In a packed hall, Information Commissioner (IC) Shailesh Gandhi recalled his pledge to fight corruption, which has been brought to the national fore by Gandhian Anna Hazare. As a functionary of the Central Information Commission (CIC), Gandhi had filed a complaint with the anti-corruption bureau of Delhi government regarding collusion between government officials and land mafia in Delhi.
A year later, he is yet to receive a response.
Now he plans to file a Right to Information (RTI) application to know what the bureau did with his complaint. "Someone told me they (officials) would have made money through my complaint," Gandhi said at a public meeting on fighting corruption through the RTI in Rohini on Sunday.
Gandhi recalled his experience when several citizen complaints said the government officials didn’t act on their lodged complaints of corruption. Instead, citizens are harassed. Gandhi is first information commissioner to hold public meetings of efficacy of the RTI law against corruption.
Gandhi hoped that the Jan Lokpal bill could help tackle the problem of time the government enquiries take to finish.
The bill stipulates one month to finish vigilance inquiry, but the first information commissioner from civil society wants to analyse the realistic timeframe to conduct inquiries considering all available resources. “Timely action against corruption can help check the menace," he said.
Gandhi blamed senior government officials, saying most of them do not want to provide information to people voluntarily, a requirement under the RTI law. Another reason Gandhi pointed out for high corruption in the government offices was inability to deliver services in an efficient manner.
He also said he believed the onus of checking corruption was on the people and asked them to make officials accountable.