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Monday, March 30, 2009

Non-compliance of CIC orders will attract Rs 25,000 as fine

30 Mar 2009, 1520 hrs IST, PTI
NEW DELHI: Ignoring Central Information Commission's orders may prove costly for public authorities as non-compliance of the same will now be
treated as "obstruction of information" attracting a maximum fine of Rs 25,000 under the RTI Act.

"We will treat the non-compliance of our orders as fresh complaints. It will be treated as obstruction of information thus liable for a maximum penalty of 25,000," Chief Information Commissioner, Wajahat Habibullah told PTI.

Habibullah said though the Commission has not penalised any authority for non-compliance till now, but there have been instances where the CIC's orders were not followed and it has been decided that such public authorities would be dealt with strongly.

The Commission, however, does not have any mechanism to know if its orders are followed by public authorities or not. In such a situation, petitioners will have to file a follow-up appeal with the CIC, which takes its own time to come up for hearing.

According to the Chief Information Commissioner, the new procedure will mean that petitioners, if faced with non-compliance of CIC's orders and directives by public authorities, can file their grievance as fresh complaint which will ensure penal action by the Commission.

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