Officers in the Uttar Pradesh government learnt a hard way for their decision to not provide information under the RTI act.
As many as 12 information officers in various state government departments in Uttar Pradesh have been fined Rs 25,000 each for failing to provide information sought under the RTI Act.
An IANS reports said that the state information commissioner Gajendra Yadav found the 12 officers guilty of not providing information or delaying the process.
Among those fined are the assistant regional transport officer Daroga Singh, district basic shiksha adhikari Dharmendra Saxena, secretary water works VK Gupta, Etmadpur tehsildar Jeet Lal Saini, district inspector of schools Dinesh Yadav, horticulture officer Anita Yadav.
The other officers are from the electricity department, police, municipal corporations and panchayat and block level officers.
The guilty officers have been given 10 days to present their case failing which they will have to pay the fine.
This is not the first time that the officers in UP government have been fined for either the delay or failure to respond to RTI queries.
In 2013, the Chief information commissioner (CIC), Singh Pankaj, had imposed a fine of Rs 10,000 on additional deputy superintendent of police MP Verma for delay in providing information and not complying with the orders of information commission.
Under the RTI Act, the Information Commission can impose a penalty of Rs 250 per day with the total penalty not exceeding Rs 25,000.
However, before a penalty is imposed under s.20(1), an official must be given a reasonably opportunity of being heard. The official is responsible for providing that he/she acted reasonable and diligently.