Bishnupur DC served show cause for supplying forged documents under RTI

As Reported in The Imphal Free Press

IMPHAL, Jun 20: The Manipur information commissioner today served a show cause notice to the deputy commissioner of Bishnupur district asking why penalty should not be imposed on him for providing forged documents while providing information to an applicant under the RTI Act.

Manipur chief information commissioner, RK Angousana gave the ruling in connection with a complaint filed by an individual named S Tomba Singh of Bishnupur ward no. 11 against the deputy commissioner, Bishnupur district and principal secretary (health), the appellate authority of the RTI alleging that the documents provided by the SPIO of the office to him were not genuine but forged ones.

Apart from not providing the information well in time, the SPIO also delayed in providing the information to the complaintnant, the chief commissioner alleged in his ruling.

The complainant was seeking information/documents regarding the implementation of rural health mission in Bishnupur district for the period from 2005-06 to 2007-08.

As per the complaint of the applicant to the state information commissioner, the number of pages of the information package was mentioned as 160 in the forwarding letter, while it was only 154.
Many pages of the information document were illegible and also all the pages were not authenticated as there was no signature on the relevant documents, the complainant alleged. He further revealed that the signatures of the SPIO were also different on each page of the documents.

In his complaint, Tomba also expressed doubt on the signature of the contractor on the sanction orders and the APRs as they were not similar and suggested the need for a comparison.

The names of the beneficiaries which the applicant desired to know were not given and only the name of the contractor was furnished. The photographs of the works as well as the information for the year 2005 are not provided by the SPIO.

In the hearing of the case, the commission said that it had gone through the documents supplied by the SPIO to the complainant and found that the documents were not authenticated properly either by the SPIO or a gazetted officer. It also has no information about the beneficiary list as well as the photographs of the completed works.

After observing the documents, the chief information commissioner issued the show cause to the deputy commissioner, Bishnupur district asking him why penalty as prescribed under section 20 of the RTI Act, 2005 which includes a maximum fine of Rs. 25,000 not be imposed on him for failure to furnish the authentic information to an applicant under Right to Information Act, 2005 well in time.

The show cause notice which should be furnished to the state information commission within a week from the date of receipt of the order also asked him to explain why a compensation amount of Rs. 2,100 at the rate of Rs. 300 per day of attendance should not be paid to the complainant by the office of the deputy commissioner as compensation for the loss and other determent under section 19(8)(b) of the RTI Act, 2005 for failure to provide the information in time.

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