Three public information officers in Vasai have been penalized for denying information under the RTI Act. The action was taken by state information commissioner K L Bishnoi, who heard two applicants who were not provided with details sought under the accountability law.
Nandkumar Mahajan, from Umela-Naigaon, had on January 18, 2017 sought information regarding changes made on his farmland. Resident tehsildars of Vasai Pradip Mukhne and Harishchandra Jadhav, who are public information officers, refused to reply to his query.
A notice to share information was issued by RTI officials to Mukhne and Jadhav on November 8, 2019, to no avail. Bishnoi, in his order, said that denying and delaying information was a direct violation under section 7(1) of the RTI Act. Both Mukhne and Jadhav were penalized with a fine of Rs 25,000 each. The amount will be deducted from their salary in five instalments.
In the other case, MSEDCL engineer Ishwar Bharti was fined Rs 10,000 for refusing to give information sought by applicant S R Khan about an electronic power meter in June 2018. The fine will be deducted from Bharti’s salary in two instalments.
Under the RTI Act, any information officer who denies or provides wrong and misleading information can be penalized by the information commissioner.