Shillong, June 11: Meghalaya’s chief information commissioner has slapped a penalty of Rs 3,000 on Martin Luther Christian University (MLCU) here for withholding information sought under RTI Act, 2005.
The fine on the university’s public information officer, S. Maxwell Lyngdoh, was slapped by chief information commissioner C.D. Kynjing after he refused to divulge information sought by Rev. Zambolis Sawkmie.
Lyngdoh was also instructed to furnish all information sought under the Act.
According to Sawkmie, the information sought for pertained to a project entitled A Public Health Medical Laboratory Network with Affordable Services for Meghalaya and Epidemiology Research Cell at an Allied Health Training Institute at Martin Luther Christian University, Shillong, with monitoring by Christan Medical College, Vellore.
Sawkmie said the project was being sought from the department of biotechnology, Government of India, on the recommendation of the state government and it involves more than Rs 20 crore.
“In the order dated June 4, 2012, Kynjing rejected MLCU’s attempts to hide from public scrutiny its multi-crore proposal to access public funds from the Centre to establish a medical laboratory,” Sawkmie said.
Kynjing observed that “the project is meant for the public and they have a right to know whether such project will be suitable and beneficial for the state of Meghalaya”. He also said: “Public have the right to scrutinise the project and make suggestions. If for a number of reasons it is found that the project is not beneficial for the state, there is no question of waste of public money.”