v

Friday, May 23, 2014

ACB again uploads details of the culprits against whom permission for open inquiry has been asked for

After lot of hue and cry over hiding details of the culprits against whom permission for open inquiry has been asked for ,  Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) of Maharashtra has once again uploaded said details  on its website.

After receiving complaints against any public servant for alleged corruption, benami properties, misappropriation of funds etc., ACB first conducts discreet inquiry and if found complaint is true then it goes for open inquiry .For open inquiry ACB has to seek government’s permission. However as the persons involved in such case are always high profile bureaucrats and ministers, government is always reluctant to give such permission. If we look at the list of ministries involved from whom ACB has sought permission, one can easily say that entire ministry of Maharashtra is involved in it. It was alleged that, that’s why ACB had taken lenient stand on disclosing Identities of culprits.


ACB  on its website regularly uploads,  Daily Crime Report & Misconduct cases registered by it, information related to cases pending for permission of Open Enquiry with Govt, information on cases pending for trial in various Special Courts in Maharashtra, Cases decided by various Special Court in Maharashtra etc. However when in last week some news papers reported the matter and status of permission of open inquiry, Initially ACB removed list of persons against whom it had asked for permission of open Inquiry. After inquiry from media persons and others ACB once again uploaded the list but without designations and clear names of culprits, so that their identity should not be revealed easily. When this act of ACB was criticized by all factors of the society it has now once again uploaded the detailed list on its website. You can see the list here.

http://www.loksatta.com/pune-news/bribery-anti-corruption-bureau-pressure-code-word-546646/



Wednesday, May 21, 2014

As entire ministry of Maharashtra involved in corruption, ACB takes lenient stand on disclosing Identities of culprits

It seems that after finding entire ministry of Maharashtra involved in corruption Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) has taken lenient stand on disclosing Identities of culprits. Initially ACB removed list of persons against whom it had asked for permission of open Inquiry. After inquiry from media persons ACB once again uploaded the list but without designations and clear names of culprits, so that their identity should not be revealed easily.


There are several cases pending in mantralay of Maharashtra in which ACB has sought permission for open inquiry. After receiving complaints against any public servant for alleged corruption, benami properties, misappropriation of funds etc., ACB first conducts discreet inquiry and if found complaint is true then it goes for open inquiry and for open inquiry it has to seek government’s permission. However as the persons involved in such case are always high profile bureaucrats and ministers government always reluctant to give such permission. ACB is waiting for permission in several such cases .

If we look at the list of ministries involved from whom ACB has sought permission, one can easily say that entire ministry of Maharashtra is involved in it. It seems that’s why ACB has taken lenient stand on disclosing Identities of culprits. Initially ACB removed list of persons against whom it had asked for permission of open Inquiry. After inquiry from media persons ACB once again uploaded the list but without designations and clear names of culprits, so that their identity should not be revealed easily. This list is available here. And the earlier list is reproduced below. What does it show?

As per rules after complaint is received ACB has to complete entire inquiry in six months, however as the persons involved in such cases are always high profile bureaucrats and ministers government is always reluctant to give such permission. In other words it can be said that that government doesn’t give such permission because it has tacit consent to such acts ,  hence request for permission of inquiry remains ending months together or denied , and culprits pretend as if nothing had happened.







Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Government and Information Commission of Maharashtra misrepresented the facts

Literary geniuses (LG) of Maharashtra mantralay have recently issued a circular about compliance of section 4 of The RTI act. These LG’s are expert in avoiding any issue that is embarrassing to the Government. That means in case of any serous agitation, Fast, rally or media news about anything they promptly issue a well drafted circular to calm the issue temporarily.

In a circular issued On  9th of this month government has mentioned that , The central RTI act came in to force on 12th October 2005 It was necessary for all the public authorities to comply and update information on 17 points in section 4 (1) (b) of this act 120 days before it was introduced. Government has repeatedly issued many orders to public authorities in this matter, however it is observed that many public authorities  have still not complied with section 4 of RTI act, hence again following orders is being issued.                                                                                                                 

The public authorities (PA) that  have not prepared information on 17 points of section 4 (1) (b) of RTI act and published it on website, PA’s that have not appointed CPIO’s ,  PIO’s  and AA’s put their names on board are directed to this on priority. All the administrative departments to follow up of this matter with the PA’s under their control, all the PA’s should update their website. All the PA’s should send compliance report to their concerned departments as per directions in this circular.

There is nothing new in this circular, such types of of circulars are so innocent that whether complied or not it makes no difference. In fact one can say that there is always hidden direction in such circular that they should not be complied with.

Now see this, Social activists and information commission time and again keep complaining to the government about non compliance of RTI act. In first quarter of RTI act noted social activist Anna Hazare met chief minister (CM)  of Maharashtra on this issue .Obviously it is always necessary for CM to show displeasure after Anna’s complaint  on any issue, accordingly CM expressed his ‘serious displeasure” on non compliance of RTI act. Promptly literary genius of mantralay on 5th may 2008 through a fresh circular communicated CM’s “ serious displeasure “ to all the public authorities and asked them about compliance of RTI act. There after nothing happened.

There after something happened and on 24 July 2009 present State information commissioner and then principle secretary to the government on Maharashtra Mrs.T.M. Thekkekara issued a fresh circular on same issue. However this time circular was bit tough (?) one. This time there was threat of mentioning non compliance in Confidential Reports of officers if direction were not complied before 31 august 2009. As usual nobody nobody took cognizance of this circular also.

Interestingly during period of Mrs. Thekkekaras’s and earlier circulars, all the information commissioners who are presently working in information commission of Maharashtra were serving on key posts in the government. However nobody bothered about compliance of any circular. As if they knew that their such behaviour will only make them eligible in future for information commissioner’s post. Accordingly same thing happened,. All these people applied for the post of Information commissioners pretending themselves “ person of eminence” and another High Power committee of persons of eminence headed by CM , deputy CM and leader of opposition agreed with and recommended their names and accordingly governor appointed them as Information commissioners.       
Present information commission has several times  has warned of serious action against all the public authorities for non compliance of RTI act, however till today non of them has taken it seriously, because public authorities know that all the present commissioners were their former bosses and equally responsible for  non compliance of the act, hence they didn’t take cognisance of any warning.


Through 9th may circular  government has confessed that even in ninth year of RTI act  many public authorities have not complied with section 4, have not appointed CPIO, PIO and AA’s , even then since last many year government claims that 95% of the applicants get the desired information. Information commission is echoing the same thing. However in absence of adequate CPIO’s, PIO’s and AA’s how it is possible that 95% applicants got the information? .That means government and commission both misrepresented the facts and hence they have to clarify on it or apologize to the citizens of Maharashtra.