PUNE: In what could be said to be a mockery of the Right to Information (RTI) Act, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) on Friday issued 224-pages of 'irrelevant information' to an applicant, including a copy of a court petition filed by the applicant himself!
RTI activist Vijay Kumbhar, who was the recipient, has demanded that
Municipal Commissioner Pravinsinh Pardeshi impart training to the municipal information officers about the procedure laid down for providing information to RTI applicants.
The case goes like this. In 2001, Kumbhar had filed a petition in the Bombay high court challenging PMC's decision to appoint Shivshakti Pratishthan, an organisation patronised by Congress corporator Aba Bagul, to manage the municipal sports complex in Sahakarnagar.
In 2003, the HC upheld Kumbhar's argument that the pratishthan was awarded the said job without calling tenders. The HC directed the PMC to quash its contract with the pratishthan and take possession of the said sports complex.
On September 30, 2007, Kumbhar filed an application under the RTI Act, seeking to know the names of officers entrusted with the job of taking possession of the complex and a copy of the panchnama carried out during the possession.
In September, the media had reported theft of computers and other equipment from the sports complex. Kumbhar wanted a list of the things stolen and sought to know what action was initiated by the PMC against the security staff and the date on which the police case was lodged.
Kumbhar was expecting a one-page answer to his application and a copy of the panchnama . However, he was shocked on Saturday to get 224 pages from the Sahakarnagar ward information officer.
What's more, these 224 pages contained press cuttings about the HC's ruling, two copies of the agreement between the PMC and the Shivshakti Pratishthan and correspondence between Bagul and the PMC. It also included a copy of the petition filed by Kumbhar in the high court and the supporting documents he had attached to it!
"I had not even demanded this information. Why would I demand a copy of my own petition? They have tried to misguide me by not supplying the demanded information," Kumbhar told the PMC's appellate information commissioner Suraj Mandhre on Saturday.
Though Mandhre has promised to provide the information and find out why irrelevant information was given by the Sahakarnagar officer, Kumbhar has issued a letter to Pardeshi stressing the need to impart training to municipal information officers.
So many actions is going irrelevant or declared irrelevant. It is his views of applicant. In RTI every one have to deposit Rs. 10/- on every application. So many indian citizen earning money to sell the Gutka of Rs. 1/- and attending telephone calls in Rs. 1/-. It is vary hard to sell informations on getting some payment. The RTI provided an opportunity to sell the information at minimum cost of Rs. 10/-.