NAGPUR: Information commissioner (Vidarbha) Vilas Patil, who hears appeals under Right to Information (RTI) Act, is now taking recourse of the same Act to seek information of his own 'service conditions.'
Patil, who also reprimands errant officials for non-compliance, filed an application under RTI himself in the state general administration department recently after the government denied him the details.
Patil told ToI on Tuesday: "As per the central Right to Information Act, salaries and allowances and service conditions of the information commissioner shall be the same that of the chief secretary. I took the oath last December but so far the government has not made my service conditions clear. It has not issued a government resolution. I receive basic salary equivalent to what is paid to the chief secretary. However, I do not know what is my travel allowance, house rent allowance and leave entitlement for this post."
Patil said that he has not received any of these allowances. "I have asked the details in the RTI application regarding the service conditions and allowances given to the chief secretary. I received a vague reply from the government. I received a letter, asking me to check details on the government website,"Patil said. Ironically, Patil has been provided with a computer which does not have Internet connection.
There are other issues too regarding which the information commissioner is upset with the government. "We have a sanctioned staff of 18 but only two are permanent staff. Three clerks and three stenographers are on a deputation. We have also not received sanctioned allocations from government. A decision was taken in last winter session to allocate Rs 13.5 lakh each to Nagpur and Aurangabad information commissioners. However, we have just received Rs 4.5 lakh,"he said.
Over 1,400 appeals were filed before the information commissioner (Nagpur and Amravati) in first three months of year but a vast majority of them remain pending.
Look, who is seeking info under RTI-Nagpur-Cities-The Times of India