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news details
SIC initiates penalty proceedings against ACD Rajouri
Denial of Information under RTI Act
3/13/2018 11:57:03 PM
Early Times Report

Jammu, Mar 13: As Assistant Commissioner Development (ACD) Rajouri denied information under RTI Act to an information seeker who was intending to seek details about appointments made in the Rural Development Department Rajouri district during last few years , the State Information Commission (SIC) has initiated penalty proceedings against the officer under section 17 of J&K RTI Act 2009.
Details available with Early Times reveal that an information seeker namely Bilal Ahmad R/O Samote Kotranka district Rajouri filed a RTI application on 10-07-2017 with Public Information Officer (PIO)/Assistant Commissioner Development (ACD), Rajouri requesting for information regarding list of Computer Assistants/GRS/Technical Assistants engaged in the District, the mode of selection for their selection, name and designation of Appointing Authority, copies of Advertisement Notice, the copies of engagement orders and qualification of the candidates engaged, besides the list of non plan works approved in respect of Block Budhal and Kotranka for the year 2015-16 and 2016-17. As the information was provided by the PIO within the specified period, the appellant filed 1st appeal with Director, Rural Development, Jammu on 08-09-2017.
During the course of hearing of the 1st appeal, the PIO provided the information to the appellant Bilal Ahmad , but he was not satisfied with the said information. The First Appellate Authority (FAA) ie Director RDD Jammu disposed of the 1st appeal on 23-09-2017 directing the PIO (ACD Rajouri) to provide complete information to the appellant within two days positively free of cost.
The appeal came up for hearing before the SIC Jammu on 16-01-2018. The appellant was not present on the date of hearing. The PIO submitted that complete information sought by the appellant has been provided to him on 28-09-2017, after the direction of FAA issued on 23-09-2017. The PIO also submitted that the appellant has acknowledged the receipt of the information. Since the appellant was not present, the case was adjourned with the directions to the appellant to file rejoinder in case he has received the information. The case again came up for hearing before the SIC on 05-03-2018. The appellant denied to have received any reply from the PIO after the direction of the Director RDD Jammu / FAA dated 23-09-2017. The appellant denied to have received any communication from the PIO dated 28-09-2017 and also informed the Commission that the signatures on the acknowledgement receipt provided by the PIO is not his signature. The PIO under pressure of SIC furnished a copy of the information to the appellant during the hearing.
While issuing order for penalty proceeding State Information Commissioner held: "In terms of sub-section (2) of section 7 of the J&K RTI Act, if the information is not provided by the PIO to the appellant within the period specified in sub-section (1) of section 7, it has to be deemed that the PIO has refused the request for information. In the present case the PIO has not provided the information to the appellant within the period specified in section 7(1) of the J&K RTI Act and therefore, he is deemed to have denied the information in terms of section 7(2). For the said default, the PIO is liable to penalty under section 17 of the J&K RTI Act. Since the statutory period of disposal of this appeal by the SIC is expiring on 05-03-2018, this appeal cannot be adjourned any further and has to be disposed of. Accordingly the appeal is disposed of with the direction to the Registry to initiate proceedings under section 17 of the J&K RTI Act against the PIO for not providing the information to the appellant within the specified period. The appellant shall go through the information furnished by the PIO today during the hearing of the appeal and in case he feels that the information so provided is incomplete, misleading or false, he shall be at liberty to file a complaint before the State Information commission under of section 15 of the J&K RTI Act, 2009".
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