Penalty for delay in conveying the order of the FAA to the information holder
The Appellant asked regarding action report in respect of an illegal building at Pahar Ganj New Delhi after orders for demolition. The information sought was the name, designation, presently posting place, and all particulars of the some officials and the action taken report by them, reasons for delay and action taken against guilty officials in respect for not taking any action on above property under the section 343 of MCD. The PIO did not provide the information within the time limit and refused to obey the orders of the FAA.
View of the CIC
The respondent produced a letter before the Commission written by the PIO to the deemed PIO. It was a memo to the Deemed PIO for failing to provide the revised information on some points to the Appellant as per the order of the FAA threatening disciplinary action against the deemed PIO. In response to this, the present Deemed PIO brought the information which was handed over to the Appellant. The then deemed PIO admitted that he did not give the order of the FAA to the holder of the information and this was an inadvertent error and he did not intend to inconvenience to the Appellant. The Commission held that the deemed PIO was only expected to pass on the order of the FAA to the holder of the information which should have been done on the same day. Instead the deemed PIO took 60 days to transfer the order and therefore for the delay of 60 days, the Commission levied penalty of Rs. 15,000/- on him at the rate of Rs. 250/- per day of delay as per the provision 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 RTI Act.
Citation: Mr. Dharam Dass Chawla v. Municipal Corporation of Delhi in Decision No. CIC/SG/A/2011/002331/15498Penalty