KPSC ordered to pay compensation for not providing answer script

The Karnataka Public Service Commission (KPSC) has been directed by the Karnataka Information Commission (KIC) to pay a compensation of ₹1 lakh to a candidate of Gazetted Probationers 2015 mains examination, who had been denied copies of the answer scripts with marks awarded, and had been made to “run from pillar to post.”

The appellant Sudhanva Bhandolkar had approached the KIC after being denied the answer scripts by the commission. The order signed by State Information Commissioner K.P. Manjunatha on September 29 said that PIO and Section Officer Shashikala had not provided the information despite the KIC order. The KIC has also slapped a fine of ₹25,000 on the officer.

Showcause notices had been issued as to why ₹25,000 penalty should not be imposed for not providing the information, and also as to why compensation of ₹1 lakh should not be awarded for loss or other detriments suffered by the appellant. “Ms. Shashikala has not appeared before the KIC and also chose to ignore the directions, to submit her explanation for the showcause notices,” the order noted.

The KIC has directed the KPSC to deduct ₹25,000 from the salary payable to her in 5 equal instalments starting from the month of October, 2020 and report compliance.

The KIC noted that the appellant has been made to run from pillar to post for securing information in spite of being entitled to get it within 30 days by virtue of the RTI Act, and the appellant informed that the KPSC had approached the Karnataka High Court against the September 7, 2020, order of KIC. The appellant has also informed that he had to engage a senior counsel for whom he had to pay an exorbitant fees besides undergoing the mental agony.

The KIC also said that the response of the Controller of Examinations, KPSC G.R.J. Divya Prabhu was not acceptable, and observed that lack of responsibility in abiding by the provisions of the RTI Act, and also not obeying the orders of the KIC reflects her utter disrespect to the law. “One more opportunity is provided to the controller of examination to produce original documents during the next hearing,” it said, directing Ms. Shashikala to provide information to the applicant.

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