‘Caste certificates of employees not confidential’ | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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‘Caste certificates of employees not confidential’

mumbai Updated: Mar 03, 2011 02:06 IST
Dharmendra Jore
Dharmendra Jore
Hindustan Times
PW Patil

Now you can use the sunshine law to get copies of documents based on which people avail job reservations. In an order passed on February 28, 2011, PW Patil, the state information commissioner of Nagpur division, said that these documents were not confidential because the government issues them.

Patil overruled the objections raised by teachers and Class I officials of the Rashtrasant Tukdoji Maharaj Nagpur University that their caste verification certificates could not be handed over to information seeker Sunil Kumar Mishra because of their confidential nature and a possible misuse by the information seeker.

Inquiries by committees of former high court justice GG Lone and other government officials found irregularities in recruitment pertaining to caste certificates in various departments of the Nagpur University in the past 10 years.

According to university officials, the recruitment scam has put a burden of more than Rs300 crore on the state exchequer.

Information seeker Mishra has been pursuing this matter ever since the Hindustan Times first reported this story two years ago.

The government, however, has not taken any action as yet though a kingpin in the scam has admitted before justice Lone that he had tampered with the reservation manual.

Mishra had sought information in this matter in February last year and when the university denied him, he went approached the then state commissioner Vilas Patil.

He had allowed Mishra access to the register of entries alone.

But Mishra insisted on having copies of caste verification certificates, teachers and officials were also allowed to intervene.

Mishra then accused the former information commissioner of changing his oral order and complained against him to the governor.

Vilas Patil had denied Mishra’s charge that he had manipulated his oral order.

However, PW Patil, who replaced Vilas Patil following the later’s elevation as the chief commissioner, heard the third party in January this year.

Dismissing objections from the teachers and officials, Patil said, though the information sought was about the third party, it could not be classified or kept confidential.

“These certificates are public documents because a government committee issues them after verifying evidences in accordance with rule and regulations. The certificates enables one to avail of reservations (job or political).’’