Friday, November 12, 2010

Punjab Info Commission issued ‘show cause’ notice to PIO of Director local bodies dept

Taking note of the Office of Local body’s Government Chandigarh procrastination in providing information under the Right To Information (RTI) Act, the Punjab state information commissioner has issued a ‘show cause’ notice to public
Information officer of Director Local Govt. Chandigarh asking him to explain why action should not be taken against him on this account.
Taking note of the ‘dilly dallying’ attitude adopted by public Information officers, State Information Commissioner, Punjab, Darbara Singh Kahlon said the officials did not bother to be present at the time of hearing of the case. They had adopted delaying- tactics, which was violation of RTI Act. Kahlon has asked for written explanation regarding not providing the information, & has written in his order why action should not be taken against PIO under section 20 (1) & under section 19 (8) (1). Information Commissioner Kahlon ordered the PIO that he should be present before the court with all necessary documents on May
18, 2010 the next date of hearing.
In an application dated November 30, 2009 under the RTI Act, Chander Mohan, member of an NGO, SANKALP, had asked the PIO of Director Local Government Punjab for information about the action of a letter written by Executive Officer of Sunam Distt.
Sangrur, regarding issuing of notification for expansion of limits of Sunam municipal committee. After more than a month went by and he has not received any reply, he wrote to the state information commission on January 20, 2010.
It may be mentioned here that NGO, SANKALP’s president Jatinder Jain complained to Punjab Human Right commission (PHRC) about the non issuing of Notification for expansion of limits of Sunam municipal committee & problems arising due to non issuing of notification as the MC was unable to pay the salaries of their employees as well as MC has to sell the govt. property to run Council.
After which the PHRC taking into cognizance the matter & wrote to Chief Sec. Local Govt. & after that the Chief Sec issued the
notification to increase the limits of Sunam city, but the information asked about the EO letter from Local govt has yet not been received yet.
NGO SANKALP’s president Jatinder Jain expressed that the PIO’s was not at all serious about the RTI Act, we have been given the right to get the information under RTI Act. But this is utter violation of Act, as officials do not provide information within stipulated time. He said that some PIO initiated action only after the commission summoned for a hearing.
Jain demanded action against the public information officer (PIO) under section 20 (1) for not supplying the information. He also demanded initiation of action under section 166 of the IPC.
jatinder jain (sankalp.rti@gmail.com)

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