Karnataka Town Planning Officer Fined Rs 25,000 for Not Properly Responding to an RTI Query

The fine was imposed on grounds of dereliction of duty and not sharing information under the RTI Act.

Shankar Patil, the chairman of the State Information Commission, Karnataka, has slapped a penalty of Rs 25,000 on VN Karekar, the town planning officer in Belagavi Urban Development Authority (Buda), for not sharing information under the Right to Information Act (RTI) for three years.

VN Karekar, who is presently serving at Hubballi Dharawad Urban Development Authority was imposed with the fine on grounds of negligence and wrong intention.

Justice Patil, at a public hearing observed that even after three long years, the officer had not shared the information, indicating dereliction of duty and an intention of not making the information public.

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According to The Logical Indian, Shankar Patil had called a meeting of the heads of departments to declare necessary information about schemes, programmes, projects and works along with budgetary allocations on the websites of the respective departments. This would help in bringing down the number of applications seeking information under the RTI Act, 2005, he felt.

The penalty was imposed as Advocate Nagappa Sogalad was not provided relevant information about the eligibility criteria of the appointment of members for Buda.

The officer has been asked to pay the fine within 10 days.

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