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AIC registers case against State Home Department for RTI Act violation

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  3 May 2016 12:00 AM GMT

From our Correspondent

MANGALDAI, May 2: The government has introduced the RTI Act 2005 to bring transparency and check corruption in governce but due to a section of corrupt bureaucrats and officials, the very purpose of the Act is often stated to be threatened. Not to talk about the officials of any other State Government departments, it is the most sensitive Home department which has been entrusted with the responsibility of looking after the law-and-order situation in the State that has been found to be ignoring repeated petitions under the Act since 2013, thereby violating the provisions of the Act. But thanks to the Assam Information Commission (AIC) which has taken up the matter very seriously and served notice to the Home Department seeking explation as to why pelty u/s 20 (1) of the RTI Act should not be imposed after registering a case on the basis a complaint petition by the RTI applicant senior jourlist Mayukh Goswami of Ward No-1 here.

The Commission by its letter (No. SIC/ KP(M) 200/2013 /11 Dtd. 19th March, 2016) addressed to the SPIO of Home Department not only asked him to submit explation but also directed him to appear before the Commission for necessary hearing. However, as the hearing on April 5 could not be completed due to the absence of officials concerned of the respondent Home Department, the Commission by its order (No. SIC.KP (M).200/2013/15 dtd. 20th April ) has fixed May 4 as the next date of hearing. However, a written submission on April 4 received by the Commission from B Pegu, Joint Secretary of Government of Assam and SPIO of Home department has stated that the SPIO sought assistance from the Joint Secretary, Home (A) Department vide letter dated January 22, 2013 followed by three reminders without any effect. The Commission observed it as a case of serious negligence and lapse on the part of the Home Department.

The applicant Mayukh Goswami, under the provision of the RTI Act, on January 11, 2013 filed a petition before the PIO, Home Department, Government of Assam, seeking information regarding the promotion of police officers in Assam Police to the rank of Deputy Superintendent of Police, Additiol Superintendent of Police and Superintendent of Police in the year 2012 and if any case of crimil ture was pending against any of the said senior police officials enjoying promotiol benefits.

Unfortutely the Home Department allegedly denied information even after first appeal before the first appellate authority of the department on February 25, 2013 which led to the applicant to raise complaint before AIC on April 19, 2013. In the meantime the applicant received three copies of letters from MC Deka, Deputy Secretary, Home Department respectively with memo nos. HMA.59/2013/2 Dtd. 22/1/2013 , HMA.59 / 2013 /5 Dtd. 15-3-2013 and HMA.59 / 2013 / 7 Dtd. 22/3/2013 which were addressed to Joint Secretary of the department, MP Sharma twice and Joint Secretary S Shah once.

Meanwhile, according to the information received from the Director General of Police, Assam, as many as 87 officers have been promoted from the rank of Inspector to Superintendent of Police, including 52 from Inspectors to Deputy Superintendent of Police, 26 to Additiol Superintendent of Police and other 9 to the rank of Superintendent of Police or Commandants. Significantly, some of the senior law enforcers are enjoying official benefits even though cases of crimil ture are allegedly pending against them.

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