BMC officials fined for not replying to RTI query

Nov 15, 2017, 18:40 IST | Gaurav Sarkar

Even after repeated attempts to get replies to his RTI queries, Malvani-based Asif Noor Mohammed Shaikh failed to get the required information. The two BMC officials from Malad's P/North ward, who did not bother to respond to his queries, are now in a very tight spot. The chief information commissioner have slapped fines of Rs 25,000 on the two -- Sunil Barambe and Dilip Jadhav -- for not providing the information and for not being present during the appeal hearings.

Asif Shaikh holds up a copy of the chief information commissioner's order

First appeal
Shaikh, who is also the president of an NGO Help for People Foundation, had filed two RTIs for two different cases. The first one was filed on September 26, 2016. "I had asked for information on the Maharashtra Regional and Town Planning Act 1966 notice sent by BMC to Kohinoor Electronics in Malad West in January last year," he said. On October 18, he got a reply saying that the information was available. "I visited the office a couple of times, but the concerned junior engineer postponed the matter every time. On February 22, 2017, I put forward my first appeal. I was called for the hearing, when the first officer said that the information had to be provided to me within a week, but it did not reach me," he added. Thereafter, Shaikh filed the second appeal on April 20, 2017, the hearing for which took place on July 26, 2017. However, the concerned department head and Barambe were not present during the hearing.

No response yet again
The second issue was pretty much like the first one. "I sent the RTI request in August 2016, asking for the requisite papers of a shop that was demolished by BMC. I didn't get a reply in the next couple of months. On February 22, 2017, I put in my first appeal. Thereafter, the first appellate officer directed Jadhav to provide me the information. However, I did not get the papers and I filed the second appeal on April 20, 2017. Neither Jadhav nor the department officer turned up for the hearing," he said.

When contacted, Barambe said, "I'll not be able to say anything in this matter, as I haven't received a written notice yet. Even Jadhav said that he had not got anything in writing.

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