated that he has obtained the requisite information and does not wish to get any information on these four officers.

The Commission was informed that City Zone, Rohini Zone and North Zone had provided the information initially, which was given to the Appellant. Mr. J. K. Gupta, the then Sanitary Superintendent of City Zone has recently been posted on promotion to Sahadara Zone. Thus, Mr. Kishan Lal, Mr. J. K. Gupta and Mr. Vijender Rana cannot be held responsible for the delay in providing the information.

Mr. Surender Singh, Sanitary Superintendent, West Zone claims that he believes he was told by Mrs. Saroj, Dealing Clerk that the service files were sent to the office of the PIO, but were received back. Mr. Surinder Singh stated that this was not true and therefore either Mrs. Saroj had not told the truth or Mr. Surinder Singh was telling the truth. The Commission directs Mr. Surender Singh, Sanitary Superintendent, West Zone to produce documentary evidence to show that Mrs. Saroj had misinformed him in the manner described by him. Mr. Surender Singh will produce the evidence and bring Mrs. Saroj to the Commission to prove what he is saying on 26 October 2010 at 12.00 noon. If he does not appear before the Commission on that day and prove his contention the Commission will impose the penalty on him as per Section 20(1) of the RTI Act.

The Commission has been given no reasonable explanation for the delay in giving the information by Mr. Nand Lal, SS, South Zone, Mr. Rajendra Prasad, SS, South Zone (formerly in Narela Zone), Mr. Raj Pal Singh, SS, SP Zone, Mr. Om Prakash, SS, Nazafgarh Zone, Mr. Ravinder Rai, SS, West Zone and Mr. Naresh Kumar, SS, Central Zone. They all admitted that a letter was sent by the PIO to them to provide the service file(s) of the 13 officers as per the list. A reminder was also given to them on 04/03/2010. They provided the service files and replies only after the order of the Information Commission on September 10, 2010.

Section 20 (1) of the RTI Act states, "Where the Central Information Commission or the State Information Commission, as the case may be, at the time of deciding any complaint or appeal is of the opinion that the Central Public Information Officer or the State Public Information Officer, as the case may be, has, without any reasonable cause, refused to receive an application for information or has not furnished information within the time specified under sub-section (1) of section 7 or malafidely denied the request for information or knowingly given incorrect, incomplete or misleading information or destroyed information which was the subject of the request or obstructed in any manner in furnishing the information, it shall impose a penalty of two hundred and fifty rupees each day till application is received or information is furnished, so however, the total amount of such penalty shall not exceed twenty five thousand rupees; Provided that the Central Public Information Officer or the State Public Information Officer, as the case may be, shall be given a reasonable opportunity of being heard before any penalty is imposed on him: Provided further that the burden of proving that he acted reasonably and diligently shall be on the Central Public Information Officer or the State Public Information Officer, as the case may be." A plain reading of Section 20 reveals that there are three circumstances where the Commission must impose penalty:

1) Refusal to receive an application for information. 2) not furnishing information within the time specified under sub-section (1) of section 7 30 days. 3) malafidely denying the request for information or knowingly giving incorrect, incomplete or misleading information or destroying information which was the subject of the request 4) obstructing in any manner in furnishing the information. All the above are prefaced by the infraction, ' without reasonable cause'.

Section 19 (5) of the RTI Act has also stated that "In any appeal proceedings, the onus to prove that a denial of a request was justified shall be on the Central Public Information Officer or State Public Information Officer, as the case may be, who denied the request."

Thus if without reasonable cause, information is not furnished within the time specified under sub-section (1) of section 7, the Commission is dutybound to levy a penalty at the rate of rupees two hundred and fifty each day till the information is furnished. Once the Commission decides that there was no reasonable cause for delay, it has to impose the penalty at the rate specified in Section 20 (1) of the RTI Act and the law gives no discretion in the matter. The burden of proving that denial of information by the PIO was justified and reasonable is clearly on the PIO as per Section 19(5) of the RTI Act.

Since no reasonable cause has been advanced by Mr. Nand Lal, SS, South Zone; Mr. Rajendra Prasad, SS South Zone (formerly in Narela Zone); Mr. Raj Pal Singh, SS SP Zone; Mr. Om Prakash, SS Nazafgarh Zone; Mr. Ravinder Rai, SS West Zone and Mr. Naresh Kumar, SS Central Zone for the delay in providing the information the Commission decides to impose the penalty as per Section 20(1) of the RTI Act. The information should have been provided before 11/03/2010 instead it has been provided only after the order of the Information Commission in September 2010. Since the delay has been for over 100 days the Commission imposes the maximum penalty of `25000/- as per Section 20(1) of the RTI Act on six officers.

