Saturday, July 29, 2017

Retired Punjab teacher barred from filing RTIs to harass former boss

The Statesman: Chandigarh: Saturday, July 29, 2017.
The State Information Commission, Punjab has barred a retired teacher from seeking information from education department under the Right to Information (RTI) Act after finding him guilty of using RTI applications to harass his former boss.
Disclosing this, an official spokesperson of the  Commission said that while listening to the cases filed by a resident of Ropar, Jaspreet Singh, it was observed that the appellant (Singh), has worked as a lecturer Punjabi(now retired) in Government Girls Senior Secondary School, Ropar, under Manjit Kaur, principal of the school.
"He has some personal grouse against her (Kaur). He knows well that Kaur, principal is a cancer patient and with a sole purpose to harass her, he has adopted the channel of RTI and has submitted or is submitting  umpteen RTI applications to the principal," the spokesperson said.
He said through these RTI applications, Singh mostly seeks vague  and unspecific information relating to the principal or her school like  copies of time tables of the school, time tables of teachers, attendance registers of the students and teachers, copies of letters issued by the government, copies of results and amount of medical reimbursement claimed by him, etc. 
In view of the above, the Commission found the appellant "to be cantankerous and a continuous trouble maker for the public authority and the commission".
The commission while pronouncing its decision cited the judgement of Supreme Court and Delhi High Court with regard to the misuse of the RTI Act.
Pronouncing the judgment, the Chief Information Commissioner Punjab  SS Channy said such blatant misuse of RTI Act should not be allowed further and such a situation needs to be appropriately dealt with to secure faith of the public in this ‘Sun Shine Act’ and remove obstacles in the functioning of public authorities.
The appellant’s act of running riot with filing repeated applications seeking inane and voluminous information has become counter-productive to public interest, which cannot be allowed, the Commission said while debarring Singh from seeking information from the school principal and public authorities of education department.