CIC imposes Rs 25K fine on Delhi’s Bar Council secretary

Delhi's Bar CouncilTaking exception to non compliance of its order to appear before it and failure to provide information under RTI Act, the central information commission has imposed a fine of Rs 25,000 on Delhi’s Bar Council secretary.

Expressing “shock” for non-implementation of the transparency law at Bar Council of Delhi, Chief Information Commissioner Sushma Singh asked the Bar Council of India to look into the matter and submit a report to the commission within one month.

The commission directed the chairman, Bar Council of Delhi to recover the penalty amount Rs 25,000 in five equal monthly instalments from Murari Tiwari, secretary Bar Council of Delhi.

“The amount of Rs 5000 per month may be deducted from the salary of Murari Tiwari and remit the same to the commission by demand draft,” said the commissioner in her order.

The commissioner added that Tiwari is fully responsible for not furnishing information regarding number of cases filed and disposed for professional misconduct against advocates in past 10 years as sought by a RTI applicant Arun Kumar Agarwal, who later filed a complaint before CIC.

Imposing penalty on Tiwari, CIC said that the Secretary failed to respond to its repetitive summon orders and for causing delay and obstruction for more than 10 months, without any reasonable cause.

The commission also took strong exception over the appointment of CPIO at Bar Council of Delhi saying that the CPIO appointed is not an officer but a supervisor, who is not competent to take independent decisions while dealing with RTI applications.

“It is sheer disobedience and disrespect of the statute by this public authority,” CIC said in its order.

It asked the chairman, Bar Council of Delhi to reconsider the appointment of CPIO in line with other such councils including Bar Council of India.

(Source: PTI)