Monday, March 20, 2017

Files on grant for Tilak film that was never made missing

The Hindu‎‎: New Delhi: Monday, March 20, 2017.
Files relating to the grant of Rs. 2.5 crore for a film on Bal Gangadhar Tilak that was never made have gone missing from the government records.
This surfaced at a hearing before the Central Information Commission, which was adjudicating a matter under the Union Ministry of Culture.
“The Commission finds that the key records of sanction and payment of Rs. 2.5 crore to Vinay Dhumale for production of a movie on Bal Gangadhar Tilak are missing, and except for some oral statements by the CPIO and the Deputy Secretary, there is no record of who held the files,” Information Commissioner Sridhar Acharyulu noted. He directed the Ministry to open an inquiry into the missing files and submit a report on the action taken within 60 days of receiving the order.
V.R. Kamalapurkar had filed an application with the Ministry under the Right to Information Act for the records on the film, which was sanctioned in 2005. Ministry officials told the Commission that Rs. 2.5 crore was given to Mr. Dhumale, a producer, to make the film, but it was never made. Nirmala Goyal, a Deputy Secretary, said the Ministry found out the embezzlement only after the RTI application was filed in 2011.
“The money was transferred to Vinay [Dhumale] in two instalments. She [Ms. Goyal] said, however, the film was never made and there was no inquiry into the utility of the funds,” Mr. Acharyulu said.
Referred to CBI
Arnab Aich, Central Public Information Officer of the Ministry and an Under Secretary, said the matter was referred to the CBI, but the final report was awaited. He said searches were carried out in the record rooms between 2013 and 2017, and the files were categorised as missing.