MP:Info denied under RTI over Re 1 fee, PIO gets Rs 25,000 penalty

Rs 10,000 compensation awarded in favour of applicant

Vivek TrivediUpdated: Friday, July 01, 2022, 05:02 PM IST
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FP News Service

Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh)

Public Information Officers (PIOs) entrusted with the key responsibility of disseminating information under Right To Information (RTI) Act are often found stalling the details especially in Madhya Pradesh.

PIOs devise unique ways to deny information and one such officer did the same over Re 1 difference in fee. Interestingly the applicant had paid Re extra then the amount demanded by the PIO.

The incident took place in MP Power Transmission Company, Satna months ago.

Then Executive Engineer of the company posted in Satna in past had received an RTI query from one RK Selat who had asked salary details of his wife from the company. The PIO asked him to pay Rs 4 as fee to offer copies of the desired document but Selat paid Rs 5 as fee, an order issued by commissioner MP State Information Commission Rahul Singh said.

The PIO acting bizarrely returned the application denying information and said feee of Rs 4 was required.

Selat had his own explanation for paying Re 1 extra.

In an old case, the department had asked for Rs 6 as fee while Selat had only paid Rs 5 so he paid Re 1 extra in this case.

Singh the SIC took a strong exception of the behavior from the PIO in denying the information. Employees mostly are harassed by their own departments in offering details like salary fixation, pension, service record and so on whereas they should be offering the records in accordance with sympathetic attitude within 30 days of filing RTI application, said the commissioner.

He went on to claim that after 30 days are lapsed from filing of RTI application, the information is offered free of cost whereas the PIO demanded fee and also denied information for extra payment of Re 1.

Several states have stopped this provision of taking Rs 3 or Rs 4 fee as sum, more than this amount is spent on issuing fee letter and extra charges are incurred in sending information to the applicant, said SIC Rahul Singh who has levied Rs 25,000 penalty on the PIO.

The Chief Engineer MPPTC Rajesh Shrivastava in compliance of the commission order has ensured payment of Rs 10,000 as compensation to Selat, added the SIC.

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