Kolkata, Oct 15 (PTI) The Calcutta High Court on Thursday imposed a cost of Rs 10,000 on the Public Service Commission, West Bengal, observing that its state public information officer (SPIO) has committed gross illegality by not supplying certified copies of answer sheets to an applicant.
Dismissing a petition by the PSC, Justice Abhijit Gangopadhyay directed that the amount of Rs 10,000 be paid to applicant Papri Ganguli within four weeks.
The court further directed that the SPIO shall supply the photocopies of the answer scripts as was requested by Ganguli.
On February 12, 2018, Ganguli filed an application with the SPIO for certified photocopies of her answer scripts for two papers for limited departmental examination of eligible employees of the state government for promotion.
The SPIO, however, replied that photocopies of answer scripts cannot be provided and she can only inspect these.
Aggrieved by this, she moved the appellate authority, which had on April 12, 2019 directed the SPIO of PSC to furnish certified copies of answer scripts to Ganguli.
The PSC had then moved the Calcutta High Court challenging the appellate authority's order.
Passing the order, the court observed that it is not understood how the SPIO of the Public Service Commission can say that photocopies of answer scripts cannot be given to the applicant.
By writing this, the court said, the SPIO has tried to lay down a new law in respect of the RTI application and ignored several judgments of the Supreme Court.
It observed that it is a gross illegality and a dangerous trendsetter.
The said SPIO has acted against the policy of the state of transparency, the court observed and held him guilty for violation of the state policy as well as law.