Friday, May 26, 2017


Bangalore Mirror: Bangalore: Friday, May 26, 2017.
Police department fined Rs 10,000 for not complying with the Karnataka Information Commission’s order to release answer sheets of an aspirant sub-inspector.
Karnataka Information Commission (KIC) has slapped a penalty of Rs10,000 on an SP (recruitment and training) police department for denying an aspirant for the sub-inspector (SI) post his answer sheets. With this comes the good news that a candidate appearing in any recruitment exam is entitled to get his answer sheets under RTI. The commission’s action comes after police’s denial despite repeated directives, including one citing a supreme court case.
The curious case, which has witnessed a spat between KIC and the recruitment and training wing of the department, has ended in later losing their case to the aspirant before the information commission.
Raghavendra N, who had taken the exams for SI in 2014, had sought his answer sheets bearing roll number 5540803 (application number 2746031) in November 2015. It had been turned down by Public Information Officer (PIO), an SP-ranking officer with the recruitment and training wing. The matter had then reached KIC, which heard it thrice before passing the penalty order on May 17.
For first time in February 2017, the commission had come down heavily against the department’s denial of information to Raghavendra citing section 8 (1) (J) of the RTI Act which exempts disclosure of personal information that is not related to any public activity or interest, or which would cause unwarranted invasion of the privacy of the individual. The police’s recruitment and training wing brass – ADGP Raghav-endra Auradkar and DIG Vipul Kumar had taken a stand to this extent after concluding that issuance of information may lead to misuse and delay in recruitment, and had said the stand was in public interest.
However, ruling against this, the commission had stated that it was of emphatic view that the answer sheet could be disclosed. State information commissioner NP Ramesh had gone a step ahead and had set a deadline of 7 days directing the PIO and superintendent of police to provide information by February 7.
But the police neither provided the information nor attended the next hearing on May 9. Taking a serious note, and citing that the SP was deliberately denying information, the commission had come down against the police brass on May 9, once again setting an 8-day deadline to provide the information.
Saying there could not be distinction between the answer script of an academic examination and recruitment test, KIC had ordered the department to provide information within eight days.
Meanwhile, the police department moving the high court had challenged the KIC order. With no information even after eight days, and denial despite repeated orders, the commission has now levied a penalty of Rs10,000 directing the PIO to provide information immediately. Further denial may lead to a recommendation of departmental inquiry, a KIC source maintained.
“The judgment adds transparency to the recruitment process,” Veeresh BH, Raghav-endra’s representative, said.