Mumbai: School education department fined for ignoring, misplacing RTI query
A parent had filed the query to know about the Right To Education Act compliance of the school where his son studies, and which charged exorbitant fees
The Maharashtra government's school education department has been fined by the Information Commissioner, not just for ignoring an RTI query filed over 6 months ago, but also for misplacing it. The action has been lauded by parents fighting against the state government's lethargic approach towards schools flouting regulations.
Responding to the second appeal filed by a parent, Prasad Tulaskar, the information commission on July 18 gave the order following two hearings. "Considering the facts and situation in the case, action is taken against the Public Information Officer (PIO) from the school education department of the Maharashtra government. He has to pay a fine of Rs 25,000 which shall be collected from his salary in five instalments," states the order issued by the State Information Commissioner, Mumbai bench.
A complaint about exorbitant fees was made by Tulaskar against the Sane Guruji School in Dadar, where his son studies. He said parents knew it was not following Fee Regulation Act. So he decided to find out about the Right To Education (RTE) compliance of the school.
"After the RTE Act was implemented in the year 2009, every school was expected to acquire form number 2, which certified that it complied with the act. It was found that the school had not acquired the compliance until 2017. Any school delaying this was to be fined with Rs 1 lakh and then Rs 10 for every day delayed," explained Tulaskar, who gave this RTI application in October 2017. When Tulaskar did not get a response, he approached the information commissioner with his first appeal in March 2018 and second appeal in May 2018. Vandana Krishna, chief secretary, school education department, was unavailable for comment.
The fine to be deducted from the salary of the Public Information Officer from the dept
Sign up for all the latest news, top galleries and trending videos from Mid-day.comSubscribe
Mumbai MTNL building fire: 84 people rescued