PIOs lack seriousness, despite being fined

Only 27 per cent of the penalty have been recovered while 73 per cent amount remains unpaid.

By Author  |  Published: 2nd Feb 2017  10:20 pm

Karimnagar: Public Information Officers (PIO) are seemed to least bothered about Right to Information (RTI) Act. Besides creating hurdles to furnish information under RTI Act, PIOs are also not paying penalty imposed on them as punishment for delaying information.

Only 27 per cent of the penalty was recovered while 73 per cent amount remain unpaid. It was revealed in information sought under RTI Act by one N Srinivas, president of Lok Satta, udhyama samasta. Information Commission’s negligence is also one of the reasons for non-recovery of penalty.

According to the report given by the Public Information Officer, AP Information Commission, of Rs 89.44 lakh fine imposed on PIOs in last ten years, only Rs 24.52 lakh have been recovered and Rs 64.95 lakh was still pending.

Under section 20 of RTI Act, Information Commission has power to impose fine up to Rs 25,000 on PIOs if anybody did not accept applications from people under RTI or delayed the information or destroyed the information.

Remembering an incident which took place in the district few years ago, Srinivas said Commission had collected Rs 25,000 from PIO of Housing Department by serving ultimatum to the head of the department. However, such kind of follow up had not been done by the Commission. So that the pending penalty amount had been piling up every year, he told Telangana Today.