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Can CIC Impose Token Penalty? Delhi HC To Examine

Apoorva Mandhani
22 May 2017 9:44 AM GMT
Can CIC Impose Token Penalty? Delhi HC To Examine
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The High Court of Delhi last week issued notice to the Central Information Commission on a Petition challenging an award of token penalty by the latter.

The Petition, filed by Mr. R.K. Jain, challenged an order passed by the CIC in February this year, wherein the CIC had imposed a token penalty of Rs. 5,000 on the PIO, while refusing to accept the explanation rendered by him for not providing the information within the time limit.

This, Mr. Jain contended, was in violation of Section 20 of the RTI Act, which mandates a penalty of Rs 250/- for each day’s delay subject to a maximum penalty of Rs. 25,000.

Taking note of the submissions, the High Court while issuing the notice to the CIC and PIO, observed, “Learned counsel submits that there is no concept of token penalty. Once the explanation rendered by respondent No.1 is rejected, the CIC was obliged to impose the penalty in terms of Section 20. Issue notice to the respondents, returnable on 22nd September, 2017.”

Read the Order here.

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