Rs. 22 lakh fine imposed on 600 officers'

Rs. 22 lakh fine imposed on 600 officers'

Commissioner of RTI H N Krishna interacting with mediapersons at Deputy Commissioner’s office, in Mysore on Saturday. Deputy Director of Information A R Prakash and Additional Deputy Commissioner Sayeeda Naseem are seen. DH Photo

Interacting with mediapersons here on Saturday, Dr Krishna pointed out that penalty of more than ` 22 lakh has been imposed on 600 officers in 2010, for failing to provide information to RTI applicants.

Mentioning that RTI Commission had conducted video conferencing 18 times in the State, he said that the Department of Urban Development tops the among the State departments that have failed to give information sought by applicants. He said that 17,000 complaints were pending against the Department concerned. It is followed by Revenue Department with 12,000 cases, Home Department with 4,500, Rural Development with 3,600, Commerce and Industries with 3,024, Education with 3,000 and Forest with 2,013 cases. Replying to a query, he said that many officers failed to provide information because government departments failed to maintain records in an orderly fashion.

Pointing out that classification of records was yet to be undertaken in most of the government departments, he said that many of the files are dumped in godowns.
However, he mentioned that the mindset of officials is gradually changing towards providing information to applicants seeking information under the RTI.

Observing that any data that can be given in the floor of the Assembly, should be given to RTI applicants, he said that there was a need to provide improved training to government officials and make it mandatory to maintain the records.