One question under RTI, two conflicting replies by the PIO
An application was filed under the Right to Information (RTI) Act seeking to get details of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the Maharashtra government and a telecom company for laying optical fibre cables across the state.
The RTI application was sent to the Department of Revenue and Forests and the office of the Chief Secretary of Maharashtra. The application sent to the Chief Secretary office was again transferred to the Department of Revenue and Forests as stipulated by the act. However, the replies given by the PIO of revenue and forests department to the two applications received by the department through two different channels were quite contradictory in nature.
The reply to the application received through the Chief Secretary office stated that the demanded file was destroyed in the Mantralaya fire in 2012 and that the information could be collected from the office of individual district collectors. The reply to the directly received application by the same PIO stated that no such MoU was ever signed and that any further information could be received by contacting departments of energy and telecommunication.
RTI activists have demanded that penal action should be taken against the PIO for gross negligence of RTI Act.