Monday, 18 August 2014

Maharastra Bureaucrats overstay in Govt accomodation, Rental dues still unpaid.

The Bureaucrats when in govt service are provided with accommodation in flats which are mainly in valuable and strategic locations, are supposed to vacate these flats when retiring or transferred to other places. Those who don't vacate the flats on time are supposed to pay rents for the period of overstay as per rules. In a reply to a query filed by RTI Activist Anil Galgali by the PWD dept, it has informed that just 11 top ranking bureaucrats of the state owe the govt Rs 44,66,391 as Rents for the overstay in flats provided to them during their service. These top ranking officers include IPS officer Y P Singh, Dilip Jadhav, P K Jain, V M Lal, K L Bishnoi amongst other officials.

RTI Activist Anil Galgali had filed a query dt 23/12/2013 to the Maharashtra Govt seeking information about Rental outstanding dues of Govt officers. In a reply to the query the PWD Dept's City Zone gave a list of 18 govt officials, out of which 14 officals only owed Rs 54,91,135. After continues perusal and follow up Dr P S Pasricha paid up his dues of Rs 5,28,672. Also Addl. Police Commissioner S K Jaiswal had accumulated dues due to not vacating the flat after being transferred of Rs 45,235/= also paid up his dues later. Senior Officer G S Gill vacated his flat almost one year after retirement also paid up Rs 1,47,544/= as rent for overstay later.

Recently, the issue of Ex Police Commissioner & now BJP MP Dr Satyapal Singh's continued occupation and non payment of rent of Govt flat at Bandra was in highlight. Similarly K L Bishnoi who owed Rs. 6,93,451 to the govt paid Rs 50,000/=. Rs 6,43,451 is still pending as dues. Shri Venkatesh Bhat made a payment of Rs 1,00,653 and still has to pay Rs 4,88,071 as rent dues. A B Raikar has paid Rs 1,52,640 out of Rs 4,11,624 outstanding dues. He still has to pay Rs 2,58,984/=. Likewise Y P Singh (Rs 8,01,448/=), Dilip Jadhav (Rs 6,40,585/=), P K Jain (Rs 5,59,624), V M Lal (Rs 3,08,972/=), K B Katke (Rs 2,36,653/=), Prakash D Pawar (Rs 2,07,982/=), Prakash Wani (Rs 1,97,756/=), B J Tarale (Rs 1,22,865/=) are still outstanding. Many of these officers have since retired and also many have written letters to the govt seeking vaiwer of these outstandings.

RTI Activist Anil Galgali has written letters to the Chief Minister, Chief Secretary, Principal Secretaries of the PWD & GAD dept's and demanded the recovery of the dues from these officials. He further demanded that, if these officials do not pay, the due amount be recovered from the salaries, pension of these officers. Also if the official has since retired the properties of such errant officials be attached by the Collector to recover the outstanding dues. He further stated that such officers who portray themselves as goodness personified and talk of ethics are themselves acting unethically and tarnishing their own cultivated images.

Monday, 11 August 2014

Declaration of Assets of Gujrat's Ministers not in 'Larger' public interest

After comming to power in the centre PM Narendra Modi had directed all the Central Ministers to declare their Assets & Liabilities statement immediately on assuming charge, simultaneously he directed all the Bureaucrats also to file such a statement declaring the family's assets including their spouses. But the same rule does not apply to his home state, where he governed as CM for more than 12 years. Anil Galgali seeking information of the same is denied stating that it is not in 'Larger Public Interest'.

Munbai based RTI Activist Anil Galgali had filed a RTI query seeking information about the status of filing of declaration of Assets and Liabilities by the CM and his Council of Ministers in the past 5 years. Also he sought to know about action taken, by the CM on persons who have failed to file his/her declaration of assets and liabilities in the past 5 years. In a reply to the query, Shri P V Patel, Under Secretary (Cabinet) & Public Information Officer of the Gujarat Govt stated that, "the information sought cannot be furnished since information available to a person in this fiduciary relationship and the information sought is personal information." He further quoted section 8(1)(e) & Section 8(1)(j) of RTI Act 2005 for denial of information, further commenting that the disclosure would cause unwanted invasion of privacy of the individual as reason for rejecting information.

Mr Patel further declared the query as a similar case with SLP No 27734 of 2012 in Hon'ble Supreme Court of Applicant Girish Ramchandra Deshpande v/s A B Lute, Sub Regional Provident Fund, Akola, wherein the Hon'ble Supreme court judged on 3rd Oct, 2012 that information regarding static and movable assets are personal and falls under section 8(1)(e) & Section 8(1)(j) of RTI Act 2005.

Anil Galgali has filed a appeal with Mr B J Brahmabhatt, Appelleate Officer & Dy Secretary (Cabinet), GAD, Govt of Gujarat against the reply, stating the the Union Home Ministry has made it mandatory for the Central & State Govt Ministers to file their Assets & Liabilities statement every year by July 31st. Hence the reasons for refusing the information is ridiculous. Galgali further stated that the information is mandotary to be made online under Section 4(1) of RTI Act 2005, which has not been done, and as such warranted the filing of the query for seeking information.

Galgali has questioned that, PM Narendra Modi is directing his Central Ministers, Bureaucrats & all state govt's to implement the declaration of assets, but will he direct Gujarat to implement the RTI Act 2005 in toto.

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

In Maharashtra 172 Paid News cases received but only One declared as Paid News in Recent LS

During Loksabha Election Election Commissioner H S Brahma called Maharashtra the "capital of paid news". But that time everyone protest his views. But in actuality, Recent LS Election , 172 Paid News complaints received by Election Commission in which only One declared as a Paid News. Its reveled by a query ask by RTI Activists Anil Galgali.

Maharashtra former Chief Minister Ashok Chavan Paid News issue till in process and recently Delhi High Court give some Relief to him. RTI Activists Anil Galgali ask to Chief Electrol Officer of Maharashtra State that last 3 Loksabha Election how much Paid News complaints received and what is the status of same. How many MP are disqualified after confirmed there Paid News Complaints. Mr Shirish Mohod, Under Secretary of Chief Electrol Office transfer Anil Galgali plea to all District Collector & Election Officer under the section 6(3) of RTI Act 2005. Mr Mohod only give figures of recent Loksabha Election to Galgali.

Recently loksabha Election there are 172 suspected Paid News complaints/Cases referred State Model of Condut District level Media Certification & Monitoring Committee (MCMC) by State MCMC. 172 cases decided by District MCMC as suspected case of Paid News and recommended for notice to Candidate. 103 cases out of 172 cases/complaint not found to be Paid News. In 83 cases in which Notices issued by Returning Officer to Candidate. Out of 83 only 2 cases which Candidate accepted to have spent the amount and showed it in their accounts. 41 cases in whicg candidate  did not reply to notice within stipulated time. 40 cases in which candidate refuse to accept and gave explanation. 40 cases decided by District MCMC as paid news after considering explanation/ reply to notice. Only 2 cases decided by District MCMC as paid news ( after considering arguments/reply to notice/ or after reply not received). Appeal filed by 2 Candidate to State MCMC of final decision of District MCMC within stipulated time. Now only one case decided by State MCMC as Paid News.

RTI Activists Anil Galgali say that unfortunately only half percent Paid News decided by State MCMC though there is so many loofolls at Returning Officer and District level MCMC when scrutiny done. Galgali also surprise and ask question to Election Commission and State Government that why they till not online this so important information. If this information made  public with all received complaints, candidate  reply and MCMC decision then in future all party's candidate avoid Paid News pattern to become Sad News in there career.