Thursday, August 5, 2010

Fazilka municipal officer to pay Rs 50,000 for failing to provide info in separate cases

Rakhi Jagga, Indian Express,Fazilka, 5 August 2010

Taking strict action on non-compliance of orders, the State Information Commission (SIC) has imposed a fine of Rs 50,000 on Tilak Raj, the executive officer (EO) of the Fazilka Municipal Council.

Raj will also have to shell out a compensation of Rs 9,000 to the complainant in two separate cases. The EO reportedly failed to provide information to one Amarnath, a resident of Ravidas Nagar, Khatika Mohalla regarding how an encroachment in the area was converted into a legal structure. The SIC imposed a fine of Rs 25,000 in the first week of July and a compensation of Rs 5,000 on the officer. Apart from this, the EO did not appear in person before the commission.
Raj, however, seems to have failed to learn a lesson and did not reply to another complaint of Amarnath regarding the regulation of the council constituted for construction of a road in the locality.

It needs to be mentioned that Amarnath had sought information in both the cases more than four months ago and later had approached SIC with the help of RTI activist Deepak Moudgil. State Information Commissioner D S Kahlon on July 24 slapped another fine of Rs 25,000 on Tilak Raj who is now posted in Jalalabad.
Interestingly, on the last hearing on July 24, the new EO appeared before the panel and provided information about a wrong road.
The commission has now given a last chance to the municipal council to give information to the complainant till August 30 or face the music.
Sources said the civic body does not have the relevant data as no resolution was passed for construction of the road and even the record of encroachments is not available.

Kahlon, meanwhile, has sent a copy of the order to the deputy director (local bodies) to deduct Rs 12,500 each from the salary of Tilak Raj for the month of August and September and the receipts should be presented before the commission.
Meanwhile, the earlier Rs 25,000 fine is yet to be deposited by the EO and even Rs 9,000 compensation is pending.

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