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Ex-CIC Gandhi criticises BMC chief's remarks on RTI applicants

Press Trust of India  |  Mumbai 

Former Central Information (CIC) has blasted over the latter directing action against "professional complainants" filing queries in bulk for information about building plans post the Kamala Mills that killed 14 diners last December. In a letter addressed to recently, Gandhi sought the civic chief's apology for "insulting citizens using their fundamental Right to Information guaranteed under Article 19 (1) (a) of the constitution". In a statement issued today, said the (Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation) had initiated an inquiry to "unravel and break the nexus between professional complainants with vested interests". In his strongly-worded letter to Mehta, Gandhi wrote: "It is with great distress that I am sending this note to you, since appears to be behaving in a totally illegal fashion, and it appears you are personally responsible for insulting citizens who are using their fundamental Right to Information guaranteed under Article 19(1)(a) of the constitution." "You have also indicated that your main problem is the constitution and citizens using their fundamental right, not the corrupt decadent organisation headed by you. You are under the misconception that citizens are spoiling the image of the Wake up and ask Mumbaikars. If you listen, they will tell you that a very significant number of officials take bribes for legal and illegal actions". He further wrote that "blaming" citizens and users by after the Kamala Mills fire tragedy was a "shameless act". "After the Kamala Mills fire you and your officers are blaming citizens and users! This is a shameless act, and rubs salt into the burns.

I am using strong words, but when a public servant defies the constitution and disparages citizens' fundamental rights it calls for a strict reprimand. You and are consistently insulting citizens and trying to besmirch a right which exposes and its misdeeds," Gandhi said. In his reply, said the was trying to expose the vested interests. "Let me reiterate at the cost of repetition that we have started an inquiry to unravel and break the nexus between professional complainants with vested interest, and a very small percentage of employees who connive with them. "I have emphasised to the officers and the system that this should be conducted in a fair and transparent manner in keeping the principles of probity," the said in a statement. Meanwhile, unit Sanjay Nirupam, who had demanded suspension of in the wake of the fire tragedy, said the commissioner's remarks about activists was an "insult" to them. "Mehta's remarks about the activists is an insult to all activists. Of late, the himself has been found to be involved in all this mess. I request Chief Minister to instruct to immediately withdraw his baseless and senseless remarks against activists," Nirupam said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, January 11 2018. 18:20 IST
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