New Delhi, Jul 7 : Delhi High Court has sought the Centre’s response on a notary’s plea challenging Central Information Commission’s (CIC) order declaring her to be a deemed Public Information Officer (PIO) and imposing a fine of Rs 25,000 for not furnishing records sought under RTI. Apart from the Centre, Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva also issued notice to the RTI applicant, who had under the Right to Information Act (RTI) sought details of attestations made by the notary from 2008 to 2013, seeking his reply by the next date of hearing on July 13. In the interim, the court extended till the next date the time for payment of the first installment of the penalty and also stayed CIC’s direction to the notary to pay Rs 1000 as compensation to RTI applicant Nand Lal. Also Read: NEET 2016: Supreme Court to hear plea challenging Centre’s ordinance on medical entrance test
The petitioner, Meena Sharma, has alleged that she was not a PIO and the records sought for was destroyed on account of termite infestation. She has challenged CIC’s May 3 order in which the panel had come down heavily on her for claiming that the information sought by Lal has been destroyed due to termite infestation.
The CIC, in its order, had said the notary “cannot take advantage of termite attack to claim innocence and escape liability to disclose information as per RTI Act” and added that her written and oral representations “reflected her negligent record management and carelessness towards access to information”. The commission had also said that her conduct was a “glaring example of poor record maintenance leading to inaccess”.