RTI on graft? Sorry, portal down, says CVC

Mar 16, 2017, 16:53 IST | Aparna Shukla

The Central Vigilance Commission has allegedly been citing system malfunction to avoid replying to corruption charges against the National Textile Commission

In November last year, Chembur resident Harendra Kosia filed an RTI inquiry into the alleged corruption in the National Textile Commission (NTC). Four months later, all he has as reply from the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) is “system failure”. Kosia has alleged that several attempts to seek a response from CVC officials has proved futile as they keep telling him that “the portal at the main office in Delhi is not functioning”.

Members of the National Textile Corporation of India SC/ST Welfare Association Bombay had filed three RTIs in 2013 against the NTC director alleging he was involved in misappropriation of land and property. Koisa has demanded the report of action taken in the case, but in July last year, he alleges he was made to quit his job for “trying to expose the truth”. “Our PM talks about a New India that’s corruption free, but there are multiple barriers protecting government officials who are involved in graft. How is it fair for the common man? When I tried to expose the truth at NTC, I was made to quit my job,” said Kosia, who worked as NTC’s deputy manger of security.

Kosia alleged that a month after he had filed the RTI on November 22, he was told by CVC that the portal is down. “I again appealed for a response on December 26 to which they replied on January 26 saying I will get a reply within 15 days. But, 15 days later, CVC again cited system failure at the head office in Delhi. If no action is initiated, we will go to the Ministry of Textile and demand answers,” he said. Despite several attempts over phone and email, CVC officials did not reply.

About the CVC
The Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) is an apex body created in 1964 to address corruption in the government and its various offices. It is an autonomous body that monitors all vigilance activities under the Central Government of India, advising authorities in Central Government organisations. RTIs that concern the Central government and those that require inquiry and investigation are essentially sent to the CVC.

RTI activist Anil Galgali said, “It’s sad that in this era of digitisation, such reasons are being offered to those in trouble. It could be a genuine case, but there’s also a chance that CVC is trying to withhold information. In such a situation, the party concerned should reach out to CVC’s grievance cell and register a complaint. If proven guilty, the officers would be punished.”

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