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news details
SIC issues penalty notice against AEE PDD for delaying RTI application
11/17/2018 10:45:36 PM
Early Times Report
Srinagar, Nov 17: The State Information Commission (SIC) has issued penalty show cause notice, against an Assistant Executive Engineer (AEE) of Power Development Department, Electric Sub Division Tangmarg as he failed to dispose of an RTI application filed by an RTI activist.
The officer who is the designated Public Information Officer (PIO) in his office has been asked to respond to Commission's notice within 15 days.
Details available with Early Times reveal that an RTI application was filed by Irfan Banka, Chairman RTI Foundation Mustafabad Magam on 14.01.2018 before the Public Information Officer (PIO) Assistant Executive Engineer (AEE) , Electric Special Sub Division, Tangmarg, Baramulla seeking information in respect of an earlier RTI request filed dated 26-04-2017 particularly seeking names of the officials who dealt with the said RTI application. Information seeker also intended to seek details of transformers, electric wire, electric poles and other material installed from March, 2017 and also why the grid station Kundandara was not providing power supply to the area as per notified schedule ?
As no information was received by the appellant in response to his RTI request dated 14-01-2018, he filed first appeal with the First Appellate Authority (FAA) i.e Executive Engineer (Xen) PDD Tangmarg on 07-03-2018. Not being satisfied appellant finally the appellant filed second appeal before the State Information Commission (SIC) on 06-06-2018 submitting that not only the PIO has failed to provide information within the specified period, but his first appeal has also not been disposed of by the First Appellate Authority (FAA) within the stipulated period.
The appeal came up for hearing before the State Information Commission (SIC) on 14-09-2018. The appellant Irfan Banka was not present. The respondents were represented by Mehraj-ud-din, AEE, Ishfaq Ahmad Ganai, AE. The PIO submitted during the hearing that information sought by the appellant has been furnished to him on 03-03-2018 and 21-06-2018. The PIO also submitted that since there was no Executive Engineer in Electric Special Sub Division, Tangmarg, the first appeal filed by the appellant addressed to Executive Engineer, PDD Tangmarg was not received.
The SIC while going through the information furnished by the PIO, it was found that some part of information was not furnished. The PIO submitted before SIC that information pertaining to point No. 3 was not available with him as it pertained to Sub-Transmission Division, Sopore.
The hearing was adjourned by SIC with a direction to the PIO to seek information with respect to point No. 3 of the RTI application from Sub Transmission Division, Sopore and provide the same to the appellant within a period of 15 days. The PIO was also directed to file a written statement explaining the cause of delay in furnishing the information to the appellant.
The appellant was also directed to file a rejoinder to the information already furnished to him by the PIO on 03-03-2018 and 21-06-2018. The appeal again came up for hearing before the State Information Commission (SIC) on 11-10-2018. Appellant Irfan Banka was again not present. Mehrajud-din, AEE Special Sub Division Tangmarg (PIO) and Ishfaq Ahmad Ganai, Assistant Engineer were present during the hearing. The PIO submitted a written statement wherein point wise reply to the RTI request filed by the appellant was answered. The PIO during the 2nd appeal hearing apprised the Commission, that information relating to point No. 3 of the RTI request was collected from Special Transmission Division (STD), Sopore and furnished the same to the appellant.
SICs order reads
"The PIO failed however failed to explain the cause of delay in furnishing the information to the appellant. As regards the earlier RTI application dated 26-04-2017, the PIO has informed that officials namely Ghulam Ahmad Mir, Sr. Assistant and Zahida, Despatcher have handled the said RTI application and caused delay. However, the PIO has not indicated as to what action he has taken against the two officials named by him. Since the entire information has now been provided to the appellant, the appeal is disposed of. However, the PIO owes an explanation as to why he has failed to provide information to the appellant within the period specified in the J&K RTI Act, 2009. The PIO is accordingly directed to file a written statement explaining the cause of delay in furnishing the information to the appellant. He is also directed to inform the Commission as to what action has been taken against the officials who were responsible for causing delay in providing information in respect of earlier RTI request dated 26-04-2017. The PIO is accordingly directed to file a compliance report before the Commission within a period of 15 days from the date of receipt of this order indicating the action taken against the defaulting officials in respect of earlier RTI request dated 26-04-2017. The registry is directed to issue show cause notice upon PIO/Assistant Executive Engineer, Electric Special Sub Division, Tangmarg as to why penalty proceedings may not be initiated in terms of Section 17 of the Act for not providing information to the appellant within the period stipulated under Section 7 (1) of the Act.

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