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A sum of Rs.44.23 lakh was recovered as penalty from central public information officers in the last four years for failing to provide information under the Right to Information (RTI), the Rajya Sabha was informed Thursday.

“A sum of Rs.2,21,56,363 was collected as fees from RTI applicants by central public authorities over the period from 2007-08 to 2010-11 while over Rs.44 lakh was recovered as penalty,” Minister of State for Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions V. Narayanasamy said in a written reply.

The Central Information Commission may impose a penalty if a public information officer, without any reasonable cause, refuses to accept an application or does not furnish information within specified time or mala fide denies information or gives incorrect, incomplete or misleading information.The minister said that according to the information available with the Central Information Commission, 18,32,181 applications were filed before the central public authorities during 2007-08 to 2010-11.

Out of these, information was supplied in 17,33,620 cases.Information about applications received and disposed of by public authorities of state governments is not centrally maintained, he said.

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