The Imphal Free Press

IMPHAL, Aug 18: The Manipur Information Commission has directed the state home department to provide total number of magisterial inquiries instituted by the Manipur government since 1980 till March 2007 along with the reports of the inquiries within 15 days to a petitioner who sought the information.

The state public information officer of the state home department was also informed to submit a show cause within 15 days from the receipt of the order of the chief commissioner why penalty as prescribed under section 20 of the RTI act be imposed to him for denying the petitioner the information he had sought.

The penalty that could be awarded for violation of the act includes a maximum of Rs. 25000 and recommendation for disciplinary action against him.

The ruling of the state chief information commissioner stated that copies of the magisterial inquiry reports which were considered by the state government along with their memorandum of action taken only in respect of those cases of such inquiry reports which had been laid before the state cabinet, discussed, approved and final action were over can be provided under the Right to Information Act, 2005.

The ruling was passed responding to a petition filed by one W Joykumar Singh of Huikap Mayai Leikai, Yairipok who failed to get the information from the state home department following an application made on May 19 this year.

As no response was received from the concerned official of the state home department, the applicant lodged a complaint with the chief information commissioner.

The commission had taken up the matter on July 27 by calling comments to be submitted within 10 days from the concerned SIPO. However no one turn up from the respondent`s side on the day of hearing which was fixed on July 30 this year.

Only after the commission gave second chance for seven day to submit explanation for not providing the information, the SIPO of the home department turn up and submitted his comment.

As per the comment of the SIPO, the home department is exempted from the purview of the Act except the cases involving corruption or human right violations, as the cases of magisterial inquiries relate to the activities of the action of security organizations, both Central and state.

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