Thanjavur: The State Information Commissioner R. Pratap Kumar warned Public Information Officers (PIO) that they would be punished if they do not give information to people who seek information under the Right to Information (RTI) Act within 30 days of receiving the petition.
Speaking at a meeting to create awareness about the act and its provisions and rules to be followed in giving replies, the commissioner said that if giving information is delayed by even one day i.e. if the information is given on 31st day, the officer is liable for punishment.
People should be offered chair and treated courteously when they come to seek information under the Act. “If people are below poverty line, then the PIO should affix the revenue stamp in the petition by himself. That is, government will meet that expense,” Pratap Kumar said.
He regretted that he came to know about instances in which wrong information was given by the officers. People should not be mislead, he said. Some officers replied that they searched for the information sought by the petitioner, but could not get it. Officers giving such reply would also be punished. “PIOs should remember that people come to them seeking information because they are PIOs. High court has confidence on officers for implementing the RTI Act. Officers should not destroy that hope” he said. Mr. A. Annadurai, Thanjavur district collector and N. Sakthivel, district revenue officer were present at the meeting.