UP SIC takes a strict view for delay in replying to the RTI applications
On a visit to Meerut on 22.11.2014 to address the officials on the Right to Information (RTI) Act 2005, the Information Commissioner of the Uttar Pradesh State Information Commission (SIC) Rajkeshvar Singh, took a strict view against delay in supply of information to the RTI applicants. On learning that there were over 800 RTI applications pending in Meerut, he said that those officials responsible for the large pendency should be penalised.
He reportedly instructed the district magistrate to penalise 55 information officers from different departments with a penalty of Rs 25,000 each and recover the amount of Rs 13,75,000/- from them. The power to impose a penalty for delay of denial of information to an applicant lies with the Information Commission. He further directed the departments to dispose the pending RTI applications and pointed to the ignorance of provisions of RTI Act amongst the officials. He said that lack of awareness is a big reason of the increasing pendency. He reportedly said that the protection of RTI activists is not in the hands of the Information Commission which is the responsibility of police and district administration.
The departments with large public dealings usually receive the maximum number of RTI applications and also have the highest pendency. In Meerut, the Chaudhary Charan Singh University accounts for 116 of the pending RTI applications followed by the revenue department with 100 pending applications, Power Corporation with 60 pending applications and Meerut Development Authority with 54 pending applications.
A special hearing of RTI appeals and complaints is scheduled for December 27 in Lucknow. Matters related to the Meerut Development Authority and the city municipal corporation shall be heard on January 17, 2015.