IMPHAL, Sept 8: Manipur Information Commission today ordered the then state public information officer (SPIO) of Manipur Pollution Control Board, Imphal to pay a fine of Rs.25,000 for delay in providing the information under the RTI Act.
The order was passed by the state chief Information Commissioner, RK Angousana Singh in connection with a case filed by the appellant Tourangbam Netrajit Singh s/o of T Thambal Singh of Uripok Tourangbam Leikai to the Manipur Information Commission on the refusal of the SPIO to provide the information sought under the provision of RTI Act, 2005.
The applicant Tourangbam Netrajit Singh, submitted an application on September 20 last year to the state public information officer, Manipur Pollution control board, Imphal under the RTI Act, 2005 requesting to furnish the information in respects of the financial Aids provided under the letter F.No G-27017(IV)/20045-CPW Government of India Ministry of Environment & Forest, New Delhi, dated 21-3-2005 regarding Ground Water Quality Project/Scheme in respect of Thoubal area and also requested to furnish the name of the staff (project Assistant), their salary/ mustered rolls paid one wages etc in respects of the said scheme, provision of bills, cash memos, photocopy in respect of the chemical, glasswares procured in connection with the same project, furnishing of copy of the stock register containing the particulars of the items which were received in full, transportation charges in respect of this project, name of the coordinator and furnishing the copy of progress report, utilization certificates, statement of expenditures submitted to the Ministry of Environment and Forest in respect of the said project.
It is also officially mentioned that having not received any response from the SPIO within the stipulated time, the applicant filed an appeal to the appellate authority (member secretary) Manipur Pollution Control Board on October 20, last year but the latter did not respond it. Subsequently the appellant preferred the present appeal to this commission on April 8 this year, on the basis of which a show cause notice was served on the SPIO on April 25, last.
The official information further revealed that the present case was taken up as an appeal case under section 19 of the RTI Act, 2005 and heard on June 9, July 11, August 9 and August 19 this year after given due notices to the parties.
It is also mentioned that the above information sought by the complainant is not within the excepted category under the RTI Act, over and above this, the disclosure of the information is in the public interest, therefore the SPIO is duly bound to provide the information to the appellant the judgment of the commission observed.
On the other hand its has been officially observed that, it is a fact that the SPIO has failed to furnish the complete information even after a lapse of seven month (from 20-9-2009 to 27-4-2011) therefore, the SPIO for a maximum fine of Rs.25,000, personally for the said delay. Further, because of the non furnishing of the information during the above period the appellant has to approach the commission for redressal of his grievances and has to attend the Commission, many times, thus causing detriment which needs to be compensated under the provision of the RTI Act, 2005.
Considering all these facts the Commission further directed the SPIO, Manipur Pollution Control Board, Imphal, to deposit the amount in the form of Challan under the Major Head of Account 0070, other Administrative Services within fifteen days from the received of the said official order, through the concerned Treasury Officer, under intimation to this Commission.
It is also further ordered that, the concerned appellant can approach the Commission within a month from today if he has any grievances.