EWS admissions: CIC fines education dept officer Rs 25000

November 18, 2008: The Indian Express (EXPRESSNewsline)

The Central Information Commission (CIC) has imposed a penalty of Rs 25,000 on a Delhi government education department official, who failed to provide information on the status of admission in public schools to students under the Economically Weaker Sections of Society (EWS) quota.

Information Commissioner Shailesh Gandhi, who was hearing the case of one Prakash Kumar, imposed a penalty of Rs 25,000 (the highest possible under the RTI Act enacted three years ago) on Satinder Kaur, Deputy Director Education, District Southwest A, for not providing information relating to admission in public schools under the EWS quota.

¶People living in slums and villages around Vasant Kunj had applied for admission under the EWS quota to various public schools in Vasant Kunj. It was, however, found that Ryan International School and Vasant Valley School were not following the law and evading admission of these children,¶ said Kumar, an appellant and a social activist.

Kumar filed an RTI application with the Education Department. After the RTI application, Ryan International School started taking in children from the EWS category, said Kumar.

¶Ryan International School gave admission to poor children as per the mandatory rules and procedures. Vasant Valley School, however, neither made the desired information public nor did it give admission to any of the applicants,¶ said Kumar.

Kumar, who had the applications of six parents with him, said they were never called for draw of lots. Kumar then appealed to the first appellate authority (Regional Director of Education, South). ¶But the public information officer (PIO) did not provide the information. I then appealed to the CIC.¶ The CIC also ordered the PIO to supply the desired information but nothing satisfactory was provided.

¶As per the provisions of Section 20 (1), the Commission finds it a fit case for levying penalty on Ms Satinder Kaur. Since the delay in providing the information has been over 100 days, the Commission is passing an order penalising Ms Satinder Kaur Rs 25,000, which is the maximum penalty under the act,¶ Information Commissioner Gandhi said in his order, after a final hearing on the case on Monday.

After the show cause notice from the CIC, Vasant Valley School quoted the High Court order of May 30, 2007 that says, ¶…We make the following interim arrangement commencing from academic session 2008-2009 to last till the matter comes up for reconsideration.¶


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