J&K Right to Information Act

If you are in Government service, you are bound to honour facilitating of implementation of Jammu and Kashmir Right to Information Act. If taken lightly or conveniently choose to jump the fixed timeline by which it should be implemented in respect of any case, you could also face penal action including coughing out money in  cash as penalty which could be deducted from your salary.
It is worth noting that the State Information Commission has recently imposed a penalty of Rs. 25000 on a KAS Officer who was found reluctant to implementing the proviso of the RTI Act.  His drawing and disbursing officer has been directed to deduct the amount of fine  from his salary and file compliance report.
The action was caused due to the fact that an RTI complainant applied for some information on June 21, 2016 which was regarding implementation of Integrated Child Development Scheme and his application was transferred to the State Mission Directorate. The KAS Officer over there, who should have taken proper action in the matter and in time , failed to do so. The applicant, thereafter,  had to file an appeal and that also did not yield results. The PIO State Mission Directorate, thus, violated section 7(1) of the J&K Right to Information Act  which lays down that the information has to be provided by the PIO within 30 days from the date of the filing of the RTI application . This fact either was alien to the defaulting officer or he took it just casually and in both the cases , he cannot be deemed to have discharged his duties with sincerity . The disgusting part of the issue is that the erring officer could not put forth any convincing explanation or the reasons which kept him from dispensing with the required information.
Section 17 of the RTI Act clearly lays down a provision of a token fine of Rs.250 each day till application is received or information is furnished. The limit of the fine, however, shall not exceed Rs.25000. It clearly states that the PIO cannot, without a reasonable cause, refuse to receive an application or after receiving the application, if the information is not furnished within the prescribed time limit, that shall constitute violation of the Act and invite imposition of penalty.
We fail to understand that an officer of the level of KAS being , perhaps not acquainted with the provisions of the RTI,  let alone the purpose and the rationale behind enactment of this Act. It is only when the applicant exhausted all his efforts as provided for under the Act that he approached the State Information Commission preferring an appeal. It is only when the Commission intervened, did the applicant receive the information exactly a year after filing of his application, say on June 19, 2017.
The Commission, however, took a serious note of this willful disregard towards the implementation of the RTI Act , sought explanation from two officers and awarded the penalty to the PIO , State Mission Directorate. Taking not a lenient view in respect of the lapses on the part of the officer concerned in not complying with the crux of the Act shall, undoubtedly, set an example for others to take applicants and the information sought seriously so as not to defeat the very purpose of the Act. A responsive administration is what cannot be compromised with in any circumstances. The case, under referenc, has unveiled the non compliance of the provisions of the Transparency Law even after the enactment of the J&K  RTI  Act nine years before and repeated communiqués of the SIC and General Administration Department have not been taken seriously at various levels. Such a scenario cannot be  and should not be put up with in any manner whatsoever.