Vadra Bunglow : State Information Commission orders DC to release RTI information.



Mystery of Priyanka Gandhi and Mr. Robert Vadra’s up coming Banglow at Chhrabra in the outskirt of the capital town would is no longer to remain a secret as the State Information Commissioner today decided and ordered district authority that it has to release RTI information about it with in ten days of this decision.

In major embarrassment to Mr. Virbhadra Sngh ruling Congress, Division bench of RTI comprising of Chief information Commissioner Mr. Bhim Sen and Member Mr. K.D. Batish today set-aside Additional District Information Commissioner order that RTI information could not be shared, as Priyanka is SPG protected.

The SIC orders passed here today said that it could not withhold the information sought by RTI activist Mr. Davashish Bhatacharya recently, on security ground, as there is no such provision in the RTI Act cited by magistrate denying information. In his query, Bhattacharya had sought copies of land records for Priyanka’s properties. The records sought by the activist include those on a registration-come-sale deed, the status of the land and the permission granted under Section 118 of the HP Land and Tenancy Act.

In February this year Ms. Vadra, has asked the Himachal Pradesh government not to divulge details of her property in the state, as this could put her life in danger. Acting on the application, the Additional District Magistrate (ADM) of Shimla on 21st July 2014, had asked the Tehsildar of Shimla (Rural) to provide the information. However, in August 2014, the ADM changed his views. On 6th August 2014, the ADM took a U-turn and issued notice to Kehar Singh Khachi, the special power of attorney (SPA) on record of Priyanka Gandhi, and sought his approval for providing the information.

In the meantime, the Tehsildar also sought a fee for providing 30 pages of information on 7th August 2014. On 25th August 2014 the ADM informed Bhattacharya that the information related to the khasra number couldn’t be shared for security reasons. He disposed of the RTI application by partially releasing information. While he agreed to release the file notings, he refused to divulge information related to the khasra number, citing security concerns.

Then on 2nd September, Bhattacharya filed an appeal before the Deputy Commissioner of Shimla, stating that the reasons for not sharing information were not justified, as the view of the entire land was already available on Google Map. The deputy commissioner disposed off Bhattacharya’s appeal on 28th October observing that Kehar Singh Khachi wasn’t Priyanka’s special power of attorney on the date of RTI application.  ADM Shimla was then directed to process the RTI application afresh involving a new special power of attorney of Priyanka. Bhattacharya then moved a second appeal on 19th November before the State Information Commission in Shimla.

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