Wednesday, November 03, 2010

If penalised, approach courts in personal capacity, HC tells PIOs

Creating a precedent, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has ruled that if the public information officer (PIO) of a department has been penalised by a State Information Commission on account of withholding information, the officer cannot appeal against the order through the state. The court has held that the PIO will have to approach the court in personal capacity. In one such instance, the High Court has directed the Punjab government to withdraw a petition filed by it on behalf of K B S Sidhu, the then PIO of health department who had challenged a penalty imposed on him by the Punjab State Information Commission. A fine of Rs 25,000 was slapped on Sidhu in 2007 for not supplying information.

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