Info panel pulls up 2 IAS officials

Hyderabad, June 5: The State Information Commission has cracked whip on senior officials of different departments for their failure to furnish information within the stipulated time. While the SIC on Tuesday summoned BC welfare department principal secretary Amitabh Bhattacharya to explain the reasons for not furnishing information in a case, it took a serious note of absence of representatives from panchayat raj department in another case.

The commission decided to issue show cause notice to principal secretary (PR&RD) on why penalty should not be imposed on the appellate authority in the department for not supplying information. In two other cases, the SIC issued notices to excise commissioner and director of distilleries and dreweries asking why a penalty of Rs 10,000 and Rs 5,000 respectively should not be imposed on similar charges.

Both the departments on Monday appeared before chief information commissioner C.D. Arha and furnished information to the applicants besides offering apologies for the delay. These cases pertain to information sought on number of files kept pending beyond the stipulated time and reasons for it, audit objections and Action Taken Reports besides maintaining office manuals and conduct rules.

Official sources told this correspondent that the BC welfare department goofed up two cases and told the commission that the information was already furnished. But the department’s claims were found to be incorrect. Information commissioner R. Dilip Reddy was believed to have expressed displeasure over the department delaying the disposing of the application and that whatever the information furnished earlier was insufficient.

Sources said the additional secretary of PR&RD department did not turn up for hearing though a notice was already served. "The commissioner took a serious note and directed the officials to issue notices to the principal secretary for the absence," sources said. The information technology and communications department, in another case, denied receiving letter seeking information on maintaining office manuals and conduct rules. The department sought to project that the question of submitting ATR would not arise since the initial letter itself did not reach the department. The claim, however, proved wrong with the applicant producing evidence that the department did receive the letter.

City News panel pulls up 2 IAS officials