Show cause notice to the PIO of CIC for imposition of penalty
The appellant had sought information regarding certain notice served to the Public Information Officer (PIO) of the bank by the Central Information Commission (CIC) such as the date on which the notice was sent, copy of comments of the PIO received by the Commission in response to the notice and the copy of all the file notings of the Commission in connection with processing of above case. The PIO of CIC denied the copy of comments and file notings stating that the file was submitted to the Chief Information Commissioner for adjudication and it was not possible to furnish any further information at this point of time. The appellant filed an appeal to the First Appellate Authority who ordered the PIO to furnish the information. When the PIO asked the appellant to pay the prescribed fee for obtaining copies of the information, the appellant filed the second appeal stating as per the provisions of section 7(6) of the (Right to Information) RTI Act, once a period of 30 days was over he was entitled to get the information free of cost but the PIO has asked for the fee. He also argued that he has not received information and that the PIO should have obtained the information by seeking assistance under section 5(4) if required and sent it. The Commission issued a show cause notice to the PIO for not furnishing complete information within the stipulated time and for not obeying the orders of his superior officer. The PIO clarified that it was an error in thinking and he was under the impression that since he had provided the reply within 30 days he could ask for the additional fee to be paid.
View of CIC
The Commission dropped the penalty proceedings against the deemed PIO observing that it appears that the deemed PIO had made an error and he sincerely regrets the mistake.
Many PIO’s would like to quote this argument put up by the PIO of CIC to protect them from levy of penalty.
Citation: Mr. Umapathi S v. Central Information Commission in Decision No. CIC/SM/A/2011/001120/SG/17697Adjunct
RTI Citation : RTIFI/2012/CIC/324
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