TODAY -

Court directs RD&PR dept to compensate RTI activist
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, February 14 2013: The Gauhati High Court, Imphal Bench has directed the Principal Secretary, Rural Development & Panchayati Raj to pay compensation of Rs 10,000 in compliance with the order of the Chief lnformation Commissioner dated Sept 7, 2011 passed in Appeal Case No 67 of 2009 to Takhellambam Demona Chanu, an RTI applicant, within one month.

According to a statement issued by Human Rights Law Network (Manipur), Takhellambam Demona Chanu before approaching the Gauhati High Court, lmphal Bench had earlier filed an application under the Right to lnformation Act, 2005 to the State Public lnformation Officer for obtaining certain information pertaining to implementation of Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Gurantee Scheme, Manipur at Uchekon Nongpok Gram Panchayat.

However tlre concerned State Public lnformation Officer failed to furnish the requested information within the stipulated time incorporated in the Right to lnformation Act, 2005 .

Subsequently, being dissatisfied with the unbecoming attitude of the State Public lnformation Officer, she again initiated for obtaining the desired information by filing a First Appeal against the ill conduct of the said State Public lnformation Officer to the First Appellate Authority.

Despite such effort, she could not obtain the desired information and with a never give up decorum; she managed to file a Second Appeal before the Manipur lnformation Commission.

Consequently, the Manipur lnformation Commission having relied on the material on record found that she had detriment suffered due to unjustified action of the Public authority i.e.Secretariat Rural Development Department, Government of Manipur and as such the Manipur lnformation Commission in its decision/order dated September 7, 2009 had directed the said Public Authority to pay a compensation of Rs10,000/to Demona Chanu within 15 days from the date of the order, the statement said.

However, the said public Authority further failed to comply with the order of the Manipur lnformation Commission which in turn had impliedly decline to compensate the Appellant.

Thereafter, she filed a Writ Petition being Writ Petition (C) No.649 of 2012 in the Gauhati High Court, lmphal Bench.

Consequently, after hearing the submission of Laimayum Sevananda Sharma, counsel for the Petitioner that the Principal Secretary/Commissioner, Rural Development & Panchayat Raj is duty bound to comply with the direction of the competent authority in the said order passed in Appeal Case No.67 of 2009, which has the force of law, the High Court has directed the Principal Secretary/Commissioner, Rural Development & Panchayati Raj to pay the said compensation amount of Rs 10,000/in compliance with the order of the Chief lnformation Commissioner, Manipur within a period of one month.

It may be mentioned herein that said judgment and order is the first of its kind in Manipur whereby the Hon'ble High court has issued effective direction for compliance of an order for payment of compensation passed by the Manipur lnformation Commission.

The said Writ Petition has been filed with the active initiation of Human Rights Law Network, Manipur Unit, it stated.


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