Two officers penalised under RTI Act in Gujarat

Ahmedabad, Nov 9: The Gujarat Information Commission has fined two officers Rs 23,000 for a delay in answering a query under the Right to Information (RTI) Act.

State Information Commissioner R N Das penalised public information officer and deputy collector of stamp duty office of Jamnagar on a complaint filed by one Prutha Badyani of Jamnagar, Harinesh Pandya, an RTI activist said.

Badyani had bought a house in Jamnagar and paid stamp duty for it. However, officials of the stamp duty department claimed she had paid "less" stamp duty by the way of quoting lower price in the documents, Pandya said.

They however, "did not give written intimation to her which is necessary as per the law and kept her original documents with the office", he added.

Meanwhile, the stamp duty department introduced amnesty scheme for disputed stamp paper cases. Badyani approached the department and paid the amount of Rs 7,925 as a settlement under the scheme, he added.

However, even after she paid the amount she was not given original documents of her house. She filed an application under the RTI act, Pandya said, adding she did not receive any reply within 30 days.

She complained about the incident to the state information commission, which in its order of November 4 penalised the two officers, Pandya added.

--- PTI