SIC orders disciplinary proceedings against RTO officials for flouting RTI Act
An application was filed with the Regional Transport Office (RTO), Thane under the Right to Information (RTI) Act seeking to get information regarding the number of auto-rickshaws registered with the office along with the registration number, name and address of the auto-rickshaw owners. The application also sought to get details of the permit given to the auto-rickshaw owners under the Thane RTO jurisdiction. The reply from the public information officer (PIO) and assistant commissioner stated that there were 73,993 autos registered and 36,887 permit holders under Thane RTO. However, he demanded the applicant to deposit Rs. 50 for each person’s information as per the Motor Vehicle Rules thus totaling to Rs. 55.43 lakh.
The applicant then filed the first appeal but the first appellate authority and deputy commissioner upheld the decision of the PIO and asked the applicant to deposit the sum in order to get information. As the matter was brought before the State Information Commission (SIC), the chief information commissioner pulled up the assistant and the deputy commissioners for their irresponsible behaviour and ignorance of law and directed the Transport Commissioner to initiate disciplinary proceedings against the two officers and to submit a compliance report to his office.
The SIC also ordered that the information be provided to the appellant free of cost and directed all other RTOs to upload the details of vehicles in their areas on their websites.