Time 11:00 AM, Date 22/04/2019
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RTI
Repeated lapses by the PIO

The appellant filed RTI application seeking information on plan posts, non-plan posts, policy of UGC for the positions sanctioned under the scheme for the establishment centre for the study of social exclusion and inclusive policy regarding their extension from one plan to another etc. Multiple hearings were scheduled before the CIC in which interim orders were passed. The PIO submitted that due to her poor health condition she was not able to attend the Commission’s hearing on 13.02.2019. On a query by the CIC, she could not explain why the CIC order dated 02.01.2017 was not complied with by her on time. She further submitted that she is retiring from service on 31.03.2019 and in a similar case, a penalty of Rs 25,000 has already been imposed on her vide CIC order dated 13.02.2019 in case no. CIC/SA/A/2015/002095/00003/VN which she has paid already. The CIC observed that the PIO is on the verge of retirement but still did not understand the literal meaning of the order of the CIC, which is a matter of concern for the UGC. The Commission observed that the PIO was already penalised for non compliance of a CIC order and therefore, imposing penalty on her would literally amount to double jeopardy.

Comments

The objectives of the RTI Act is to ensure timely supply of relevant information to the appellant and imposing penalty bring no reform, until and unless the public authority authorities evolve a system to monitor and improve the system of disposal of the RTI applications.

Dr. Anuradha Verma (dranuradhaverma@yahoo.co.in) is an expert on RTI matters and has co-authored the books RIGHT TO INFORMATION - LAW AND PRACTICE and PIO’s guide to RTI. Her other articles can be read at the website of RTI Foundation of India at the link: http://www.rtifoundationofindia.com/
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