5 Days Ago
The Information commissioner failed to recognize the provision given under Section 25 of the General Clauses Act, 1897 which provides statutory mechanism to recover fines, which have not been nullified or stayed by higher judicial forum.
General Clauses Act, 1897 is applicable to all central acts, and the rules and regulations formed under the central acts.
Section 25 read with Sections 14(1),(2) of the General Clauses Act, 1897 empowers the information commission to recover the fines so levied whose recovery have not been stayed or nullified by higher judicial forum, by filing a complaint before the jurisdictional magistrate court towards the non-recovery of the fine from the errant public information officer.
14 Powers conferred to be exercisable from time to time.
(1) Where, by any or Regulation made after the commencement of this Act, any power is conferred , then that power may be exercised from time to time as occasion requires.
(2) This section applies also to all and Regulations made on or after the fourteenth day of January, 1887.
Section 25 Recovery of fines - Sections 63 to 70 of the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860) and the provisions of the 48 Code of Criminal Procedure for the time being in force in relation to the issue and the execution of warrants for the levy of fines shall apply to all fines imposed under any Act, Regulation, rule or bye-law, unless the Act, Regulation, rule or bye-law contains an express provision to the contrary. said notification is specifically superseded or withdrawn or modified under the new notification
The above provision was judicially recognized by the supreme court in CASE NO.: Appeal (crl.) 1375 of 2007 : SHANTI LAL vs STATE OF M.P DATE OF JUDGMENT: 08/10/2007
In para 26 of the aforementioned case, the supreme court held -" Though Section 25 of the General Clauses Act, 1897 was not referred to in Bashiruddin Ashraf, in our opinion, bare reading of the said provision also makes it explicitly clear and leaves no room for doubt that Sections 63 to 70, IPC and the provisions of CrPC relating to award of imprisonment in default of payment of fine would apply to all cases wherein fines have been imposed on an offender unless the Act, Regulation, Rule or Bye-law contains an express provision to the contrary."
Hence, the information commission is not powerless to recover the fines levied under RTI act, 2005.