SIC, Punjab serves show cause notice to MC zonal commissioner
An application was filed with the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation under the Right to Information (RTI) Act seeking information regarding all buildings which have been exempted from paying house tax or have applied for such an exemption to the municipal corporation.
After the 30 day mandatory period, when the public information officer (PIO) and the zonal commissioner of the municipal corporation failed to provide the information, the applicant lodged the first appeal. During the course of the first appeal, partial information was provided to the applicant and the case was disposed after directing the assistant public information officer (APIO) to provide the remaining information to the applicant.
The applicant was still not provided the complete information, forcing him to approached the state information commission of Punjab. The commission has issued a show cause notice to the PIO asking him as to why penalty should not be imposed on him under 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 the RTI Act for willfully delaying the information.