DNA: Mumbai: Wednesday, 10 February 2016.
A public information officer (PIO) has been fined Rs1.25 lakh for not providing information to an applicant for five of his applications. For each, a maximum fine of Rs25,000 can be slapped on a PIO as per the Act, and that's the amount that the errant PIO has been penalised. The fine will be taken from his salary over a period of time.
The fine was levied in five different orders dated January 28 by state chief information commissioner Ratnakar Gaikwad. The PIO, who is from the building and factory department, did not give information to RTI applicant Rego Dias.
A resident of Kalina village, Dias, through his five applications filed last April and May, had sought to know the details of action taken on illegal construction in a four-storey building. He had asked for fine and notices slapped, permission based on which the structure had come up, copies of complaints received, and the log book.
"I had filed the applications because there are too many illegal constructions sprouting up every now and then in the area. One keeps complaining but there is no action taken. I had sought details on the action taken on the complaints and the copies of the records they have," said Dias, who added that he has also filed a public interest litigation on illegal constructions in the area.
"The order is good and it should be implemented, because even after complaining, the officers do not take any action. Such officers need to be penalised. In this case, the PIO did not even turn up for one of the hearings."