Town Planning Officer Fined Rs 25,000 For Not Answering To RTI For Three Years
Shankar Patil, Chairman of State Information Commission of Karnataka, has imposed a fine of Rs 25,000 on VN Karekar, the town planning officer in Belagavi Urban Development Authority (BUDA) on the grounds of wrong intentions and negligence under Section 27 of the RTI Act, 2005. VN Karekar is presently posted in Hubballi Dharwad Urban Development Authority in the same position. He is expected to pay the fine within ten days.
Mr Patil had called a meeting of the heads of departments to declare necessary information about schemes, programmes, projects and works along with budgetary allocations on the websites of the respective departments. This would help in bringing down the number of applications seeking information under the RTI Act, 2005, he felt.
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He further added that he had disposed of about 4500 of the 8000 cases which were filed before he assumed the position two years and eight months ago and around 30,000 applications were pending for disposal.
Justice Patil observed that the Designated Information Officer of BUDA had not shared the information even after three years. This, he felt showed mala fide intent and dereliction of duty on VN Karekar’s part for not sharing the information with the public.
Nagappa Sogalad, an advocate, had sought information on the eligibility criteria for appointment of members for BUDA. The officer had not responded to the query for the past three years. The State Commission had also instructed BUDA to provide information by the Act in 2014.
The Logical Indian appreciates the ruling of the Chairman and hope that this will deter others from delaying the application processing times.