Just 1% of the penalty imposed is recovered by UP State Information Commission
In reply to an application filed under the Right to Information (RTI) Act by the administrative reforms department (ARD) of Uttar Pradesh (UP), it has come to light that from 2007 till 15th February 2011, the UP State information Commission (SIC) has imposed a total penalty of over Rs. 189 lakhs in 827 RTI cases out of which recovery of only Rs 3.39 lakh could be done in only 18 cases. The penalty is imposed on the Public Information Officer or the deemed PIO for providing incomplete, misleading or delayed information or denial of information and the penalty amount is deposited in the state treasury. A penalty of Rs. 250/- is imposed for each day of malafide delay in providing the information.
The recovery figures of the UP SIC has been criticised by the RTI activists as being too low while the ARD has said that the matter is under consideration and has been conveyed to the highest authorities. On August 31, a division bench of acting Chief Justice Amitava Lala and Justice PKS Baghel of the UP High Court had issued notices to SIC, ARD and state government, seeking the reasons for the low recovery of fine in three weeks.
The comparable figures for the SICs of the other states are not available for comparison but are not likely to be too different.