Info panel slaps fine of Rs 75,000 on PF official

JHAJJAR: The Central Information Commission has slapped a penalty of Rs 75,000 on the Central Public Information Officer (CPIO)-cum-Regional Provident Fund Commissioner (Pension), Delhi, for not furnishing documents sought under the RTI Act.

Ravinder Saini

Tribune News Service

Jhajjar, February 12

The Central Information Commission has slapped a penalty of Rs 75,000 on the Central Public Information Officer (CPIO)-cum-Regional Provident Fund Commissioner (Pension), Delhi, for not furnishing documents sought under the RTI Act.

As per order, the penalty will be recovered from the salary of the CPIO, Mukesh Kumar, in five equal instalments. The first instalment will be paid by March 18, while the deadline for the last instalment is July 18.

The commission recently issued the order on appeals filed by Parveen Kohli, who retired as General Manager, Haryana Tourism Corporation.

“Last year, I had filed three applications with the Employee Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) under the RTI Act, seeking attested copies of documents related to re-computing or revising the pension of employees and its disbursal on full salary irrespective of any limit in view of Supreme Court’s orders, a report or recommendations of the pension implementation committee, and agenda of 215th meeting of the Central Board of Trustees (EPF) held in Bengaluru in 2016,” Kohli said.

He said the information was urgently required for defending pension revision cases of more than 50 lakh EPS pensioners across the nation in view of SC judgments, as the EPFO was denying the benefits to a large number of pensioners by concealing and suppressing facts of several court cases.

“I visited the EPFO’s head office, Delhi, after getting no response on the application within 30 days. The office asked me to deposit Rs 102 for getting documents. After I depositing the money, the office, however, furnished uncertified documents on July 31 last year. Subsequently, I filed the first appeal, but no hearing was conducted. This forced me to approach the commission,” Kohli said.

He further said the commission not only directed the EPFO to facilitate inspection of files and file notings and provided certified copies of selected documents within 15 days, but also issued a show-cause notice to the CPIO for penalty.

“The commission later imposed the maximum penalty of Rs 25,000 against the CPIO after finding his reply to the notice unsatisfactory. It also slapped a fine of the like amount on him in my two other appeals of similar nature. Hence, the CPIO will have to pay Rs 75,000,” Kohli added.

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