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Charu Sudan Kasturi, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, February 25, 2011
Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur on Thursday filed a writ petition against the Central Information Commission challenging the transparency watchdog over a recent order in which it described the IIT registrar as a liar. The writ petition accuses the CIC —  top monitor of the Right to Information Act — of not considering its views before dubbing registrar TK Ghoshal a liar.

Ghoshal provided misleading information to a whistleblower, IIT Kharagpur computer science professor Rajeev Kumar, the CIC said in a February 5 order. The commission issued a show-cause notice asking why disciplinary action ought not to be taken against the registrar.

Information Commissioner Shailesh Gandhi in his judgment had also ordered the IIT to provide security to Kumar, who has allegedly been threatened by top IIT officials for exposing a series of scams and irregularities at the Institute.

Within hours of the CIC order however, the IIT instead circulated personal phone details of Kumar’s son, drawing allegations from Kumar that his son’s safety too was being compromised.

The IIT challenge to the CIC comes soon after Kumar challenged exaggerated laptop procurement rates which the Institute had listed, as was first reported by HT on February 6. The IIT has since told the HRD ministry that it is putting on hold the purchase of laptops based on the exaggerated rate list.