The State Information Commission during the hearing of a case has imposed a fine of Rs.25, 000 upon the PIO of the Desh Bhagat University for causing inordinate delay in furnishing information to the applicant under RTI Act.
Disclosing this official spokesperson of the State Information Commission said that applicant Sardavinder Goyal, Advocate sought certain information from the respondent university under RTI, Act in the year 2013. The respondent university didn’t provide the information and an appeal was filed in State Information Commission. During the hearing of the case the respondent has refused to acknowledge itself as a Public Authority within the definition of Section 2(h) (i) of the RTI Act and as such has refused to provide the information to the complainant/appellant. The bench of Mr.Nidharak Singh Brar and Mr.Yashvir Mahajan (Both State Information Commissioners) held that
“A University as per the provisions of UGC Act cannot be created without the Act of the Government. In the instant case we understand that the Legislature of Punjab has passed the Act to create it. More so it has not even been denied by the Respondent also. Therefore, the defence of the respondent is not sustainable. Accordingly, we hold that the respondent has willfully denied the information to the complainant/appellant”
The bench further held that the original application was filed by the complainant/appellant on 20.12.2013/25.02.2014. The delay is beyond 100 days. The Commission thus imposes a penalty of Rs.25,000/- ( Rupees Twenty Five Thousand only ) on Mr. Satish Batra, PIO – cum – H. R. Manager, Desh Bhagat University, Mandi Gobindgarh to be realized @ Rs.5,000/- per month from his salary. The first installment shall begin from the salary of December, 2016. Dr. Barinder Singh, Vice Chancellor, Desh Bhagat University, Mandi Gobindgarh shall ensure that the same is got deducted from his salary and is deposited in the government treasury.