3 PPS officers draw state info panel’s ire for defying orders

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Chandigarh, Three PPS officers are in the dock for disobeying orders of the Punjab Information Commission.
The officers are Harjit Singh Pannu, SSP, Moga; Mukhwinder Singh Bhullar, SSP, Mansa; and Charanjit Sharma, posted at the Punjab Police headquarters in Chandigarh. Questioning their conduct, the Commission today shot off a letter to the Additional Chief Secretary-cum-Principal Secretary, Home Affairs and Justice, Jagpal Singh Sandhu, to take corrective steps to make these officers respect law.
Bhullar and Sharma were also posted as SSP, Moga, during the period when an application filed by complainant HS Hundal, an advocate, was not dealt with properly. He had sought information regarding the procedure followed by the police during investigations. His plea remained pending for 11 months before he filed a complaint.
Chander Parkash, Information Commissioner, said: “Despite being issued show-cause notices, the officers did not bother to reply to the Commission. They failed to justify their decision to deny the information.”
Pannu instead of replying to the RTI query, deputed a DSP-level officer (who was not Public Information Officer) to speak on his behalf despite the fact that the SSP was bound to give a reply in the capacity of PIO.
On the last date of hearing on June 14, the Commission had issued show-cause notices to Bhullar and Sharma under Section 20 (1) of the RTI Act.
Gopal Chand, DSP (HQ), who appeared on behalf of PIO-cum-SSP, Moga, informed the commission that the information could not be supplied to the applicant as per provisions of sub-section 4 of Section 24 and Section 8 (1) of the RTI Act.
Meanwhile, the Information Commission has also asked DGP Suresh Arora to take necessary steps to ensure that the officers file their replies with the Commission as the conduct shown by the officers in this case is likely to harm the image of the Punjab Police.

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