Mandi (May 5): Himachal Pradesh High Court has summoned DC Mandi, SP Mandi, SDM Sarkaghat, BDO Dharampur and five others to file their separate replies to a writ petition alleging inaction in acting on an RTI application, by May 27.
The matter pertains to village Darwar in Sarkaghat sub-division where RTI activist and CPM secretary Bhupender Singh, in order to bring transparency in the working of his home panchayat, had tried to use RTI as a tool to expose the alleged misappropriation of funds. Bhupender claimed to have collected numerous evidence to prove that lots of bungling was going on in his panchayat and brought the facts to the notice of officials concerned numerous times. He claimed to have knocked each and every door, right from BDO, SDM, project Officer, DC Mandi, director, Rural Development and even wrote several times to the chief secretary and the Chief Minster. “But it was the petty politics that crept in every time and kept on shielding the corrupt.” he claimed.
Following this, Mandi RTI Bureau decided to approach the high court and the matter was taken up by Chief Justice Kurien Joseph himself. DC Mandi, SP Mandi, SDM Sarkaghat, BDO Dharampur, director rural development, principal secretary Panchyati Raj, principal secretary home, Darwar panchayt pradahan and the secretary of Gram Panchayat Darwar have been asked to file separate replies to clear their positions.
In the writ it has been alleged that each of these officials had always tried to brush the case aside and not done his done his/her duty properly and thus favoured the wrongdoers. SP Mandi has been summoned because he failed to file the case in court of law. FIR had been lodged in this matter on 28th August and nothing much had been done since then.