RTI Judgement Series
RTI Judgement Series: Six Sanitation Superintendents fined Rs25,000 each for not providing info in time

CIC slapped a fine of Rs25,000 each on six Sanitation Superintendents from the Municipal Corp of Delhi for the delay of over 100 days in providing information under the RTI Act. This is the 26th in a series of important judgements given by Shailesh Gandhi, former CIC, that can be used or quoted in an RTI application

The Central Information Commission (CIC), slapped a fine of Rs25,000 each on six Sanitation Superintendents (SS)'s from the Municipal Corp of Delhi (MCD) for not providing information in stipulated time despite its order. While giving this important judgement, Shailesh Gandhi, former Central Information Commissioner, directed the Commissioner of MCD to recover the fine of Rs25,000 each from the salaries of these officers.

 

“Since the delay in providing the information has been over 100 days, the Commission is passing an order penalizing all six officers Rs25,000 each, which is the maximum penalty under the Right to Information (RTI) Act. The Commissioner, Municipal Corporation of Delhi is directed to recover the amount of Rs25,000 each from the salary of Nand Lal, SS of South Zone; Rajendra Prasad, SS of South Zone (formerly in Narela Zone); Raj Pal Singh, SS of SP Zone; Om Prakash, SS of Nazafgarh Zone; Ravinder Rai, SS of West Zone and Naresh Kumar, SS of Central Zone,” the CIC said in its order issued on 22 October 2010.

 

Delhi resident Ravi Bhushan Bali, on 11 February 2010, sought information about recruitment and promotion of 13 officials from the MCD. Here is the information sought by him and the reply he received from the Public Information Officer (PIO)...

 

1.  Provide the information under the RTI Act as per the following format mentioning Direct Recruitment /Adhoc promotion /Regular promotion with the then office order no and date, shown in the table in the application for 13 officers:

1. Nand Lal 2. Surender Singh 3. Bal Kishan 4. Raj Pal 5. Krishan Kant 6. Kishori Lal

7. Lakhara 8. Suraj Bhan 9. KC Gulati 10. Ravinder Ray 11. Om Prakash 12. Naresh Kumar 13. Jagdeesh Chandra

PIO: The PF file and S/book of the officials of the officials mentioned in point 1 are not available at the office. Letters dates 18/12/2010 and 04/03/2010 were sent to the Zonal officers, to provide the PF File & S/Book, with a copy to the appellant. PF File of Mr Bal Kishan and Mr Jagdish Chander have been received in this office and the same can be inspected on any working day within 15 days, and the appellant may obtain a copy of the documents as the desired information in the prescribed pro forma is not available. The department is in the process for obtaining the PF File and S/book of the remaining officials. 

 

2.   How many officials were transferred from DDA to MCD with designation?

PIO: It is a voluminous record, hence the appellant may come and inspect the relevant files and collect the desired documents.

 

3. At what designation DDA staff had been transferred to MCD and what designation considered by MCD?

PIO: As Above.

 

4.  Since when seniority had been given to said staff in each category?

PIO: As Above.

 

5.  Photocopies of office orders for all above mentioned officials for each designation'

PIO: As Above.

 

6.  Photocopy of terms and conditions on which DDA supervisor staff Was transferred to MCD.

PIO: As Above.

 

7.  What is status of promotion case of under signed for which a representation has already been submitted.

PIO: The representations have not been dealt with so far.

 

Not satisfied with the reply, Mr Bali, the appellant, then filed appeal with the First Appellate Authority (FAA). The FAA asked Mr Bali to inspect the relevant file and obtain the copies of the desired documents free of cost by appearing personally at the PIO’s office on any working day within 15 days from the date of the issuance of the order.

 

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Mr Bali then filed second appeal before the Commission. During the hearing on 10 September 2010, the PIO stated that he sought the assistance of 12 SS and one EO Pension under Section 5(4) of the RTI Act. He said, that he received the service books of only Bal Krishan and Jagdish and these were inspected by the appellant and photocopies of records which he sought were given to him. However, the other SS did not respond, the PIO stated.

 

Mr Gandhi, then asked the PIO to obtain the service books from all the SS and give inspection to the appellant on 30 September 2010 and provide photocopies of whatever records the appellant wants free of cost. The Commission also issued a show cause notice to the PIO and SS for not providing complete, required information and be present before the CIC on 22 October 2010 along with their written submission.

 

During the hearing on 22nd October, the Commission noted that the PIO was required to provide information from the service file(s) of 13 officers. He sought the assistance of various SS on 18 February 2010 and sent reminders on 4 March 2010. Only two service files from Rohini Zone were made available for which information was provided. 

 

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After the order of the Commission on 10 September 2010, the PIO provided the requisite information after obtaining the service files from various SS for another seven officers in September 2010. The service files of RK Lakhara, KC Gulati, Om Prakash and Kishori Lal were not provided. Mr Bali stated that he has obtained the requisite information and does not wish to get any information on these four officers.

