Uttar Pradesh Information Commission has issued notice to the Lokayukta office for not providing information under the Right to Information Act on the plea that that it was not in the ambit of the Act.
Hearing an application moved by RTI activist Saleem Beg, Chief Information Commissioner Ranjeet Singh Pankaj issued a notice asking why the public information officer of Lokayukta should not be punished under section 20 of the Act for not providing information.
As no officer of Lokayukta office was present during the hearing, the CIC while issuing notice, fixed August 6, as the next date.
On May 10, 2012, Mr. Beg had moved an application under RTI seeking information regarding list of people, who had lodged complaints against officers and employees of various department between May 13, 2007 to May 8, 2012.
He also sought information regarding action taken on the complaints, district and year-wise list of cases disposed and indictment.
Mr. Beg also sought information regarding timeframe to dispose of a complaint and fees.
During a hearing on May 10 2013, Public Information Officer of Lokayukta office Arvind Kumar Singhal submitted in writing that under section 8 of the RTI, investigating agencies were not covered.
He said Lokayukta was an investigating agency and on this basis, the government through a notification issued on August 2 last year kept it out of the ambit of the Act.
Dissatisfied with the reply, Mr. Beg wrote a letter to Mr. Singhal and submitted that it was clear in the section 24 (4) of the Act that no State can stop information on matter relating to corruption.
He made a similar submission before the commission which sought a reply from the Lokayukta office, but during hearing on June 6, no one from the Lokayukta was present.
Issuing the notice, the commission asked the Lokayukta office to clarify the situation and said that why action should not be taken against Mr. Singhal if information was not provided.
Terming the government move to keep Lokayukta out of the ambit of RTI as unfortunate, Mr. Beg said that not providing information related to the organisation, which probes into corruption cases, was sad.