CIC slaps fine on National Library official

National Library

Central Information Commission (CIC) has slapped fine on Central Public Information Officer (CPIO) of the National Library for providing “false and misleading information” to an RTI query on blocking access to websites with sexually explicit contents in the library premises.

The CPIO is responsible for providing information under the RTI Act.

The related RTI query was filed by Kolkata based RTI activist and socio-legal researcher Biswanath Goswami.
“Subsequently, the commission finds that Mr Partha Sarathi Das (then CPIO of National Library) has provided false and misleading information to the appellant vide his response dated 20.09.2016,” stated the CIC in a recent order. The RTI query was filed on August 1, 2016.
The CIC also pointed out in its order that Das was also earlier slapped with a maximum penalty of Rs. 25,000 in two cases and a penalty of Rs.1250 in another case.
“The mistake committed by the CPIO cannot be ignored considering previous penalties imposed on him. Nevertheless, in view of the above, the commission taking a lenient view finds the CPIO liable for not providing the information within the stipulated time-frame,” stated the CIC order. 
Responding to Goswami’s RTI query, Das on September 20, 2016, stated that no such websites were blocked at the library following which the CIC issued show cause notice to Das and directed the current CPIO to provide the required information. The RTI reply dated April 2018 revealed that the National Library authorities have blocked websites displaying 13 kinds of explicit content.
“ It is very unfortunate that someone (former CPIO) is providing false information in an eminent institution like the National Library,” Goswami told DH.

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CIC slaps fine on National Library official


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