Tuesday, March 28, 2017

HC stays penalty imposed on DPCC officials by CIC

Press Trust of India‎‎: New Delhi: Tuesday, March 28, 2017.
The Delhi High Court today stayed an order of CIC imposing penalty on two officers of Delhi Pollution Control Committee for failing to provide information sought under the Right to Information Act (RTI).
Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva issued notice and sought response of the person who had filed an RTI application before DPCC seeking copy of documents submitted by a construction company for environmental clearance.
The court while staying Chief Information Commission's (CIC) order of September 21 last year, listed the matter for August 31.
DPCC, in its appeal, said the CIC had wrongly imposed a penalty of Rs 1,000 each on its two officers for not supplying information under the RTI Act as no such information was available. The penalty was to be deducted from the salary of the two officers.
Advocate Balendu Shekhar, appearing for DPCC, argued that no application was filed by the company with it seeking environmental clearance (EC) so no information could be supplied to RTI applicant Anil Sood.
"There was no room for the officer for interpretation of request made by Sood in his RTI application as a specific request was made stating the documents submitted along with EC. As no application was submitted for EC before the State Environment Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA), specific reply was given based on the information provided by the dealing cell i.e. EIA cell," the plea said.
It sought setting aside of CIC order saying the commission had "grossly erred" by ignoring the facts of the case.
The plea further said that CIC has also imposed penalty on the State Public Information Officer (SPIO) who was posted there later and had not denied the information to Sood.
It alleged that CIC failed to appreciate that there was no malafide intention for withholding the information by the SPIO as it was not available with DPCC.