 

The Commission said the SS did not provide any reasonable explanation for the delay in giving the information. Nand Lal, SS of South Zone; Rajendra Prasad, SS of South Zone (formerly in Narela Zone); Raj Pal Singh, SS of SP Zone; Om Prakash, SS of Nazafgarh Zone; Ravinder Rai, SS of West Zone and Naresh Kumar, SS of Central Zone provided the service files and replies only after the Commission's order.

 

Section 20 (1)  of the RTI Act states, “Where the Central Information Commission or the State Information Commission, as the case may be, at the time of deciding any complaint or appeal is of the opinion that the Central Public Information Officer or the State Public Information Officer, as the case may be, has, without any reasonable cause, refused to receive an application for information or has not furnished information within the time specified under sub-section (1) of section 7 or malafidely denied the request for information or knowingly given incorrect, incomplete or misleading information or destroyed information which was the subject of the request or obstructed in any manner in furnishing the information, it shall impose a penalty of two hundred and fifty rupees each day till application is received or information is furnished, so however, the total amount of such penalty shall not exceed twenty five thousand rupees;

Provided that the Central Public Information Officer or the State Public Information Officer, as the case may be, shall be given a reasonable opportunity of being heard before any penalty is imposed on him: Provided further that the burden of proving that he acted reasonably and diligently shall be on the Central Public Information Officer or the State Public Information Officer, as the case may be.”

 

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Section 19 (5) of the RTI Act has also stated that “In any appeal proceedings, the onus to prove that a denial of a request was justified shall be on the Central Public Information Officer or State Public Information Officer, as the case may be, who denied the request.”

 

Since the information was not provided within the time specified under sub-section (1) of Section 7, the Commission said it was duty bound to levy a penalty of Rs250 each day, till the information is provided. The Commission said, these six SS should have provided information before 11 March 2010 but gave it only in September. "Since the delay has been for over 100 days the Commission imposes the maximum penalty of Rs25,000 as per Section 20(1) of the RTI Act on six officers," Mr Gandhi said in the order.

 

 

CENTRAL INFORMATION COMMISSION

 

Decision No. CIC/SG/A/2010/002127/9341Penalty

http://www.rti.india.gov.in/cic_decisions/CIC_SG_A_2010_002127_9341Penalty_T_44118.pdf

Appeal No. CIC/SG/A/2010/002127

 

 

Appellant                                  : Ravi Bhushan Bali

                                                  New Delhi – 110030.

                                                                          

Respondents                            : (1) Nand Lal, 

                                                  Deemed PIO & SS

                                                  MCD South Zone; 

                                                  Green Park, New Delhi

 

                                                  (2) Rajendra Prasad, 

                                                  Deemed PIO & SS South Zone 

                                                  (formerly in Narela Zone) 

                                                  MCD South Zone; 

                                                  Green Park, New Delhi

 

                                                  (3) Raj Pal Singh, 

                                                  Deemed PIO & SS SP Zone; 

                                                  MCD SP Zone; 

                                                  Idgah Road, Sadar Pahar Ganj Zone,

                                                  New Delhi

 

                                                  (4) Om Prakash, 

                                                  Deemed PIO & SS 

                                                  MCD Nazafgarh Zone

                                                  Overhead water tank, Najafgarh Zone, 

                                                  Nazafgarh Zone, New Delhi

 

                                                  (5) Ravinder Rai,  

                                                  Deemed PIO & SS 

                                                  MCD West Zone

                                                  Rajouri Garden, Vishal Enclave,

                                                  New Delhi

 

                                                  (6) Naresh Kumar, 

                                                  Deemed PIO & SS 

                                                  MCD Central Zone

                                                  Jal Vihar, Lajpat Nagar,

                                                  New Delhi

 

                                                  (7) Surender Singh, 

                                                  Deemed PIO & SS West Zone

                                                  MCD 

                                                  Vishal Enclave, Rajouri Garden,

                                                  New Delhi

 

                                                  (8) Devender Kumar 

                                                  Public Information Officer & Chief Engineer 

                                                  Municipal Corporation of Delhi

                                                  Office of Assistant Commissioner/DEMS/HQs

                                                  Gandhi Mela Ground, Town Hall,

                                                  Delhi- 110006

 

                                                  (9) Kishan Lal, 

                                                  Deemed PIO & SS City Zone

                                                  MCD City Zone

                                                  Delhi

 

                                                  (10) JK Gupta, 

                                                  Deemed PIO & SS Sahadara 

                                                  MCD Sahadara North Zone

                                                  Sahadara, Delhi

 

                                                  (11) Vijender Rana, 

                                                  Deemed PIO & SS Rohini Zone;

                                                  MCD Rohini Zone,

                                                  Rohini Zone, Delhi

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Argument for taxing 'very rich' should be considered: FM

Chidambaram said we should have stability in tax rates but we should consider the argument whether the very rich should be asked to pay a little more on some occasions

Singapore: Indian Finance Minister P Chidambaram, who has talked about a stable tax regime during his meetings with foreign investors in the last two days, has said that the argument for taxing the very rich "a little more" should be considered, reports PTI.

