The controversy surrounding his appointment has had little effect on state chief information commissioner Ratnakar Gaikwad, who was sworn in on Friday. He has asked his detractors to prove that he committed violations as the metropolitan commissioner in giving an occupation certificate to the Adarsh housing society.
A day before Gaikwad, 60, took over as information chief, 35 Right to Information activists and members of civil society wrote to the governor to reconsider the decision. They also threatened to challenge Gaikwad’s appointment in the Bombay High Court.
On his first day in office, Gaikwad dismissed the charges as baseless.
“I didn’t even know who those (members of the Adarsh society) were when MMRDA (Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority) gave the society an occupation certificate. The people (who are accusing him of violations) should prove the violations I committed,” told HT on Friday.
Activist Krishnaraj Rao accepted Gaikwad’s challenge. He said that he would produce all documents that substantiate their claims. “If Gaikwad is so transparent then he should defend himself. We are ready to meet him.”
As per the provisions of the RTI act, Gaikwad’s name was recommended by chief minister Prithviraj Chavan, deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar and leader of the opposition in the legislative assembly Eknath Khadse. However, Khadse is likely to convey his dissent to the governor.