Applicant had filed plea under Right to Information Act
The Central Information Commission, New Delhi, has imposed penalty of Rs.25,000 on a senior manager of Indian Bank for “delay in providing information” to an applicant, who had sought it under the Right to Information Act, 2005, and did not receive a reply even 100 days after submitting the application.
The Commission passed the order on an appeal petition filed by Ranji Anandan of Besant Nagar here.
Ms. Anandan filed the application with S. Balasubramaniam, Public Information Officer (PIO) of Indian Bank, Chennai, on September19, 2011.
She did not receive the information within the mandated period and filed an appeal last November before the First Appellate Authority (FAA) of the bank.
The FAA has not decided upon the matter till date. Ms. Anandan then approached the Commission. After an enquiry, on May 3 the Commission directed the PIO to provide the information within 20 days. Even after that, the information was not provided.
The Commission found that the PIO was guilty of not furnishing the information within the time specified by not replying within 30 days as required under the RTI Act.
He refused to obey the directions of the Commission, which raised a doubt that the denial of information might be mala fide.
The Commission issued a show-cause notice to the PIO, who was directed to show cause why penalty should not be levied on him.
Mr. Balasubramanian stated that he mixed up the papers and hence the information was not provided. He admitted that only after the order of the Commission, the information was sent to the appellant on May 18.
Finding that it was a fit case for levying penalty, Shailesh Gandhi, Information Commissioner, said: “No written submission has been given and orally no reasonable cause has been advanced for the delay in providing the information by the deemed PIO.
Over 100 days
Since the delay in providing the information has been for over 100 days, the Commission is imposing the maximum penalty of Rs.25,000 under Section 20(1) of RTI Act”.
The Commission also directed the Chairman and Managing Director, Indian Bank, to recover the amount from the salary of the officer.
Keywords: RTI Act