The state information commission fined a block level administrative officer Rs 15000 for flouting rules and failure to furnish information to an appellant under the transparency law, Right to Information Act.
The SIC initiated penalty proceedings under Section 17 of the RTI Act against the then block development officer (BDO) of Wavoora, Lolab in Kupwara district, directing Rs 5000 should be deducted from his monthly salary in three installments beginning December.
The commission imposes a penalty of Rs 15,000 on the then PIO (Public Information Officer)/BDO Wavoora, Mohammad Maqbool on account of his failure to furnish information to the RTI applicant, Asif Iqbal Khan within the period specified under section-7(1) of the J&K RTI Act,” Ashraf Mir, the state Information Commissioner said in an order issued last week.
An application under RTI was filed by Asif Iqbal Khan on 27 February 2017 seeking some official information, but the BDO didn’t furnish it within the specified period under the law.
Mir’s order also reads that the registry was directed to serve a show-cause notice to the then PIO/BDO Wavoora, Mohammad Maqbool as to why penalties as envisaged under section-17 shall not be imposed upon him on account of his failure to provide complete information to the appellant within the period specified under section-7(1) of the J&K RTI Act, 2009.
The PIO submitted his response within 15 days, stating that he “collected the information and provided the same to the appellant under appropriate receipt.”However, Maqbool in his reply didn’t explain why the information was not furnished to the appellant within the specified period and also that the information he provided was incomplete.
The PIO, the SIC order states failed to offer any explanation and also did not file a reply to the show-cause notice issued earlier.Maqbool’s repeated failures to answer why he did not furnish the requested information in full, and within stipulated time under the law, finally moved the SIC to impose penalty on him.