Village development officer told to pay Rs 15K for info delay

Village development officer told to pay Rs 15K for info delay

Tribune News Service

Amritsar, November 25

The State Information Commission has imposed a fine Rs 15,000 on village development officer Gurmukh Singh of Gram Panchayat Vadala Johal for his failure to provide the requisite information to the applicant on time.

Gurmukh Singh, who is public information officer of the gram panchayat, was also fined Rs 3,000 for harassment to applicant Subedar (retd) Chhanakh Singh, a resident of the same village.

He had sought information of the annual progress reports maintained by the Vadala village gram panchayat for disbursement of old-age/widow pensions, etc, from July 2013 to October 2017.

Addressing mediapersons here on Saturday, Chhanakh Singh said the district social security officer in his communication to the commission on February this year had informed it that he had intimated the same to the BDPO, Jandiala Guru, as the record was in his custody. The BDPO further informed the commission that he directed VDO Gurmukh Singh to part with the information which was in his custody.

He said the VDO, however, failed to provide the same to him. Therefore, the commission found him accused of violation of the RTI Act. The commission issued a show-cause notice to Gurmukh Singh for his explanation while providing an opportunity for a personal hearing before the imposition of penalty. But he neither supplied the information nor filed any reply to the show-cause notice.

The commissioner exercising his authority imposed a fine of Rs 15,000, which would be deducted from his salary in three instalments. He was also awarded a compensation of Rs 3000 for the callous attitude of the PIO, which caused harassment to the appellant.


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