Transport dept protected Malhotra The transport department of Delhi Government worked overtime to protect Ashok Malhotra, the Vidhan Sabha canteen contractor now on the run from the clutches of the CBI. It not only allotted VIP numbers for his fleet of luxury cars but also protected him when information was sought on the registered owner of the cars The Pioneer has, in its possession, a copy of the application filed with the Delhi State Transport Department in April this year under the Right to Information (RTI) Act.
The queries included the name of the owner, details of registration, proof of residence and also a copy of recommendation letter/certificate from MP/MLA/Government official. But in a letter signed by the Joint Commissioner (Transport) Virender Kumar, the transport department refused to divulge any information.
They took refuge in the technicality that "the information asked by the applicant is about individuals others than the applicant and hence related to Third Party as defined under Section 2(n) of the Act".
Another argument on which the information was denied was that under Section 8 (j) of the RTI, "information which relates to personal information the disclosure of which has no relationship to any public activity or interest, or which could cause unwarranted invasion of the privacy of the individual" cannot be revealed.
The transport department also noted "the appellant has not indicated the bonafide public interest in seeking the information, which is personal in nature."
However, the application was made in public interest as allotment of VIP numbers is done with the recommendation of MP/MLA or senior Government officials. Secondly, how were so many VIP numbers were allotted to a single individual without the knowledge of the transport Minister whose signature is required for approval of these numbers?
That senior politicians and bureaucrats are involved in this case is indicated in the brazen manner in which Malhotra parked all the luxury cars in front of his house without any fear behind Batra Cinema in Mukherjee Nagar. The Pioneer > Home