The Himachal Pradesh information commission on Saturday issued notices to the Shimla additional district magistrate and staff concerned for concealing information in the Priyanka Gandhi land purchase issue.
The single bench of state chief information commissioner Bhim Sen, while hearing the petition of right to information (RTI) activist Debasheesh Bhattacharya also commented that offices did not maintain records, adding to delay in providing information.
Bhattacharya submitted that against the order of the first appellate authority, the Shimla deputy commissioner, Priyanka had, through her counsel, filed an appeal on which stay was given. “The DC decided on the appeal the day it was filed,” he alleged.
Bhattacharya filed another RTI plea, demanding information regarding such prompt action in which appeals were settled the day they were filed. The Shimla DC office gave the details for 2014, excluding Priyanka’s appeal that was entertained on December 23, 2014.
The court said the Shimla DC office had given information about appeals transferred, while information of the appeal that was decided was not given.
The petitioner also alleged that the DC office had been denying having received any appeal from him first. He submitted proof along with the receipt of the application sent through India Post.
On this, the chief information commissioner asked the district administration to disclose the name of the official who received the appeal but denied it later, saying he/she would be held guilty for delay in providing information.
The panel listed the case for further hearing on August 20.
On June 29, the panel had asked the district administration to provide information about Priyanka’s land near Shimla that was later stayed by the Himachal high court on July 7.