UP CM secretriat warned of action under RTI Act

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Lucknow, Apr 23 (UNI) A court under the Right to Information (RTI) directed the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister secretariat to make available relevant documents on discretionary funds alloted between 2003-07 by the Chief Minister office till May 22 next or face action under section 20 of the RTI Act.

Giving the order early this month, state Information Commissioner Ashok Kumar Gupta, on a petition filed by Congress leader Akhilesh Pratap Singh said he would be forced to enforce section 20 of the RTI Act against the respondent for delay in giving the information.

''Either the respondent give the required reply to the petitioner or bring a stay order from the High Court otherwise penalty would be imposed with effect from April 9, 2008 on the respondent,'' the order said.

Under section 20 of the RTI Act, a fine of Rs 250 per day and a maximum of Rs 25,000 is realised from the respondent, if they try to delay in giving the required information.

On June 12, 2007 Mr Singh submitted a petition under the RTI requesting the list of beneficiaries given financial assistance of more than Rs one lakh from the CM discretionary quota between August 23, 2003 to March 31, 2007.

After much delay on July 19, 2007, the CM office informed the RTI commissioner that they would not be able to provide the list as it was classified information and personal in nature. But when the commissioner rejected its plea, the government side demanded Rs 5,040 from the petitioner for photocopy of 367 pages of the list.

However, during the hearing of the issue on January 18 and February 15 last, the commission rejected all the pleas of the government and gave them time to make available the list within fortnight.

But on the last hearing on April 9, the government made a plea before the commission that they were going before the High Court to bring a stay on the issue.

UNI MB JAS SW AS1729

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