Maharashtra government refuses to share inquiry report on Mopalwar under RTI
The report was sought through a Right to Information (RTI) Act application filed by Pune-based activist Vivek Velankar.pune Updated: Feb 03, 2018 14:59 IST
The Maharashtra government has refused to share a copy of the inquiry report relating to IAS officer Radheshyam Mopalwar, who had faced allegations of bribery in August 2017, but was cleared of the charges and reinstated in service.
The report was sought through a Right to Information (RTI) Act application filed by Pune-based activist Vivek Velankar.
Mopalwar was sent on leave in August by chief minister Devendra Fadnavis following a raging controversy about an audio clip that went viral in which a man was heard asking for a bribe of Rs1 crore to clear a redevelopment project in Borivali. Satish Mangle, a complainant in an extortion case, had claimed that the voice was that of Mopalwar, who denied it.
Following the allegations, the government constituted a three-member committee headed by former chief secretary Johny Joseph which cleared the 1995-batch officer of all charges.
The general administration department (GAD) in its reply to Velankar said that the inquiry report could not be provided as “action on the report is awaited”.
JB Kulkarni, additional secretary, GAD, in his response to the RTI application said, “The action on the report submitted by the three-member committee headed by former chief secretary Johny Joseph is awaited. Therefore, the report cannot be shared with you.”
The additional secretary said that the applicant was entitled to approach the “appellate authority” within 30 days to pursue the matter.
Section 8 of the Right to Information (RTI) Act 2005, offers exemption to the government from sharing information in various situations. In this particular case, however, the government did not invoke Section 8 while denying the information. Velankar, who had filed his application on December 29, two days after Mopalwar was reinstated, expressed surprise that Section 8 was not invoked while denying the report.
Mopalwar was then serving as managing director of the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) and was incharge of the chief minister’s ambitious project, Nagpur-Mumbai expressway Samruddhi corridor.