The Central Information Commission (CIC) has ruled that excuses like ‘shortage of staff and work overload’ cannot be considered as reasons for not providing information under the Right to Information (RTI) Act and fined a local official for ‘delay’ in responding.

The commission penalised Mahesh Sharma, an officer of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), Rs.25,000 for delaying answers to a petition filed by Shiv Babu, who wanted information about the number of illegal cycle-rickshaws caught and the number of employees in the rickshaw department of the civic agency.
The application was filed Oct 15 last year.

The MCD PIO (Public Information Officer) had sought assistance of Sharma on the petition filed. But the information was provided by Sharma only on Jan 18 and that too was incomplete.

“The commission asked Sharma to explain the reasons for the delay. He states that he is very busy and has to move in the field to catch the illegal rickshaws. He states that he did not have enough knowledge on how to manage his work. He also states that he had a shortage of staff,” Information Commissioner Shailesh Gandhi observed in his order.

The RTI Act stipulates that information should be provided within 30 days.

“These cannot be considered as reasons for not providing information under the RTI Act. All officers have to do all the jobs which their duty enjoins on them. Claiming shortage of staff and overload cannot be considered as excuses and the RTI Act has very clearly put the responsibility on the individual officers who are either PIOs or deemed PIOs. Mahesh Sharma has not advanced any reasonable cause for not providing the information,” Gandhi noted.

The commission directed the PIO to provide all the information to the petitioner before April 5.

The CIC ruled this was a fit case for penalising the official and said: “Since the delay in providing the correct information has been over 100 days, the commission is passing an order penalizing Mahesh Sharma Rs.25,000 (Rs.250 per day).”
The commission directed the MCD commissioner to recover the amount from Sharma’s salary in five months starting from April by deducting Rs.5,000 every month.

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  1. MANOJ KUMAR DUBEY says:

    Flag this message
    KINDLY TELL TO ME FOR LAUNCHING MY COMPLAIN THROUGH RTI ACT ON LINE
    Monday, 4 July, 2011 10:49 PM
    From:
    “MANOJ DUBEY”
    Add sender to Contacts
    To:
    [email protected]
    Cc:
    [email protected]

    R/SIR/MADAM,,
    Thanks for your kind response, actually i am one of the land owner(MANOJ KUMAR DUBEYS/O SHRI SUNDER LAL DUBEY NEAR SHIV TEMPLE VINOBHA BHAWE WARD KHIRAHNI, KATNI PATWARI HALKA NO 44 RAKBA NO 21) have gone to patwari Mr Dharmendra Tripathi for acquiring land information at May 2009.He has suggested to me that govt is making plan for irrigation purpose ,for this project they have needed land to make a big Well( PROJECT KHIRAHNI KATNI LIS 212717609 DATED 11 08 2009) . I have talked to my brother Mr.SHARDA PRASAD DUBEY & also my father, that state govt is doing Excellent job,we give to support for their well job.In this way, we are agrred to handed over land for irrigation purpose also confirmed by patwari that Govt has paid compensation amount before going to project start.But at AUGUST 2009, irrigation project has started we have talked to govt Representative Bureaucrats like irrigation engineer,SDM (revenue) District collector so many times.
    Also send a written complain to irrigation Minister & Secretary M.P. State , but till date, we have not received any type of compensation amount by MP SATE GOVT .
    If you have required any other information.Please feel free to contact me.
    With Worm Regards,
    Manoj Kumar Dubey
    Dy MGR INSTRUMENTATION
    SANGHI INDUSTRIES LTD.
    BHUJ ( GUJARAT )
    MOB 9978443491

    — On Sun, 22/5/11, MANOJ DUBEY wrote:

    From: MANOJ DUBEY
    Subject: REQUEST FOR PROPER SOLUTION
    To: mail @indiatvnews.com, [email protected]
    Cc: [email protected]
    Date: Sunday, 22 May, 2011, 4:24 PM

    R/Sir,
    I like your channel INDIATV NEWS last ten years.Your channel is supporting to quite well in any type of matter. I have also hang up in a land matter, details are displaying in trailing mail s. If you want any types of details. Please feel free to write me
    With worm regards,
    Manoj Kumar Dubey
    Dy MGR INSTRUMENTATION
    SANGHI INDUSTRIES LTD.
    BHUJ ( GUJARAT )
    MOB 9978443491

    — On Tue, 17/5/11, MANOJ DUBEY wrote:

    From: MANOJ DUBEY
    Subject: Fw: Re: REQUEST FOR PROPER SOLUTION
    To: [email protected]
    Date: Tuesday, 17 May, 2011, 10:17 PM

    — On Mon, 16/5/11, MANOJ DUBEY wrote:

    From: MANOJ DUBEY
    Subject: Fw: Re: REQUEST FOR PROPER SOLUTION
    To: [email protected]
    Date: Monday, 16 May, 2011, 10:01 PM

    R/Sir,
    Lots of thanks for your kind response ,kindly provide me to mail id of LAO Katni.So i will communicate trailing mail & also will seek the proper solution.
    With worm regards,
    Manoj Kumar Dubey
    Dy MGR INSTRUMENTATION
    SANGHI INDUSTRIES LTD.
    BHUJ ( GUJARAT )
    MOB 9978443491

    — On Mon, 16/5/11, Katni District Madhya Pradresh wrote:

    From: Katni District Madhya Pradresh
    Subject: Re: REQUEST FOR PROPER SOLUTION
    To: “MANOJ DUBEY”
    Date: Monday, 16 May, 2011, 10:20 AM

    Dear Mr. Dubey

    Please send your queries to LAO Katni. NIC does not deal with any such cases.You may also pursue your case with concern, using Jan Sunwai ID using following website: http://www.dic.mp.nic.in/panna/appmonitor/

