गुरुवार, 2 सितंबर 2010

CR derails RTI Act, gives wrong information

NAGPUR: The RTI Act was enacted to promote transparency and accountability in public offices, but the personnel department of Central Railway at Nagpur does not thinkso. In two separate RTI applications, the Public Information Officer (PIO) denied information while in another case, false information was furnished.

An applicant on July 26 had sought information pertaining to a woman employee Henrita Shobhanadry, a head clerk in personnel branch. Henrita had travelled to Mumbai on June 17 by 2106 Vidarbha Express on a first class pass (E525346) for official work availing emergency quota and returned on June 18.

Henrita was allowed to do so despite being ineligible for first class pass. She had been to Mumbai to bring a letter from headquarters in the case of Shiv Prasad Ramesh Prasad, a weighment clerk and hand it over to the IRCTC.

The applicant sought to know whether the employee was eligible for first class pass. But, the SrDPO and PIO BM Shikare denied information stating that as information in material form was not asked, it could not be provided. Of the four questions asked, this was the only query that was not answered.

"It seems the spirit of RTI Act has not been properly understood by the railways and information has been denied just to save another official who had issued the pass to Henrita. Under such circumstances, how can transparency be expected in the railways," alleged the applicant.

Shikare was not available for comments. CR PRO YK Singh said that the woman employee was not entitled for a first class pass.

In the second case, divisional personnel officer (DPO) and assistant PIO ND Gangurde furnished misleading information to the same applicant in another matter. The applicant had sought information pertaining to major penalty chargesheet pending beyond one, two and three years.

In two cases, Gangurde provided wrong information. In a case pending against an employee with the medical department, he mentioned that the said inquiry was being conducted by IK Kamble, assistant nursing officer (ANO), Nagpur. But, Kamble retired in February 2010. The information was given on July 29.

In the second case relating to a pharmacist with the medical department, the APIO stated that the probe was pending with SrDMO Dr Veera Nagarkar. Until the date of issuing RTI reply, the file was not handed over to SrDMO.

Earlier, ADRM had delayed information under RTI to aggrieved NS Dhakite, a senior ticket examiner. Dhakite then took the matter to CIC.

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