Decision:

As per the provisions of Section 20 (1) of the RTI Act 2005, the Commission finds this a fit case for levying penalty on Mr. Nand Lal, SS, South Zone; Mr. Rajendra Prasad, SS South Zone (formerly in Narela Zone); Mr. Raj Pal Singh, SS SP Zone; Mr. Om Prakash, SS Nazafgarh Zone; Mr. Ravinder Rai, SS West Zone and Mr. Naresh Kumar, SS Central Zone Since the delay in providing the information has been over 100 days, the Commission is passing an order penalizing all 06 officers `25000/- each, which is the maximum penalty under the Act.

The Commissioner, Municipal Corporation of Delhi is directed to recover the amount of `25000/- each from the salary of Mr. Nand Lal, SS, South Zone; Mr. Rajendra Prasad, SS, South Zone (formerly in Narela Zone); Mr. Raj Pal Singh, SS SP Zone; Mr. Om Prakash, SS Nazafgarh Zone; Mr. Ravinder Rai, SS West Zone and Mr. Naresh Kumar, SS Central Zone 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 every month from the salary of each officer and remitted by the 10th of every month starting from December 2010. The total amount will be remitted by 10th of April, 2011.

This decision is announced in open chamber.

Notice of this decision be given free of cost to the parties. Any information in compliance with this Order will be provided free of cost as per Section 7(6) of RTI Act.

Shailesh Gandhi, Information Commissioner

22 October 2010

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

CC:

To

1- Municipal Commissioner, Municipal Corporation of Delhi, Town Hall, Delhi- 110006

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/1157884/

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Orissa RTI website bags best India eGov Award

Orissa RTI website bags best India eGov Award

Friday, October 29, 2010

Bhubaneswar: The RTI website of the State has been awarded as the best user-friendly website in the Country. A high profile event for choosing best website in the country conducted by India eGov 2.0 in New Delhi on October 28 choose States RTI Central Mechanism (RTI CMM) as the best user-friendly website and conferred India eGov 2.0 Awards-2010.

The States RTI website is now connecting as many as 1800 offices and providing information to the people tirelessly.

Speaking to the mediapersons here, Information and Public Relation Minister Prafulla Samal informed that the State's RTI CMM was selected by a grand jury consisting of eminent persons and headed by senior Director of IT of Ministry of Communication and IT Ashis Sanyal as the best from among 128 websites used by Government and public sector orgnisations.

The Nodal Officer of RTI and Secretary of Department SN Tripathy said the State RTI Portal www.rtiorissa.gov.in presently serves the need of over 1800 offices. The website access the system ensuring compliance of the RTI Act, 2005. It also has public feedback as well as interactive mechanism to enable citizen to post online RTI applications and appeals to any public authority.

The award was received by Dirctor, I and PR, BP Mohanty at the event ceremony held in New Delhi.

Courtesy_

Also visit the Orissa State RTI Portal at: http://www.rtiorissa.gov.in


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If penalised, approach courts in personal capacity, HC tells PIOs

If penalised, approach courts in personal capacity, HC tells PIOs

RAGHAV OHRI

Posted: Thu Nov 04 2010, 03:35 hrs

Chandigarh: Creating a precedent, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has ruled that if the public information officer (PIO) of a department has been penalised by a State Information Commission on account of withholding information, the officer cannot appeal against the order through the state. The court has held that the PIO will have to approach the court in personal capacity.

In one such instance, the High Court has directed the Punjab government to withdraw a petition filed by it on behalf of K B S Sidhu, the then PIO of health department who had challenged a penalty imposed on him by the Punjab State Information Commission. A fine of Rs 25,000 was slapped on Sidhu in 2007 for not supplying information.

Ludhiana-based social activist Kuldip Singh Khaira had sought information under the Right to Information (RTI) Act from the health department with regard to rules drafted by its electro-homoeopathy wing. 

For not supplying information within the stipulated period, the State Information Commission had slapped a penalty of Rs 25,000 on Sidhu, who challenged it before the High Court. 

During the resumed hearing, a single bench of the High Court refused to entertain the petition since the appeal against the penalty was filed by the state. During the hearing last week, Advocate A P S Shergill, counsel for Khaira, raised the issue that a PIO could not appeal against an order through the state and should rather come in personal capacity. 

Shergill said the state machinery could not be put to use by a PIO for a penalty or strictures passed against him on account of dereliction of duty. 

Finding merit in the contention, the High Court asked the Punjab government to withdraw the petition. Sidhu has been given the liberty to file a fresh petition in personal capacity. 

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.

Dinamani - RTI News