Under what circumstances penalty can be imposed under RTI Act 2005?

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Is there any provision for penalty under the Right to Information Act?

Section 20 deals with Penalties. As per this Section, the Central Information Commission or the State Information Commission, while deciding any complaint or appeal, is of the opinion that the Central Public Information Officer or the State Public Information Officer has, without any reasonable cause, refused to receive an application for information or has not furnished information within the time specified under sub-section (1) of section7 or malafidely denied the request for information or knowingly given incorrect, incomplete or misleading information or destroyed information which was the subject of the request or, obstructed in any manner in furnishing the information, the commission shall impose a penalty of two hundred and fifty rupees each day till application is received or information is furnished, however, the total amount of such penalty shall not exceed twenty-five thousand rupees.

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Before imposing Penalty, the Central Public Information Officer or the State Public Information Officer, shall be given a reasonable opportunity of being heard and the burden of proving that he acted reasonably and diligently shall be on the Central Public Information Officer or the State Public Information Officer.

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Section 20 (2) states that the Central Information Commission or the State Information Commission, while deciding any complaint or appeal is of the opinion that the Central Public Information Officer or the State Public Information Officer, without any reasonable cause and persistently, failed to receive an application for information or has not furnished information within the time specified under sub-section (1) of section 7 or malafidely denied the request for information or knowingly given incorrect, incomplete or misleading information or destroyed information which was the subject of the request or obstructed in any manner in furnishing the information, it shall recommend for disciplinary action against such Central Public Information Officer or the State Public Information Officer, under the service rules applicable to him.

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Adv. Anitha Gutti

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