Information pertaining to payment of honorarium to the staff for additional coin production & other related matters - Respondent: they are in the process of collecting information - CIC: Show cause notice issued to the PIO for imposing penalty u/s 20(1)
The appellant Shri A.Q. Shaikh submitted RTI application dated 10.09.2014 to the Central Public Information Officer, India Government Mint (IGM), Mumbai seeking copies of approvals/ documents/ agreements pertaining to payment of honorarium for additional coin production of 240 million pieces for the year 2013-14 in IGM, Mumbai; copies of approval and list of eligible employees of IGM pertaining to payment of honorarium; copy of IGM letter No. E.con/Inc./584/2013 dated 4.5.2013 along with file noting; copy of letter No. SMPCIL/Mint/02/484/1038 dated 17.5.2013 along with file noting, copy of letters Mumbai Mint Staff Union (MMSU) dated 17.10.2013,02.04.2014,11.04.2014, etc. through fifteen points.
2. Aggrieved with non-receipt of response from the CPIO, the appellant filed an appeal on 11.10.2014 before the FAA. The FAA had also not adjudicated on appellant’s first appeal.
3. Thereafter the appellant filed the present appeal before the Commission.
4. The matter was heard by the Commission. The appellant’s representative stated that the appellant had sought information on 15 points pertaining to payment of honorarium to the staff and other related matters. The CPIO had not responded to his RTI application. The FAA also not disposed of his first appeal. The respondents stated that they were in the process of collecting information and admitted that there was delay on their part. The delay took place, as the information sought consists of photocopies of various letters/noting and other relevant documents. They assured that they will be submitting their reply to the appellant at the earliest.
5. The Commission observes that CPIO had not responded to the appellant and FAA had also not adjudicated on appellant’s first appeal. A show cause notice u/s 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 RTI Act, 2005 is issued to Shri V. Balaji, Chief Manager (HR)/CPIO directing him to explain the reasons as to why a penalty should not be imposed upon him for not responding to the appellant’s RTI application. The CPIO is directed to submit his explanation within two weeks of receipt of this order. The CPIO is further directed to provide point-wise information to the appellant within ten days of receipt of this order.
Citation: Shri A.Q. Shaikh v. India Government Mint in Appeal No. CIC/MP/A/2014/002506