Were all 2X2 sleeper Bus operations across Maharashtra illegal ?
I had file RTI Application in August 2013 to Transport Commissioner, Mumbai regarding ‘SLEEPER BUS OPERATIONS (2x2, 2x1 berth System) in Maharashtra, Seeking, copy of Rules, dimensions, capacity, & Number of Buses operating, Action taken by TC office & Monitoring procedure for Illegal operations.
1. RTI reply revealed that all 2 x 2 Sleeper bus operations across the Maharashtra were ILLEGAL. It is further unfortunate to note that these buses were registered as 1 x 1 Sleeper coaches & were paying Taxes of 20 Seats to Govt & carrying 40 Passengers Illegally in buses. (TAX LOSS TO Govt & INCONVENIENCE TO PASSENGERS due to congested space). It is highly unbelievable that RTO officials were unaware about such irregularities across the Maharashtra State.
2. Appellant has pursued this matter on the issue of larger public interest & was to file Public Interest Litigation in matter but the PIO (1c) has disobeyed the order of the First Appellate Authority & deliberately delayed the information, which conclusively establishers the malafides of the PIO in the present case.
3. Appellant had requested for the information for the period from 01/04/2011 to 31/03/2013 on - SLEPPER BUS OPERATIONS (2 x 2 & 2 x 1 Berth system) through 7 questions vide RTI application dt 22/07/2013. The impugned order dated 25th Nov 2013 passed by Appellate Authority, (2c) Mumbai is not complied by PIO No (1c) till date (i.e 18/02/2014) despite of clear instructions to comply within 5 days hence PIO is liable for punishment as per the provisions of Section 20 (1,2) of RTI Act.
4. The impugned order dated 11th Oct 2013 passed by Appellate Authority, (2a) is erroneous, ex-facie bad in law, contrary to the provisions of law and material on record. Hence the judgment impugned is bad in law for variety of reasons and is liable to set aside & corrected.
The above matter was listed before Hon SIC, Brihanmumbai on 05/08/2015 (Last Month), I had specially came from NAGPUR & attended hearing & highlighted all irregularities before Hon SIC. Despite of my WRITTEN & ORAL SUBMISSIONS, Hon SIC passed an order by allowing Appeal partly & directed PIO to provide information but :-
i) HAD NOT IMPOSED ANY PENALTY ON PIO DESPITE OF VIOLATIONS EVIDENT.
ii) HAD NOT PASSED ORDERS ON ALL ISSUES RAISED IN APPEAL.
iii) NO REASONED ORDERS FOR ABOVE ISSUES.
iv) DENIED COSTS ALTHOUGH I HAD SUBMITTED ALL EVIDENCE RELATED TO COSTS.
v) I feel depressed because of the Approach of Hon SIC.
PLEASE SUGGEST FURTHER COURSE OF ACTION
I DONT WISH TO LEAVE MATTER AS IT IS FOR FOLLOWING REASONS.
a) Hon Commission, being supreme authority as per RTI Act in the State, ordinary citizen has last hope to get justice but it is to submit that during the hearing, Hon Commission had lost sight on the vital points of appellant’s oral submissions. In the interest of justice, Appellant humbly prays to revisit Written notes of Arguments submitted by Appellant on dt 05/08/2015.
b) It is most respectfully submitted Non appreciation of all facts & evidence by Hon Commission is likely to discourage Appellant, who had pursued this matter of larger public interest & without any personal interests. Non imposing of any penalty on PIOs despite of established violations will act as an encouragement for PIOs for repetition in future.
Deliberate disobedience of FAA order - Hon FAA (Dy Transport Commissioner), Administration had allowed 1st appeal (ANNEX A8- Page 21/22 with 2nd Appeal) & directed PIO to provide information before 30th Nov 2013 but PIO has deliberately not taken any actions for three months & not provided complete information till date. (RTI VIOLATION & DELAY of PIO without any reasonable cause on records is established). It is evident that PIO initiated actions only after receipt of advanced copy of the 2nd Appeal in March 2013.
AVINASH VINAYAK PRABHUNE