Hearing of show cause notice against the PIO for imposition of penalty - CIC: the PIO has violated the provisions and the spirit of the RTI Act - two opportunities of hearing were offered - CIC: a penalty of Rs. 25,000/- imposed on the PIO u/s 20(1)
1. In the matter of show cause notice issued vide Commission’s order of even number dated 5 July 2013, the former PIO Shri Anil Mittal appeared before the Commission.
2. After hearing the averments of the former PIO, Commission is not satisfied with the explanation offered by him and he has clearly violated the provisions and the spirit of the RTI Act. In spite of giving second opportunity to the former PIO for appearing before the Commission along with the concerned documents, he has failed to do so. It is recorded in the previous order dated 24 May 2013 that the complaint letter dated the 18th February 2011 was marked to the Superintending Engineer (Plg) – II on 22 The provisions of this Act shall have effect notwithstanding anything inconsistent therewith contained in the Official Secrets Act, 1923 (19 of 1923), and any other law for the time being in force or in any instrument having effect by virtue of any law other than this Act. March 2011 who in turn forwarded the said letter on the same day to the Assistant Engineer (Plg) – II, Shri Anil Kumar Mittal. Commission has given directions to Shri Mittal by treating him as deemed PIO to present himself before the Commission on 5 July 2013 along with all the documents along with a warning that failure to comply with the directions of the Commission will attract penalty proceedings. Again, vide Commission’s order of even number dated 5 July 2013, after hearing the averments of Shri Mittal, the officer was provided with one more opportunity to appear along with documents on 13 September 2013. Today too, the officer has appeared without the documents and is not able to satisfy the Commission with his explanation. Therefore, in pursuance of the provisions of section 20(1) Where the Central Information Commission or the State Information Commission, as the case may be, at the time of deciding any complaint or appeal is of the opinion that the Central Public Information Officer or the State Public Information Officer, as the case may be, has, without any reasonable cause, refused to receive an application for information or has not furnished information within the time specified under sub-section (1) of section 7 or malafidely denied the request for information or knowingly given incorrect, incomplete or misleading information or destroyed information which was the subject of the request or obstructed in any manner in furnishing the information, it shall impose a penalty of two hundred and fifty rupees each day till application is received or information is furnished, so however, the total amount of such penalty shall not exceed twenty-five thousand rupees: Provided that the Central Public Information Officer or the State Public Information Officer, as the case may be, shall be given a reasonable opportunity of being heard before any penalty is imposed on him: Provided further that the burden of proving that he acted reasonably and diligently shall be on the Central Public Information Officer or the State Public Information Officer, as the case may be. of the Act, Commission imposes a penalty of Rs. 25,000/– on Shri Anil Mittal which amount will be deposited in five equal installments @ Rs.5000/p. m. The Appellate Authority (Director, Vig.) is directed to recover the amount of Rs. 25,000/from the salary of the CPIO, Shri Anil Mittal, AE, SDMC and remit the same by a demand draft or a Banker’s cheque in the name of the Pay & Accounts Officer, CAT, payable at New Delhi and send the same to Shri Pankaj K.P. Shreyaskar, Director and Joint Registrar of the Central Information Commission, 2nd Floor, August Kranti Bhawan, New Delhi 110066. The amount may be deducted at the rate of Rs. 5000/- per month every month from the salary of the CPIO and remitted by the 10th of every month starting from December, 2013. The total amount of Rs. 25,000/- will be remitted by 10th of May, 2014.
(Smt. Deepak Sandhu)
Chief Information Commissioner
Citation: Shri Satish Kumar Gupta v. North Delhi Municipal Corporation in Complaint: No. CIC/DS/C/2012/001075