As reported by Nitin Mahajan on indianexpress.com on 12 March 2008:
IndianExpress.com :: Cong leader sacked for filing too many RTI pleas
Cong leader sacked for filing too many RTI pleas
Despite the Congress high command harping that the Right to Information Act, “one of the biggest achievements of the Central Government”, should be promoted by all Pradesh Congress Committees, a party leader in Chhattisgarh has been sacked for filing too many RTI applications against various Government departments.
Congress sources revealed that Pradesh Congress Committee chief Charan Das Mahant has ordered the suspension of a Durg district office-bearer for “over utilisation of the RTI Act”, alleging that it was being used as a tool for blackmailing. The directive issued by Durg District Congress Committee chief Dhanaram Sahu states that, “Rakesh Mishra was being relieved of all responsibilities as member of its Urban Bodies Cell with immediate effect. The step is being taken as the several complaints of corruption received by the PCC have been found to be true.”
Speaking to The Indian Express, PCC chief Charan Das Mahant confirmed that Mishra had been relieved of his present charge. "We have found that Mishra had been blackmailing people by filing RTI applications,” Mahant said. However, refuting the allegations, Mishra said he was not even given a chance to explain his case. “The move to remove me has been taken under pressure from a few Congress leaders close to PCC chief Charan Das Mahant whose interests are being affected by my RTI applications,” he claimed. There seems to have been some pressure from the BJP Government too, as Mishra has so far filed over 100 RTI applications, with over 50 of them with various departments.
Mishra said several of his applications were targeted against the land mafia. He claimed to have exposed several major irregularities in the Bhilai Municipal Corporation in his two-year-long tryst with RTI. “I unearthed a scam of over Rs 4 crore in the Building Permission Department where several builders were being charged less than the requisite development charge,” he added.
Interestingly, he said that Mahant has himself called a press conference after he unearthed a water transportation scam. “The documents secured through RTI from the Regional Transport Officer had revealed that instead of tankers other vehicles like cars, jeeps and scooters were used to transport water to the Bhilai Municipal Corporation,” he claimed, adding that as per the records, one of these vehicle numbers belonged to the Bhilai Steel Plant MD.
“Though I am being stopped by the state unit, going against the mandate of our national leadership, I will continue my fight against corruption and use RTI for the benefit of people,” Mishra added.
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