Warrant issued against Municipal Commissioner for failure to furnish information
Bailable warrants have been issued by a bench of the State Information Commission (SIC) of Punjab comprising of Bidhi Chand Thakur, Jaspal Kaur and R I Singh against the Municipal Commissioner of Ludhiana for his failure to furnish information to the SIC regarding a query under the RTI Act. As per the order dated 26th April, the Municipal Commissioner of Ludhiana, Mr. MS Jaggi has to appear before the bench on 2nd July 2012, with the relevant records of the Municipal Corporation.
An applicant had sought information from the Tagore Nagar Welfare society regarding the attendance record of sweepers who work in various parks and localities. The Society informed that the sweepers were not their employees. Hence, the SIC had directly sought the details of the sweepers and their salary payment schedule from January to December 2010 from the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation (MC). The SIC has also directions the Tagore Nagar Welfare Society to produce the utilisation certificates in respect of the funds received from the Local Bodies Department. In spite of repeatedly calling for the information, nobody provided any information and the Municipal Commissioner, failed to respond to the notices sent by the SIC.
The operative part of the order is produced below : On two consecutive dates, notice was issued to the Commissioner, Municipal Commissioner, Ludhiana to file a report or produce record as to whether‘ Sweepers’ (Safai Karamchari) working in the area of Tagore Nagar “A’ Welfare Society are employees of the Municipal Corporation, Ludhiana or they are employees of Tagore Nagar A Welfare Society. Information was further sought from the Municipal Corporation, Ludhiana as to who maintains the attendance record in respect of these sweepers and in case they are employees of the society whether the salary of these sweepers is reimbursed to the society and if so what procedure is being followed in this regard. Copies of the relevant instructions were also sought. The information on the above issues relates to the period from 1.1.2010 to 31.12.2010. However, none has appeared on behalf of the Corporation and no record has been produced before the Commission inspite of two consecutive opportunities. This Commission is, therefore, constrained to issue bailable warrant of Shri M.S.Jaggi, the Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, Ludhiana in exercise of powers conferred on me under Section 18(3) The Central Information Commission or State Information Commission, as the case may be, shall, while inquiring into any matter under this section, have the same powers as are vested in a civil court while trying a suit under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (5 of 1908), in respect of the following matters, namely:- (a) summoning and enforcing the attendance of persons and compel them to give oral or written evidence on oath and to produce the documents or things; (b) requiring the discovery and inspection of documents; (c) receiving evidence on affidavit; (d) requisitioning any public record or copies thereof from any court or office; (e) issuing summons for examination of witnesses or documents; and (f) any other matter which may be prescribed. of the Right to Information Act, 2005 read with the relevant provisions of the Civil Procedure Code with the direction that the Commissioner shall produce the relevant record and copies of the instructions issued on this subject before the Commission on the next date of hearing, which is fixed for 2.7.2012. A copy of this order shall be endorsed to the Commissioner of Police, Ludhiana to serve the bailable warrant on the Commissioner of the Municipal Corporation, Ludhiana.