The Central Information Commission disposed a second appeal filed by a lawyer who, through RTI, sought the details about the tea shop of Damodar Das, the father of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Two years ago, Pawan Parik, an RTI Activist and a lawyer practising in Haryana Courts, had filed an RTI application before CPIO, Western Railway, seeking information on eleven points on the tea shop said to be conducted by PM Modi's father. One question was about the lease period of the tea stall/shop. Pawan wanted to know when was the license/permit for that tea stall/shop issued? He also sought certified copies of the relevant documents in this regard. As he did not receive any reply, he filed first appeal. Claiming that first appeal was not being disposed of by the authority, he approached the Central Information Commission.
The CPIO, Western Railway, in response to this appeal, contended that no RTI application and First Appeal was received by it before 17th June 2020 (when he received it along with second appeal notice). It further submitted that the information sought by the applicant was too old and no record of that period was maintained by the Ahmadabad Division.
Information Commissioner Amita Pandove then disposed the second appeal directing the authority to file an affidavit with the Commission deposing that RTI application and first appeal were not received by him prior to 17.06.2020. It also directed the authority to file another affidavit stating that no record relating to information sought on point nos. 1 to 11 of the RTI application are available with it.
In 2016, the 'RTI Activist' had filed a second appeal before the Commission dissatisfied with response he got from the PMO to his RTI Plea regarding the poll promises made by the Prime Minister of 'depositing Rs. 15 lakh into every citizen's bank account'. That appeal was disposed by the Commission observing that the response by PMO was satisfactory.
In 2014, Pawan sought through RTI an information regarding when the mortal remains of Emperor Prithviraj Chauhan shall be brought to India from Afghanistan and also the copy of the letters/correspondences of the Government of India, Afghanistan in the matter etc.
In 2017, he filed an RTI before the CBI in which he sought information regarding the discharge of Amit Shah in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh encounter case. The commission dismissed his second appeal observing that 'perception' of the applicant about 'human rights violation' is no ground to agitate right to information under the proviso to Section 24(1) of RTI Act. Merely because Appellant is of the opinion that CBI's failure to Appeal against the discharge order of Amit Shah amounts to human rights violation of the kith and kin of Sohrabuddin Sheikh, the proviso to Section 24(1) of RTI Act will not become operative, the Commission had said in that case.
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