Saturday, December 05, 2009

Panel imposes a fine of Rs 20k on Utkal varsity

The Orissa Information Commission (OIC) has penalised the Utkal University for declining information to an engineering student of a private engineering college. A division bench of the information commission awarded a Rs 20,000 penalty on the UU which would be paid to the complainant as compensation. It is the highest penalty imposed by the panel on an agency for making an inordinate delay in providing the information under the Right To Information Act 2005. According to the case, a student of a private engineering college Biswajit Malla had sought information from Utkal University about copy of a document sent by Crime Branch to the Vice Chancellor. However, Controller of the university refused to provide the information to the complainant saying CB is exempted from disclosure of information under Section
24(4) of the Act. However, Information Commission found that CB is exempted from disclosure in certain respects though the facts which Malla had sought were different. The varsity authorities could have disclosed the information to the complainant having no legal impediment since the document was open with no "confidential" mark.
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