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    Two Public Information Officers found guilty of withholding information


    Two Public Information Officers found guilty of withholding information

    as Reported By Yasha Sharma in the theindiapost.com Jun 12th, 2008

    Bhopal, June 12:While disposing of two appeals against as many Public Information Officers, Chief Information Commissioner Shri Padmapani Tiwari has imposed fine on them. While a fine to the tune of Rs 25 thousand has been imposed on the then Public Information Officer, another Public Information Officer would have to cough out Rs 21 to clear the fine imposed on him.

    On the complaint lodged by Shri Ajay Dube (Bhopal) against Public Information Officer posted at Madhya Pradesh Pollution Control Board Shri R.K. Shrivastava was found guilty of deliberately not giving information sought by the appellant and Rs 25 thousand fine was imposed on him.

    Apart from two other points, the pieces of information sought by the applicant included '3. how many times grant was given to the institutions sponsored by the board' and '4. from 1998 to 2005, they board gave grant to how many non-government agencies and under what heads'.

    The Public Information Officer gave the answers of first two queries but refused to divulge information about points 3 and 4. Replying to show cause notice, the Public Information Officer replied that the mistake was committed as he could not study the Act in a proper way. He repeated the same stand during hearing as well. In the orders passed by the Chief Information Commissioner observed that ignorance of law cannot be a plea for defence.

    On the appeal of Shri Sanjeev Prakash (Guna), the Chief Information Commissioner found Public Information Officer Shri R.N. Gupta posted at Janpad Panchayat Bankheri (district Hoshangabad) guilty of withholding information within the deadline without any appropriate reason and imposed a fine amounting to Rs 21 thousand against him.

    The applicant/appellant had sought information on four points from the then Public Information Officer of Janapad Panchayat Guna and presently posted at Janpad Panchayat Bankheri in district Hoshangabad. The applicant was not provided information sought by him within stipulated 30 days. The applicant filed first appeal which was rejected. The applicant moved second appeal before the Commission. After rejection of the first appeal, the Public Information Officer wrote a letter to the applicant to deposit Rs 302 against information sought by him and subsequently information was provided to the applicant. In reply to the show cause notice, the Public Information Officer took the plea that information had already been provided to the applicant but its receipt could not be taken.

    The Public Information Officers had sought clemency citing mistake in compliance of the process.

    The order given in this case stated that the applicant had become eligible to get information without any charge after three days but Rs 302 fee was charged from the applicant. The Chief Information Commissioner has instructed that Rs 302 amount must be refunded to the applicant within 15 days.

    The order instructs General Administration Department to recover amount of fine from Public Information Officer Shri R.N. Gupta within stipulated time and send the compliance report to the commission.

    Two Public Information Officers found guilty of withholding information (Right to Information Act) | The India Post


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  2. #2
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    Re: Two Public Information Officers found guilty of withholding information


    Such strictness will make RTI more effective and will send proper signals to other govt. officials against taking citizen for a ride. This will reduce number of appeals to the SIC, as PIO/FAA will dispose off applications properly.
    It takes each of us to make difference for all of us.

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    Re: Two Public Information Officers found guilty of withholding information


    14.06.2008
    It looks that now the RTI Act 2005 is become a tool in the hand of public to get the informations needed. If the SCICs will start punishing the guilty, rude and adamant PUs / AAs and PIOs the act will become best act of India passed so far. It will give Fundamental rights to citizens with out going to the High Courts. but some corrupt officers / engineers of the municipal corporations where rampant corruptions are reported need to be delt by the Chief Information Commissions.
    Till date the errant civic engineers of Municipal Corporations feel that if last come will be Fine by the CICs after 1 to 2 years, their fines will be paid by the contractors to whom they obliege too much in their wrong doings in constructing illegal and unauthorised buildings making the cities concrete Jungles.
    Dr.R.K.D.Goel, Vadodara.

