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RTI fine slapped on health official
The state information commission has imposed a penalty on the chief medical officer of health (CMOH), Hooghly, for “intentionally” holding up information about a blood donation camp in a hospital.
The CMOH, Akhil Kumar Mondal, has been held guilty of withholding information from the panel for 62 days. Fined at Rs 250 for each day of delay, Mondal has been asked to cough up Rs 15,500 by August 10.
The official is planning to move court against the order.
Commission officials said Raghunath Chakrabarty, of Jangipara, in Hooghly, had applied to the CMOH on February 3 for permission to organise a blood donation camp at Jangipara Rural Hospital.
The CMOH and the block medical officer of health did not get back to Chakrabarty, despite “repeated reminders” from him.
On February 9, Chakrabarty moved the commission under the Right to Information Act, seeking to know the status of his application.
The CMOH, who is also assistant principal information officer of the health department in the district, informed the commission on April 12 that Chakrabarty’s application had been rejected as the hospital did not have adequate infrastructure and space for hosting blood donation camps.
He also told the panel that no blood donation camp was allowed on the hospital premises for the same reason.
But Chakrabarty produced documents before the commission, “proving” that Central Blood Bank had held several camps at the hospital in 2004 and 2005.
The commission then issued a show-cause notice to Mondal, in response to which he claimed that he did not have documents on the camps held at the hospital.
On May 29, Chakrabarty submitted to the commission documents establishing his claim that Central Blood Bank had held camps at Jangipara Rural Hospital.
On July 27, the commission ruled that the CMOH had withheld information from it and fined him Rs 15,500. The delay was calculated from the day Chakrabarty submitted his petition till Mondal replied to the show-cause notice.
“My department has no record about any camp at the hospital. But the papers produced by Chakrabarty seem genuine,” said Mondal.