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news details
SIC issues penalty notice against BDO Ramsoo
4/21/2019 10:20:46 PM
Early Times Report
Jammu, Apr 21: As Rural Development Department (RDD) continues to face ire of State Information Commission (SIC) for violating the provisions of J&K RTI Act 2009, the SIC in another order has issued penalty show cause notice against the Block Development Officer Ramsoo in district Ramban.
Details available with Early Times reveal that one Jan Mohammad R/O Tana Khari Ramban filed an RTI application before the Public Information Officer (PIO), Block Development Officer, Ramsoo / Khari on 24.03.2018, seeking information on four points regarding development of local area under various schemes.
As the said RTI was not replied within the stipulated period of thirty days, Jan Mohammad filed first appeal before First Appellate Authority (FAA) Assistant Commissioner Development (ACD), Ramban on 03.04.2018. The said first appeal was disposed of by the FAA directing the PIO to provide desired information to the appellant free of cost of within seven days. As the said information was not received by the appellant despite orders of the FAA (ADC), he filed 2nd appeal before SIC on 27.07.2018 which was admitted on 06.12.2018 after fulfilling the procedural formalities.
The appeal came up for hearing before the Commission on 07.03.2019. None of the parties were present during the hearing. Hearing in the appeal was adjourned with a direction to the PIO to provide requisite information to the appellant and also file counter statement in the second appeal within two weeks. Both the parties were also directed to be personally present on the next date of hearing.
The case again came up for hearing before the Commission on April 8, 2019. Appellant Jan Mohammad was present during the hearing but nobody appeared on behalf of the BDO Ramsoo or ACD Ramban who are the designated PIO/FAA respectively.
Vide interim order dated 07.03.2019, the PIO was directed by SIC to provide requisite information to the appellant and also file counter statement within two weeks. Both the parties were also directed to be personally present on the next date of hearing. The appellant submitted before Commission that no information has was furnished pursuant to the order dated 07.03.2019.
While hearing the case, the SIC, M A Mir, said that BDO Ramsoo who is also the PIO has not only failed to file compliance report but also chose not to attend the hearing before the Commission.
The SIC's order reads:
"The PIO was also absent during the previous hearing held on 08.03.2019. The attitude and behaviour of the PIO is not acceptable. He has shown utter disregard for the provisions of JK RTI Act 2009 and for the directions issued by the Commission. The failure of the PIO to provide information to the appellant has made him liable to penalties as envisaged under section 17 of the J&K RTI Act, 2009. A prima facie case is established for proceedings against the PIO. Registry is accordingly directed to issue show cause notice upon the PIO directing him to explain as to why penalties as envisaged under section 17 of the Act shall not be imposed upon him for denying information to the appellant and also for not cooperating with the Commission in disposal of this appeal. He should also be directed to file a written reply to the show cause notice within a period of 15 days from the date of issue of this notice. The appeal is disposed with the direction to the PIO to provide complete information to the appellant within 15 days from the receipt of this order. Penalty proceedings against the PIO shall continue."
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