School Education Deptt in dock
Fails to provide info on RTI query within stipulated period
R M BHAT
Srinagar, Dec 12: In blatant violation of rules governing the J & K RTI Act 2009, the School Education Department has provided information to a social activist after expiry of the stipulated period prompting him to file a complaint with the State Information Commission.
Haji Ahsan Ali Gonkhapa from Kargil had filed an application under J&K RTI Act 2009 in the School Education Department at Civil Secretariat on March 25 2010. He had sought information about implementation of Mid- Day Meal scheme in J&K especially Kargil district.
Under provisions of the Act, the School Education Department was supposed to provide the information within a maximum period of 30 days. However, it provided the requisite information after one and a half year. As it was not enough, the Assistant Public Information Officer (APIO) of the SED who is also under secretary of the department has asked the applicant to deposit photocopy charges @ Rs 10 for 72 pages.
“How can an APIO respond to RTI applicant when he is not authorized to do so? The PIO has to make correspondence with the RTI applicants under the provisions of J&K RTI Act 2009. They can’t ask me to pay photocopy charges when the information has not been dispatched within stipulated time of 30 days? Haji Ahsan Ali said.
Pertinently, under J&K RTI Act 2009 after the expiry of thirty days, the information has to be provided free of cost even if photocopy charges amount to lakhs of rupees.
Haji Ahsan Ali has lodged a complaint under section 15 of J&K RTI Act 2009 in the J&K State Information Commission Srinagar. “I have full faith in the Commission. I hope that it will penalize the erring officers of School Education Department who have made unnecessary delays in providing this information which is of public interest,” he added.
Lastupdate on : Mon, 12 Dec 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 12 Dec 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 13 Dec 2011 00:00:00 IST
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