Mumbai: Mumbai Police Assistant Commissioner has been penalised Rs 10,000 by Maharashtra State Information Commission for his “utter” negligence by not providing information sought under the RTI Act by a city-based activist.

State Chief Information Commissioner Ratnakar Gaikwad has levied a penalty of Rs 10,000 on Dindoshi division Assistant Police Commissioner (ACP) Rajendra Kotak, for failing to give information to RTI activist Chetan Kothari in 2010, when he was the Public Information Officer (PIO) in the police department.

Kothari had filed an RTI query before Kotak seeking to know whether all the police stations in Mumbai have the display boards that inform about the rights of the arrested persons as per the Supreme Court guidelines.

Though Kotak had compiled the data and prepared 30 copies, he demanded two rupees per copy from Kothari, who refused to pay citing relevant provisions of the RTI Act. But Kotak did not hand over the copies to the activist.

Following this, the activist appealed against Kotak before a Deputy Police Commissioner, who was also the first Appellate Authority.

Kotak was ordered by his superior that the information copies should be given to the RTI activist without any charges. However, the ACP refused to do so.

The activist subsequently appealed to the State Information Commission, following which the Information Commissioner issued a show-cause notice asking why he should not be fined for violating the provisions of the RTI Act.

After receiving the notice, the ACP remained present before the Information Commissioner on December 20, but could not provide satisfactory answers for not giving the information under the RTI Act. Following this, a fine of Rs 10,000 was imposed on him and he was asked to pay it in three instalments.           When contacted, Kotak claimed that he had not received any such order from the Commission. PTI

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