Notices issued to seven deputy commissioners of Himachal Pradesh by SIC
The state government of Himachal Pradesh had received a complaint that around 10,000 ex and sitting panchayati raj representatives were enlisted in the Below Poverty Line (BPL) lists and had forwarded it to the principal secretary of panchayati raj department. Acting on the complaint, the principal secretary ordered all the Deputy Commissioners (DCs) to revise the BPL list by removing all the fictitious and ineligible persons and including all the eligible candidates. He also ordered the DCs to file action taken reports (ATRs).
Later on, an application was filed with the rural development department under the Right to Information (RTI) Act seeking to get the status of the action taken reports. As the matter was brought before the State Information Commission, it asked the PIOs of the rural development departments of the seven districts to file the ATRs but the PIOs informed the SIC that they couldn’t file ATRs as the district officials didn’t submit them.
Hence, the SIC has issued notices to the deputy commissioners of the seven districts contending that a PIO can seek assistance from other officials under Section 5 (5) of the RTI Act and if the officials don’t cooperate, they can be penalized under Section 20 of the RTI Act.