Police dept to pay for delay in giving info under RTI Act : The Tribune India

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Police dept to pay for delay in giving info under RTI Act

AMRITSAR: The Chief Information Commission (CIC), Punjab, has imposed a penalty of Rs 2,000 on the office of the Director-General of Police for the delay in providing information regarding enhancement in the strength of the police force in the state.



GS Paul

Tribune News Service

Amritsar, September 30

The Chief Information Commission (CIC), Punjab, has imposed a penalty of Rs 2,000 on the office of the Director-General of Police for the delay in providing information regarding enhancement in the strength of the police force in the state. It took the DGP's office around one year to provide this information to a city-based RTI applicant. Incidentally, the RTI reply, too, gave vague information about the staff strength in the police department from 2004 to 2014.

Amritsar-based social activist Parbodh C. Bali had filed an RTI application on July 1, 2014 asking about the measures and the policy adopted by the police department to recruit its staff. He was curious to know about the sanctioned posts of OR (other rank) staff, like constables and head constables, which were lying unfilled year-wise from 2005 to 2014. He had also questioned the police about the difficulties analysed due to shortage of OR staff.

After a lapse of 30 days, Bali was asked to furnish the cost of information, to which he protested. Consequently, the Chief Information Commission ordered the police department to supply information free of cost. This time, the information was not provided fully. The public information officer of the police department made an excuse that does not fall under the purview of the RTI Act.

Bali said this was again contested by him and the decision went in his favour. Besides, the CIC ordered the office of the Director General of Police, Punjab, to shell out a compensation of Rs 2,000 to Bali for delayed supply of information, mental agony, detriment suffered and the slack behaviour of the PIO.

“I got the information on September 24, 2015. It has come out that the DGP, Punjab, has since 2005 never made any proposal to the government about requirement of constables but has appointed 18,239 constables during this period. This implied that these constables were appointed without any proposal and analyses. It shows that there is no law and rules in the DGP's office to analyse the need and fulfilling of posts” he said.

“I will again question the police on this aspect. Yet, I am relieved that the state information commission decided the matter on genuine grounds and arguments”, he added.

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