PENALTIES UNDER THE RIGHT TO INFORMATION ACT, 2005

While deciding on a complaint or a second appeal, the CIC or the SIC has the authority to impose a penalty on the PIO under Section 20(1) of the RTI Act[1]. While deciding on a complaint or a second appeal, the CIC or the SIC has, the authority to impose a penalty on the PIO under Section 20(1) of the RTI Act.

The penalty may be levied if the PIO has the following:

  1. The application was turned down.
  2. Within 30 days of receiving the application, the needed information was not provided.
  3. The request for information was falsely refused.
  4. Giving false, incomplete, or misleading information on purpose
  5. Information that was the subject of the request was destroyed.
  6. impeded in any way in providing the information

The penalty will be Rs. 250.00 each day, up to a maximum of Rs. 25,000.00, until the information is provided or the application is received. The penalty must be paid by the PIO out of his salary, not by the government. Before the punishment is levied, the CIC or SIC will allow the PIO a sufficient opportunity to be heard. The PIO, on the other hand, will bear the burden of establishing that he acted appropriately.

The CIC or SIC can also recommend disciplinary action based on the PIO’s service regulations under Section 20(2) of the RTI Act. The RTI Act does not impose any penalties on the First Appellate Authority (FAA) or the Public Authority (PA).

Despite the fact that the Public Information Officer bears the duty of establishing that he or she acted fairly and diligently, the Act says that the Public Information Officer bears the burden of proof.[2]” As a result, the Information Commissioner may conclude that the PIO “knowingly” committed his acts of omission or commission, and it is up to the PIO to show that he did so inadvertently. The CIC, on the other hand, has frequently interpreted in favor of PIO, stating that “if there was no malaise in the denial of information in servicing requests for information, and the refusal stems from a genuine conviction within the public authority that the information was exempt from disclosure, the CIC has not imposed the penalty.”

It’s also worth noting that, from the date of receipt to the date of dispatch of the information, Section 7(1)[3] provides only 30 days for replying to an RTI Act application. It does not allow for a 30-day turnaround time.

COMPENSATION PROVIDED

The CIC or the SIC might require the Public Authority to pay the complainant/appellant for any loss or detriment sustained under Section 19(8)(b)[4] of the RTI Act. The complainant/appellant must be able to support his or her claim for compensation, as well as the sum sought.


[1] Section 20(1), RTI Act

[2] [CIC/OIC/A/2006/00637 Dated. 04.07.2008

[3] Section 7(1), RTI Act

[4] Section 19(8)(b), RTI Act

Aishwarya Says:

If you are a lawyer or a law student who is looking for a job, then you can find details about the latest openings here.

I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.

IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN PARTICIPATING IN THE SAME, DO LET ME KNOW.

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The copyright of this Article belongs exclusively to Ms. Aishwarya Sandeep. Reproduction of the same, without permission will amount to Copyright Infringement. Appropriate Legal Action under the Indian Laws will be taken.

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In the year 2021, we wrote about 1000 Inspirational Women In India, in the year 2022, we would be featuring 5000 Start Up Stories.

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