    Regards

    DIO NIC Katni

    —– Original Message —–

    From: MANOJ DUBEY

    To: Girvar singh ; [email protected]

    Cc: [email protected] ; [email protected] mail .com ; [email protected]

    Sent: Friday, May 13, 2011 9:54 PM

    Subject: Fw: REQUEST FOR PROPER SOLUTION

    R/Sir,
    I don’t think that GOVT OF M.P. can do such type of thing.Why govt is not paying the settlement amount ,before starting any type of project.
    I have also visited at collectorate katni at jansunwai dept on dated 1’st March ,2011 & 28th April ,2011.But still matter is as it is.
    Kindly look into the matter & do the needful as soon as possible.
    With worm regards,
    Manoj Kumar Dubey
    Dy MGR INSTRUMENTATION
    SANGHI INDUSTRIES LTD.
    BHUJ ( GUJARAT )
    MOB 9978443491

    — On Sat, 4/9/10, MANOJ DUBEY wrote:

    From: MANOJ DUBEY
    Subject: Fw: REQUEST FOR PROPER SOLUTION
    To: “[email protected]
    Cc: [email protected] mail .com
    Date: Saturday, 4 September, 2010, 12:21 PM

    R/Sir,
    Kindly do the needful.
    With worm regards,
    MANOJ KUMAR DUBEY

    — On Sat, 4/9/10, MANOJ DUBEY wrote:

    From: MANOJ DUBEY
    Subject: Fw: REQUEST FOR PROPER SOLUTION
    To: [email protected] mail .com
    Date: Saturday, 4 September, 2010, 11:48 AM

    R/Sir,
    Kindly acknowledged with your feedback.
    With worm regards,
    MANOJ KUMAR DUBEY

    — On Thu, 2/9/10, MANOJ DUBEY wrote:

    From: MANOJ DUBEY
    Subject: Fw: REQUEST FOR PROPER SOLUTION
    To: [email protected] mail .com
    Date: Thursday, 2 September, 2010, 3:24 PM

    R/Sir,
    I am not getting your response til now .
    Kindly suggest to me another proper mail id,if possible.
    With worm regards,
    Manoj kumar Dubey

    — On Tue, 31/8/10, MANOJ DUBEY wrote:

    From: MANOJ DUBEY
    Subject: REQUEST FOR PROPER SOLUTION
    To: [email protected] mail .com
    Date: Tuesday, 31 August, 2010, 9:05 PM
    Engineer -in Chief (BODHI)
    Water Resources Department
    Jal Sansadhan Bhawan, Tulsi Nagar, Bhopal (M.P)

    R/Sir,
    I am Manoj kumar Dubey S/O Shri Sunder Lal Dubey,khirahni(KATNI) , requsting to you that my land (patwari halka no 44) has taken by irrigation dept under the khirahni katni LIS since August 2009.Also job is going continuous ,still that land’s payment is not made yet.
    I have talked to Mr Jain (Executive Engineer Irrigation Dept) several times on this matter.
    Finally ,I am not getting any proper solution till date.
    Kindly do the needful.
    With worm regards,
    MANOJ KUMAR DUBEY
    9978443491

  2. AK Bhargava, Katni says:

    Dear Friends,

    Is there any RTI issue/case law/instance which has gone to such scale that the Judiciary or administration has to refer the matter to deeper probe by BCBI/CVC/Lokayukta etc with a positive outcome. ???

    AK Bhargava
    09425157452
    [email protected]

  3. AK Bhargava, Katni says:

    Friends,

    RTI Act 2005 is mostly viewed as a tool for seeking required information resorting the Act which binds the Information provider to ensure supply of sought for information if not prohibited.

    The Chief object of RTI Act and really a powerful tool is transparent working curbing corruption ensuring expeditious delivery of justice to the victim.

    Delay is classifiable in 2 parts. one for bona fide reasons and another for corrupt motives shielding or concealing the wrong and lapses occurred and avoid its exposure CIC or every appellate authority needs to apply scanner for locating the precise reason for delay or avoiding the supply of information before quantifying the penalty. Penalty is not the only solution…..?

    There are Government Offices wherein there is openly rampant corruption. Such corrupt officials actuated by corrupt motives in no case want to deliver the sought for information to its seeker and purposely delaying or supplying inadequate, incomplete or deviant information. If the issue smells that there is some thing wrong behind this purposely occurred delay, matter ought to be taken seriously requiring detailed probe into it. This will yield better results than mere penalty. This is another angle to curb the corruption and clean the system perpetually operative in knowledge of and in connivance with corrupt officials and undeserving beneficiaries. I am confident there would be a better outcome with instance of better feel where system STREAMLINED and some eyeopener facts will also be noticed requiring intervention of Lokaukta, CBI and CVC. RTI Activist serves as WHISTLE BLOWER, It should never be taken lightly. They are helping hands to our investigating Agencies. More in next ………

  4. Surendera says:

    CIC has no teeth to execute the penalty imposed by him. Even the delinquents (who damn care about the RTI Act, 2005), mostly Police department, CIC has no power to bring them to task. The most intriguing part is that Govt is out to dilute the RTI Act under presure from the SC (Read Judiciary) and the bureaucrats. God save the country.

  5. ND says:

    Is it only limited to a lower functionary of the MCD? Does the MCD Commissioner reply to any letter/email? Does any retired employee of MCD get his/her pension papers cleared without taking hefty cuts in advance? Do the serving teachers/retired employees of MCD get their TA-Medical claims passed without advance “payment for services to be renderd”/ Is the situation any way better in DDA/Delhi Police?income tax/sales tax/customs/excise, etc., etc.offices/deptts.?

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