PIO of BMRCL fined for non-furnishing of information under RTI
An application was filed under the Right to Information (RTI) Act seeking to get information about the procurement and the quality of sand by the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) for the construction of ‘Namma Metro’.
In the reply, the public information officer (PIO) of BMRCL stated that sand is procured by the contractor not by the corporation. It also said that BMRCL only inspects the sand quarry and approves the supply for the quarry. Dissatisfied with the reply, the applicant filed the first appeal with the first appellate authority but no action was taken. Then the appellant filed the second appeal with the state information commission.
When the PIO failed to appear before the SIC for hearing, the SIC ordered him to provide the demanded information to the appellant within 30 days and free of cost. The SIC also issued a show cause notice to the PIO as to why the information was not provided even after nine months and why a penalty should not be imposed on him.
The PIO, however, stated in the next hearing that he had furnished the information to the appellant’s representative and had with him the receiving. But he failed to produce the authorization letter or the receiving before the commission. When the PIO was not represented in yet another hearing, the SIC imposed a penalty of Rs. 5,000/- under Section 20 (1) of the RTI Act.