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  1. #1
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    Maya pet plan in RTI line of fire

    UTTAR PRADESH and justice (retired) M.A. Khan seem to be fighting over Chief Minister Mayawati's pet Ambedkar Smarak Project in Gomti Nagar. Khan, who is the chief information commissioner (CIC), threatened to hand over the matter to the CBI if the state did not comply with his order to provide information related to the multi-crore project sought by Shailendra Singh, under the Right To Information Act.

    He issued a notice to Cabinet Secretary Shashank Shekhar Singh on Thursday to personally appear before the panel on December 12 to explain why the information was not being provided to the complainant despite the Commission's directives. "LDA's (Lucknow Development Authority) public information officer says the monument being built is akin to the Taj Mahal. Would there be two Taj Mahals now? To which one would the tourists go first, the one at Lucknow or the one at Agra," asked the CIC.

    Chief Secretary P.K. Mishra, who was supposed to appear before the commission on Thursday, moved an application through his counsel A.K. Mishra to seek exemption on the matter. Interestingly, Mishra disassociated himself from the proceedings and said he was merely present to seek exemption for the CS.

    Representing the state, officials of LDA, the nodal agency for the project, handed a reply to the petitioner saying it had the information sought by him. Singh, however, protested before the CIC saying the information was cursory and an attempt to hoodwink the commission.

    By HT
    Friday November 16, 01:04 AM
    Yahoo! India News

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    C J Karira
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    Re: Maya pet plan in RTI line of fire

    Cabinet secretary to explain how public money was spent

    Lucknow, November 15 State chief Information Commissioner (CIC) M A Khan has summoned state Cabinet Secretary Shashank Shekhar Singh to appear in person before the Information Commission court on December 12 and explain the expenditure from public money on the demolition and reconstruction of Ambedkar Memorial.
    Khan was hearing a complaint filed by former Special Task Force (STF) DSP Shailendra Singh, who is now heading a task force constituted by the Congress Party.

    On July 9, Singh had sought information from the Chief Minister’s Office regarding the demolition and reconstruction of Ambedkar Memorial. He had asked for the blue prints of the original project as well as the revised one, along with the costs for both. Singh also wanted to know why the memorial, for which the BSP government had spent Rs 100 crore, was demolished in just three years’ time.

    When he didn’t receive any information for three months, Singh moved the State Information Commission, which on September 28 issued a notice to the government. The government pleaded for more time but seeing no relevant information forthcoming even on the next date, October 30, the CIC summoned the state Chief Secretary, the Principal Secretary to CM, the LDA vice-chairman and the heads of Nirman Nigam and UP Power Corporation Limited to appear before his court on November 15.

    Before exempting UP Chief Secretary P K Mishra today, the CIC said: “The Chief Secretary of Uttar Pradesh does not have any powers as his job profile in the present government is no better than that of a clerk. It is the Cabinet Secretary, who runs the show.”

    “The Chief Secretary is powerless,” he added. Flashing a government order, according to which the Cabinet Secretary will control the secretariat instead of the Chief Secretary, Khan said, “Now the Cabinet Secretary should be made a party in this case and he should be summoned with all the officials and documents concerned.”

    Acting suo motu, Khan also demanded to know on whose specific orders did the Lucknow Development Authority (LDA) demolish and then start reconstruction on the memorial. “Who authorised you to spend public money? Where is the contingency?” he asked. Expressing his dissatisfaction with the replies of LDA officials, Khan reiterated he would eventually have to hand over the matter to the CBI since the LDA was not providing the commission with complete and accurate information. Khan also asked the complainant, Shailendra Singh, to file objections, if he had any, before November 30.

    Cabinet secretary to explain how public money was spent

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