LIT officer served 2 notices after he fails to give info under RTI

Commission asks him to 'justify each day's delay'

Sukhvir Singh Jakhar, executive engineer, Ludhiana Improvement Trust, has been served with two show-cause notices by the State Information Commission, Chandigarh, after he failed to provide information under the Right to Information Act in two different cases to a city-based RTI activist.

In the first RTI application filed by Arvind Sharma on April 12 this year, he had sought information on

three points pertaining to the audit report for the year 2010-11 whereby it had come to his knowledge that some construction material, as appearing in the stock register of 1997-98 pertaining to the engineering department, had been issued to the contractor and the junior engineer for the working of the trust.

"I filed an RTI application to know for what purpose the construction material was issued to LIT and where it has been used but LIT failed to give me the information," said Sharma.

After the trust failed to reply within 30 days, Sharma filed the first appeal before the first appellate authority on May 15 and then the second appeal was filed before the commission, received in its office on September 13.

The first appellate authority ordered the LIT to provide requisite information on August 9 but LIT failed to provide it.

On the date of hearing on November 29 in the court of B C Thakur, in which Sukhvir Jakhar was not present and Jaswinder Singh, senior divisional officer came on his behalf, it was ordered that in terms of Section 5(4)(5) of the RTI Act, 2005, Jakhar shall be reckoned as the 'deemed PIO' for the purposes of the present case. He will file a duly sworn affidavit duly attested by an Executive Magistrate, justifying each day's delay in providing the information to the applicant-appellant.

The court also said, "He is hereby issued a show-cause notice as to why a penalty under Section 20(1) of RTI Act @ Rs 250 per day subject to a maximum of Rs 25,000 be not imposed on him till the information is furnished."

... contd.

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