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Thread: RTI fines to be cut from babus' pay

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    RTI fines to be cut from babus' pay


    As reported by Aloke Tikku in The Hindustan Times on 14 January 2008:
    RTI fines to be cut from babus' pay- Hindustan Times

    RTI fines to be cut from babus' pay

    Secretive government officials who stand in the way of your right to information should gear up for penalties being deducted from their salaries.

    The Central Information Commission (CIC) has asked the finance ministry to recover fines levied on officials by cutting it from their salaries rather than wait endlessly for departmental heads to do their job.

    The commission has imposed penalties to the tune of Rs 10 lakh in the two years the law has been in place. But an audit report revealed that the CIC has been able to recover only one-fifth of the fines it has imposed.

    Soon after a report in the Hindustan Times pointed to the wide gap, the commission decided to ask the department of expenditure to direct the chief controller of accounts of each department to deduct the penalty from the salary of the erring officials.

    And why not, asked Wajahat Habibullah, Chief Information Commissioner. "It is the government's money."

    The commission recently acknowledged that it had imposed fines to the tune of Rs 10 lakh in the case of an RTI application filed by Delhi citizen Dev Ashish Bhattacharya, but had recovered only Rs 1.81 lakh from the secretive babus.



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    Re: RTI fines to be cut from babus' pay


    The non recovery of fine shows that how much orders are being followed by officers.

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    Re: RTI fines to be cut from babus' pay


    I feel the fine that is imposed should be given to the applicant. The applicant is trying hard to expose the misdeeds of the babus and other government employees who are the root cause of corruption. The people and the government benefit by this question. The applicant spends his precious time and money. The fine is to be deducted from the salary of the babu or government officer to whom the question was initially asked. ( Or at least part of it) and then the money is to be handed over to the applicant at least partly and the applicant must feel rewarded by accepting this money for having raised the question under RTI and following it up till the end. The money and time spent on attending hearings and other procedure should be handsomely rewarded by the ill gotten fine. The government should not use the fine money for any other purpose other than rewarding the RTI applicants. The government should not see the fine collected from PIOs as a source of its own income, for which it has not struggled.
    In an ideal world there will be no fines. That too if the information is given in time. But if the information is not given and a fine is collectable, then that fine should reach the pocket of the activist who has unearthed this menace or misdeed.

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    Re: RTI fines to be cut from babus' pay



    Quote Originally Posted by raviprakash View Post
    I feel the fine that is imposed should be given to the applicant. The applicant is trying hard to expose the misdeeds of the babus and other government employees who are the root cause of corruption. The applicant spends his precious time and money.

    Raviprakash,

    I do not think any 'fine' should be handed over to applicant. Because, this will make the applicant more interested in delay than the information. In a few cases, the ICs have ordered a 'compensation' to applicant, for travelling expenses that the applicant has to undergo to attend appeal. Better administered rule in this regard should be enough.

    But I agree with you that the government should not consider this as its income. This should be fully spent on spreading RTI awareness, in addition to regular budget for this purpose.

    And, the service book or confidential report of the erring PIO should compulsorily have an entry about each fine the PIO has been ordered to pay.

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    Re: RTI fines to be cut from babus' pay


    Demand for compensation for undue delay, avoidable expenses incurred for first/second appeals, mental agony etc should be claimed in the prayer and insisted upon. Surprisingly I could get satisfactory reply from only ONE SIC out of 7 SICs and CIC to whom 9 details were sought as posted in COST PER DECISION thread. I had to file first appeals for non reply in 30 days and then on incomplete replies. In case of Karnataka, I am mailing second appeal today, while TN and Assam have not replied despite first appeal.This is the situation of SICs and CICs!!!
    It takes each of us to make difference for all of us.

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    MOHANDAS
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    Re: RTI fines to be cut from babus' pay


    What is the harm in giving a part of the fine money to the RTI applicant. One thing should bear in mind, the fine, if any, being collected/collected upon the initiation of RTI Application by the individual applicant after he is put into a lot of ordeals. Moreover, normally fine is being collected in exceptional cases only after deliberating the matter at different levels dependng upon the merit of the case. So, a part of the fine money being realised from the erring officials should be given to the RTI applicant taking the matter in its right perspective. The Govt. should not consider the fine, a paltry sum, an income generated, since it is a peanut. If the Govt. wants to create resources in real sense ,why not the big big corporate house's income tax & big wigs undisputed tax dues are not being collected ? Let us ascertain the tax due on this account from those corporate houses and Cricket stars, Cinima Starts etc. etc. I am of the view,in order to hide such inforamtion now the I.T Deptt., is seeking exemption from the purview of RTI Act 2005. Let this matter be debated by our expert members.

    MOHANDAS.



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