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    Re: Two Public Information Officers found guilty of withholding information



    Dear Sir,
    I do appreciate your sincere observation and comments thereof. The situation of West Bengal is also same , as you described . Rather here Hon'ble Minister concerned had stopped enquiry started by the Govt officer against illegal construction , as I reported in my earlier post. It came as a news item in 'The Statesman' . Ganapatji posted that news item in this forum. Through RTI application , the letter written by the concerned Minister was received, in which the Minister specifically mentioned ' Not to initiate any administrative action " and sent it to all the concerned officers. Virtually the Enquiry was stopped. We are so habituated with this type of activities - a few bothers -- that a Minister will deliberately act in favour of corruption and help corrupt persons to stop 'enquiry' and will declare ' This is urgent ' What is urgent , Sir ? To take action against corruption ? No urgent is to stop any enquiry against corruption .
    It is to be mentioned here that 'Enquiry' was started after submission of few RTI applications , stopped by the Minister and the letter was received through RTI , but it could not be resumed any way.

  5. #5
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    Re: Two Public Information Officers found guilty of withholding information


    Even if the fine by SIC may be negligible for corrupt officers/contractors, the information which you will get will be useful to check them. The info can be passed on to newspapers.Act of officers/contractors can be reported to State Vigilance Dept followed by RTI push even to Vigilance Dept if no action is initiated. U can file a PIL with the help of Citizens' Groups etc. 60 year old dirt cannot be cleaned without sustained follow-up by few enlightened citizens like U. May I quote:
    Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change a nation; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."
    -Dr. Margaret Mead
    It takes each of us to make difference for all of us.

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    Re: Two Public Information Officers found guilty of withholding information


    15.06.2008
    Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change a nation; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."
    I do agree wth above views. But my difficulties are different. I already 72 years old now with Knee joints replacement 18 years earliear. Though I am still active after my retirement in 1995 in social work. I am working in Vadodara where the peoples are not Public minded as in Ahmedabad , Delhi. Mumbai. Cinnai etc.
    In Vadodara despite financial losses in man made floods in 2005; 2006 and 2007 the people thinks that all are due to GOD. No one ready to file PIL. In Ahmedabad and Mumbai people file PILs for their Fumdamental Rights.
    Those persons who use care for the Vadodara city are no more. Now Pseudo Human Right NGOs are active those take illegal petitions on the behalf of Urban Poor persons knowing well they are purely encroachers and not entitled for free alternate sites on the cost of Law abiding citizens. Hon. Gujarat High Court on 29.8.2006 passed ordes that illegal encroachers are not clothed for free alternate sites on the cost of citizens.
    But local Politicians collect lakhs of rupees from the poor person in the name they are helping then and then disappear.
    In such place it is difficult to work for the uplift of the Society.
    YOU MAY IMAGINE HOW MANY PERSONS ARE ACTIVE TO PROLIFERATE THE RTI Act 2005 IN VADODARA, WHILE IN OTHER CITIES LIKE AHMEDABAD THERE ARE NGOs WORKING WHOLE TIME FOR EDUCATING THE CITIZENS OF RTI Act 2005.
    Dr.R.K.D.Goel Vadodara.

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    Re: Two Public Information Officers found guilty of withholding information


    I heartily salute your concern for Vadodara at this age. Your activities will encourage others, if not in Vadodara. U can call some retired advocates by refering to telephone directory/yellow pages/bar council/retired officers' associations of banks-insurance company/ senior citizen associations etc to cooperate with you. U can write emails/letters to Chairmen of big companies/bank managers in Vadodara for free legal help of their advocates. Sir, Vadodara needs your initiative more than other city, since as U said it is self-centered and citizens have no collective civic responsibility. Thanks for being on this portal. I think you can also directly address a petition to Hon'ble Chief Justice of Gujarat High Court, who can convert it into a writ and assign an advocate also to present the same in High Court free of charges/fees. Our other members will also suggest way-outs.
    It takes each of us to make difference for all of us.

  8. #8

    Re: Two Public Information Officers found guilty of withholding information


    Other members of this forum from Vadodra may join hands with Dr. RKD Goel and strengthen the movement.

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