Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Citing demonetisation, registration dept. official offers to pay fine in instalments

The Hindu: Chennai: Wednesday, June 07, 2017.
A senior official of the Registration Department, who was directed to pay ₹25,000 as penalty by the Tamil Nadu Information Commission for suppressing and denying information to a petitioner under the RTI Act around the demonetisation period last year, was granted permission to pay the same in 10 equitable instalments. This was after she claimed she did not have the money due to the withdrawal of the ₹500 and ₹1,000 currency notes. This curious case came to light recently when the Registration Department wrote to the Tamil Nadu Information Commission (TNIC) saying it had granted the official’s request.
In August last year, the TNIC had penalised the then Sub-Registrar of Ambattur, Chennai, as she had allowed the registration of a property after receiving a letter from an advocate specifically mentioning a court order restraining the registering authority from doing so. She claimed that the court order copy was not attached by the lawyer.She also claimed that she did not receive some of the petitions filed under the RTI Act whereas the tapal receipt register had entries contradicting her stand. The commission imposed a ₹25,000 fine on her. She is now serving as District Registrar.
Soon after receiving the Commission’s order, the official wrote to her superiors that she was unable to remit the fine amount due to demonetisation.
She then sought permission to pay the penalty in 10 equated monthly instalments.
Disciplinary action
In May this year, Registration Department authorities wrote to the TNIC intimating that her request was being accepted. Meanwhile, the TNIC also directed the Inspector-General of Registration to initiate disciplinary action against her.