BEST to disclose the pre-2003 electricity bill data under RTI
An application was filed with the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) under the Right to Information (RTI) Act seeking to get information regarding illegal electricity meter connection in Mumbai prior to 2003. BEST declined to provide the information citing a 2008 circular issued by the public undertaking which stated that the records prior to 2003 had been scrapped and the relevant information cannot be made available.
The applicant Jeetendra Ghadge, tried his best to get the illegal connection data but to no avail. Then he lodged a complaint with the State Chief Information Commission alleging that a scam has been taking place in which BEST has scrapped all the information prior to 2003 in order to cover up the crime of providing thousands of illegal meter connections in the city. He also cited Maharashtra Public Records Act which lays down stringent procedures for scrapping of data.
BEST has now cancelled its 2008 circular and has said that the information about electricity bills and meter connections pertaining to 2003 and earlier would now be made available to the public.