RTI Judgement Series: Head clerk of MCD kept investigation orders in a cupboard for over a year
Moneylife Digital Team 15 February 2013

One head clerk, Shishram from the MCD kept the CVO’s order in a cupboard for over a year. Whether keeping the file in the cupboard was a deliberate act or inadvertent, asked the CIC. This is the 41st in a series of important judgements given by former Central Information Commissioner Shailesh Gandhi that can be used or quoted in an RTI application

The Central Information Commission (CIC), while allowing an appeal, asked the Chief Vigilance Officer (CVO) and Public Information Officer (PIO) of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) to give a report outlining reasons and persons responsible for not carrying out his orders of an investigation.

 

While giving this important judgement on 13 April 2009, Shailesh Gandhi, former Central Information Commissioner, said, “It is a matter of distress that though the Chief Vigilance Officer clearly indicates that the investigation does not need more than a month, he is unable to exercise any control over the process to ensure that his order is implemented.”

 

Delhi resident Dr Soobrata Roy sought information from MCD about his letter submitted to the CVO and a reported scam in medicine purchases in Hindu Rao Hospital. He sought the following information...

 

S. No

Information Sought

PIO’s reply

1.

In the above said letter CVO had ordered to “conduct fresh enquiry and report in one month time

(a) Was the above order followed by its letter & spirit by the subordinate officers & staff?

(i) If yes, Give me the details of certified copies of all documents, letters, and files with file notings related to the above enquiry and its report.

(ii)  If no, what action was taken or is being taken in this matter and give me the date on which the investigating team was formed?

 

(iii) Are the investigating officers working under threat of persecution from the well-wishers of those scamsters?

 

 

(iv) Are the officers being pressurized to go slow on the matter?  If no, Why are they so scared enough, to risk defying the CVO’s order?  Please give details.

 

 

This is a possibility because the highly corrupt people in MCD rules the roost & are highly rewarded with promotions & lucrative postings, any opposition to their activities leads to transfers & suspensions, as has been in our case.

 

 

 

 

Yes.

 

 

Records have been obtained and investigation is under process.

 

 

 

The investigation is going on.  Statements of officials are being recorded and record has been called for.  No team was formed.

 

The complaint in question remained unattended in the almirah of the official who retired from Mpl. Services to whom the complaint was assigned to investigate.

 

No, the investigation in question is time consuming.

 

 

2.

CAG in its report in 2007 had pointed out the similar irregularities in Hindu Rao Hospital and matter was highly publicized in both the visual & print media during the period from 25.04.2007 to 01.05.2007.  Press or Newspaper cuttings must have been produced before the senior officers.

(a) Please give me the certified copies of all the above press/newspaper cutting related to CAG reports indicating irregularities in Hindu Rao Hospital, placed before the senior most officers of MCD during the period from 25.04.2007 to 01.05.2007.

(b) With details of their movement, and action taken on them at each level on a day to day basis till date.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As per record, there is no such     information available in file

 

Not satisfied with the PIO’s reply, Dr Roy filed his first appeal before the First Appellate Authority (FAA). On 24 October 2009, the FAA ordered that “The reply given by the PIO/Vigilance is found in accordance with provisions of RTI (Right to Information) Act.  However, in the interest of justice, the PIO/Vigilance is directed to issue necessary direction to ADOV-II to complete the investigation into the matter in a time bound manner preferably within one month”.

 

After failing to get any response on the investigation report, Dr Roy then approached the CIC with his second appeal.

 

During a hearing, Mr Gandhi, the CIC, noted that Dr Roy had been asking about a reported scam in medicine purchases in Hindu Rao Hospital. “The scandalous state of affairs was that though Pradeep Srivastava, the Chief Vigilance officer, in April 2007 had ordered to conduct the enquiry in one month, no action was taken until April 2008 since it is claimed that one head clerk, Shishram kept the CVO’s order in a cupboard. It is a matter of conjecture whether this file being in the cupboard was a deliberate act or inadvertent,” the Commission observed.

 

After Dr Roy filed an RTI application and the matter was reported to Srivastava as FAA, the order for investigation within a month was re-issued. But there was no action.

 

Mr Gandhi then asked Srivastava, the CVO to ensure that the investigation report is completed and to enquire why his orders are flouted repeatedly. “The CVO will give a copy of the investigation report in the Hindu Rao medicine purchases. He will also give a report outlining reasons and persons responsible for not carrying out his orders. These will be given to the appellant and the Commission before 15 May 2009,” the Commission said in its order.
 

CENTRAL INFORMATION COMMISSION

 

Decision No. CIC /SG/A/2009/000154/2720

https://ciconline.nic.in/cic_decisions/SG-13042009-27.pdf

Appeal No. CIC/ SG/A/2009/000154

 

                                                                  

Appellant                                            : Dr Soobrata Roy,

                                                            New Delhi-110054

                                                         

Respondent                                                 : Pradeep Srivastava

                                                            Chief Vigilance Officer & PIO

                                                            Municipal Corporation of Delhi

                                                            16- Rajpur Road, Delhi-110054

Comments
MK Gupta
9 years ago
Govt. offices are run by clerks and Head Clerks who collect for the top echelon and hence, unless one approaches them and pays the steep fees demanded by them, not a paper can move. Higher officers eat from their hands and so they have no moral courage or authority to exercise their power otherwise their shares will not reaxch them. Moreover, these clerks, inspectors and lower ;level officers are permanent employees of MCD and serve the zonal councillors alone. There is no respite from the corrupt bureaucracy in India.
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