College principal gets CIC notice for holding info
Chandigarh, January 31:Government College of Arts principal Brahm Prakash has been issued a show-cause notice by the Central Information Commission (CIC) on charges of “malafide suppression of information under the RTI Act”. Allegedly, Brahm Prakash had refused to furnish information sought by Dr Jayanti Dutta Roy, Deputy Director, Academic Staff College, Panjab University. In the notice, the CIC wrote, “As, in this particular case, the principal becomes the custodian of the information, he becomes the deemed Public Information Officer. The Commission, therefore, decides to issue a notice for penalty for malafide suppression of information, which could have been easily supplied to the appellant. Besides, the Commission recommends the college authorities to ensure that they have senior persons to act as the Central Public Information Officer and the Appellate Authority.”
Earlier, the CIC, on a representation moved by Dr Roy, had pulled up two representatives of the Government College of Arts’ Appellate Authority Anand Sharma and PIO Mohan Lal Arora for denying information under RTI Act. Both officers were asked to appear in the office of the CIC on January 17. It was during the hearing, the CIC issued the penalty notice to Brahm Prakash.
The CIC also observed, “In the absence of the appellant, the Commission heard the respondents, who stated that when they received the request for information, they asked their senior officials to clarify the situation. The principal of the college wrote to them that the information asked for was not covered under the RTI Act... It is, therefore, quite obvious that the college seemed almost dismissive of the Act.” Information Commissioner Dr O P Kejriwal heard the matter, where both Sharma and Arora represented the college. Brahm Prakash said, “I have come to know that such a notice has been issued, but have not seen its copy yet. I will get the copy tomorrow.”