 

"I believe in stable tax rates. However, I must concede that there is an argument, underline the word argument, that when the economy requires, when the government requires more resources the very rich should willingly pay a little more.

 

"That is not to say that tax rate should not be stable. I think we should have stability in tax rates but we should consider the argument whether the very rich should be asked to pay a little more on some occasions," he told CNBC TV18.

 

However, he hastened to add, "but that is not a view I am expressing. That is simply an argument that I have heard and I am repeating."

 

Chidambaram said tax rates that were announced in 1997 (in the Budget he had presented then), have remained and have survived four governments and four finance ministers.

 

On the Budget to be presented next month, he said the Budget is not drawn up keeping an election in mind. "The election is a good 14 months away from the Budget. The Budget will be a responsible budget".

 

The Finance Minister said if on 28th February he could show that the government has kept fiscal deficit below 5.3% and if Budget estimates show that the next year's fiscal deficit will be below 4.8%, then he can show a healthy growth in revenues over next year.

 

"I think that is the time when rating agencies should consider moving us from... I mean improving the outlook and then improving the rating," he said.

 

Several experts including chairman of Prime Minister's Economic Advisory Council (PMEAC) C Rangarajan have underlined the need for imposing higher rates of taxes on super rich.

 

On Wednesday, Wipro Chairman Azim Premji had said the suggestion for taxing the super-rich was a "politically" correct thing to do, but expressed doubts whether the government will actually implement the proposal.

 

India taxes income at three rates - 10%, 20% and 30%. These rates were fixed in 1997.

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COMMENTS

M G WARRIER

4 years ago

Whether you call it tax or forgoing some benefits, FM should not feel shy about asking super-rich to participate in the development process by contributing their share from the accumulated resources with them to partially ‘cleanse’ India’s Balance Sheet. A substantial portion of the ‘cash’ with the super-rich has their origin in defective policies of government. If government had ensured some self-regulation to ensure payment of ‘real’ wages, payment of market-related prices for the resources they used and reasonably transparent accounting of sources and uses of funds combined with a commitment to plough back at least a part of the profits made out of public funds and resources like land, electricity, water etc they received at subsidized rates, the position would have been different.

IMF chief dedicates WEF moments to Delhi gangrape victim

The IMF Managing Director emphasised that the expectations of Indian women must be met and rued that policymakers had failed to pay attention to the crucial issues of equitable distribution and gender equality

Davos: Making a passionate appeal for fairness and gender equality, International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief Christine Lagarde invoked the Delhi gangrape incident during a speech at the World Economic Forum (WEF) while emphasising that expectations of Indian women for greater respect and justice must be met, reports PTI.

 

She also remembered the young Pakistani victim Malala Yousafzai while addressing the gathering at the annual WEF meeting.

 

"I dedicate the moment (of addressing WEF annual meet) to Malala, daughter of Pakistan, and another daughter in India (rape case)," IMF chief Lagarde said last evening.

 

Touching upon India, the IMF Managing Director emphasised that the expectations of Indian women must be met and rued that policymakers had failed to pay attention to the crucial issues of equitable distribution and gender equality.

 

"... But you will ask what it has to do with economy. It is indeed about economy and equality and bringing in prosperity. No policymakers have paid enough (attention) to the fact that more equal distribution of income would help in supporting women better. Gender inequality is also very important and the policymakers have not paid enough attention to either of the two. The fact is when women do better the country does better and policymakers need to understand this," Lagarde said.

 

In a case that had shocked the nation and triggered protests in India, a 23-year-old student was brutally gangraped in a moving bus in New Delhi on 16th December last year and later she died at a hospital in Singapore.

 

Earlier in October, Pakistani teenage activist Malala became the target of Taliban militants. She was shot in the head for campaigning for girls' education and had to be flown to the UK for medical treatment. .

"Let me turn to what I see as the second major aspiration of the new generation and the new global economy: stronger inclusion. Our close-knit world is a participatory world. The new generation demands opportunities for all and insists on tolerance, respect, and fairness for all," Lagarde said.

 

"Just look at some recent examples from the yearnings on the Arab Street for greater dignity and opportunity, to the brave cry of young women for education and equality, and to the heartfelt urge of Indian women for greater respect and justice. These demands must be met," Lagarde said.

 

She also stressed on the need to fight against climate change. "If we don't take action regarding climate change, our future generation will be roasted, toasted, fried and grilled".

 

By 2025 she said that two-thirds of the world population would be in India and the youth is going to be a strong force across the world.

 

"How can we successfully navigate in this world of future? This new generation sings differently. There are Facebook and Twitter and if we rank them as countries they would be third and fourth largest in the world," she noted.

 

The IMF chief also said that there should be zero tolerance for corruption, besides there should be a sense of accountability in tackling the global crisis.

 

"Things are changing but we need to see more and better changes in 2013... We need cross border cooperation on issues like shadow banking and derivatives. If we look beyond the short- term we would indeed move past the crisis," she added.

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