Penalty may be recovered from the pension of the PIO
The Commission had provided two opportunities for personal hearing to the former PIO of DDA vide orders dated 14 September 2011 and 29 November 2011, to explain as per the provisions of section 20 (1) of the RTI Act before imposing penalty upon him for not having carried out his and mandated duties. He former PIO who had retired, failed to appear before the Commission. The current PIO appeared and stated that he has traced the records from the computer system but cannot reconcile the data and requested the appellant to show the original registration receipt to enable him to access the correct information. Appellant has agreed to do so.
View of the CIC
The Commission directed the appellant to show the original registration receipt to the respondent within two weeks of receipt of the order and respondent will provide information after reconciling the record within four weeks thereafter. The Commission held that due to the inaction of the former PIO in providing the requested information, the appellant has been put to great inconvenience and physical and financial hardship for which a compensation of Rs. 5000/- was directed to be paid by DDA as per the provisions of section 19 (8) (b) to the appellant.
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 RTI Act the Commission imposed a penalty of Rs. 25,000/- on the PIO under the RTI Act. The Commission ordered to deduct Rs. 5000/- per month every month from the Pension of former PIO Shri Anil Kumar Gupta and remit by the 10th of every month starting from February, 2012 in accordance with Rule 9(8) of CCS (Pension) Rules, 1972. The total amount of Rs. 25,000/ was directed to be remitted by 10th of July, 2012.
This is perhaps the first case where penalty has been imposed on a PIO who has retired and recovery is being made from the pension.
Citation: Smt. Renu Mehra v. DDA in file no. CIC/DS/A/2011/000062
RTI Citation : RTIFI/2012/CIC/63
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