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Thursday, March 22, 2007

PIO fined for denying info

TIMES NEWS NETWORK , Ahmedabad: In the first incident of its kind, a public information officer (PIO) in the Sachivalaya has been asked to cough up a penalty of Rs 25,000 for failing to provide information under the Right to Information Act (RTI).
State chief information commissioner R N Das imposed the penalty on the PIO of food, civil supplies and consumer affairs department in the state government for not providing information on policies framed by the state to curb the menace of banks using strongarm tactics to recover credit card dues from consumers.
In his RTI application, appellant Rahul Mangaonkar had questioned the department over policies framed and action taken.
The appellant was denied information within the stipulated 30 days, following which he filed a complaint with the commission on October 31, 2006.
A hearing in the matter was scheduled for February 1, 2007. However, when the respondent, in this case the PIO, did not turn up at the hearing, .the complainant demanded penalty proceedings against the respondent.
Again, the respondent failed to remain present in the final hearing on March 9. The commission termed the respondent’s conduct “highly condemnable” and ordered him to pay a penalty of Rs 25,000 under section 20(1) of RTI.
The penalty is to be either paid by him from his personal resources or be deducted from his salary.
Publication: Times Of India Ahmedabad; Date:2007 Mar 19; Section:Ahmedabad; Page Number 3

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