Freedom Forum welcomes National Information Commission’s decision to punish Principal of a public college for declining Right to Information request in Kathmandu on October 10.

According to the decision made by NIC, Principal of Padma Kanya College Dhana Prasad Pandit will be penalized worth Rs. 15000 for violating the Right to Information law.

The decision reads- NIC had repeatedly ordered the college authority to provide information as requested using RTI on the basis of appeal registered at NIC by information seeker Aditya Dahal but the college chief ignored NIC’s order. Hence, it has decided to penalize Principal Pandit as per the provision mentioned in the Right to Information Act 2007.

Earlier, Aditya Dahal on behalf of Freedom Forum had requested information demanding certified copies of internal and external audit reports of fiscal year 2016/17 and 2018/19 of the college. After the information officer and college’s Principal refused to give information Dahal had registered an appeal against the information officer and Principal at NIC on January 6, 2021.

The decision is expected to be a good lesson to the public authorities who violate constitutionally guaranteed citizen’s right to access to information. NIC’s order and action will certainly contribute towards building informed citizenry in Nepal.