Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Haryana Information Commission to decide if property details of babus could be made public

National Herald: Haryana: Tuesday, June 26, 2018.
At least 36 of the 69 IAS officers in Haryana had agreed to share their property details as of 2010, while 33 officials had refused to part with the details.
The two-member divisional bench comprising Haryana State Information Commissioners (SICs) Yogendra Pal Gupta and Hemant Atri will hear the nine-year-old important case of sharing of details of properties of IAS and IPS officers in the state.
For this, the Commission has summoned the Undersecretary of Personnel Department, Superintendent at DGP’s Office, SP (Law and Order) of Police Headquarters and the appellant PP Kapoor, to Chandigarh on June 26. At least thirty-six of the 69 IAS officers had agreed to share their property details as of 2010, while 33 officials had refused to part with the details.
Activist PP Kapoor said that he had sent an RTI application to the Chief Secretary asking for the details of the property of all IAS, IPS, HPS and HCS officers in the state on December 16, 2009. The police headquarters had then expressly refused to provide the information.
A total of 36 IAS officers, including Ashok Khemka, Samir Mathur, Umashankar, PK Das, TK Sharma, Balbir Mallik, Dr J Ganeshan and Dr Amit Aggrawal, had given their consent to the government to make the details of their property public.
IAS officer Ashok Khemka, in a letter to the Cabinet Secretary and the Central Vigilance Commissioner, had even said that public servants should not be afraid of making the details of their properties public. “Such steps encourage transparency and credibility in public institutions,” Khemka had said.
“The details of the properties, under Section 4 of the RTI Act, must be made public on the official website. The government should make a law to seize the property which has not been claimed by public servants. With this small amendment in law, the cancer of corruption can be treated to a great extent,” said Kapoor.
On the other hand, 33 IAS officers, including RK Khullar, Suprabha Dahiya, Vijay Dahiya, Ashok Lavasa, Doctor Chandrasekhar, Sunil Gulati and VS Kundu, in a letter to the then government had refused to disclose their property details.
According to RTI activist PP Kapoor, the previous hearing in the commission had taken place in February 2012 but it was adjourned for an indefinite period. The court had then cited a similar case involving details of the property of the district food supplies controller DP Jangra, pending before the Punjab and Haryana High Court.
While the High Court had regarded the state information commission’s decision correct and ordered that the details of DP Jangda’s properties be made public, Kapoor has demanded that the details of the properties of all IAS, IPS HCS and HPS officers should immediately be made public and should be uploaded on the concerned departments’ websites.