Penalty of Rs 2 crore imposed on government officials by Karnataka SIC
Speaking at a workshop organised by the Karnataka State Information Commission (SIC) in association with the Dharwad district administration, the Information Commissioner Shekhar Sajjanar said that the SIC has so far imposed a penalty of Rs 2 crore on the government officials. Section 20 of the RTI Act says that Penalties.—(/) 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 (/) 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.
For denial of information or failure to provide information sought by an applicant under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, the Karnataka SIC has imposed this penalty. Shekhar Sajjanar said that most of the officers had to pay penalty due to their poor knowledge about RTI Act. He also discussed some of the provisions of the RTI Act, 2005 and suggested that the government officials should not consider RTI applications as a burden or punishment. He referred to an instance where a citizen filed 2,000 applications under RTI Act in one day in Bengaluru and said that the officials would not face any difficulty if follow the provisions of the RTI Act.