Friday, 14 March 2014

No permission sought from the Speaker by Maharashtra / Mumbai Police to prosecute MLA's in Maharashtra for past 10 years.

Investigative agencies in Maharashtra have to seek permission of the Speaker if it wants to prosecute any MLA for any offences. It has come to notice now that the Maharashtra or the Mumbai police have never applied for any permission from the Speaker to prosecute any MLA in Maharashtra in the past 10 years. This information has been revealed in a reply to a query filed by RTI Activist Anil Galgali.
In a query filed by Anil Galgali, to the Speaker office seeking information about various permissions sought by Maharashtra or Mumbai Police to prosecute various MLA's involved in various offences in the past 10 years. In the reply to the query, Shri Umesh Shinde, Desk Officer, Maharashtra Legislative Secretariat informed that - Nil - Permissions were sought. He also sought to know what kind of proposals for sanctions to prosecute are needed to be sent to the Speaker & On which cases does not require permission of Speaker to prosecute any MLA. In the reply to this query also was given as Nill. Anil Galgali had sought information on the same subject from Mumbai & Maharashtra Police also. In reply to the query, ACP (Coordination), Mumbai Police said that they have transferred and referred the query to Maharashtra Legislative secretariat. On behalf of Maharashtra Police, its Public Information Officer D D Phadke replied that they have no records of the information sought. It is significant to note here that as per an NGO's survey almost 146 MLA's & 26 MP's have criminal records in Maharashtra.
Recently, as per media reports the then Mumbai Police Commissioner Dr Satyapal Singh had announced that the Mumbai Police has sought permission from the Speaker to prosecute MLA & Ex Minister of State (Home) Shri Kripashankar Singh in a Disproportionate Asset case filed with it. But from the information now revealed in the reply to the query filed by Anil Galgali, it can be understood that no such correspondence seems to have been done in actuality.
Anil Galgali has said that it can be always seen that the Police dept projects that the permission to prosecute any MLA has been sought from the Speaker, and is waiting to receive the permission to proceed against such Public representatives, where as in actuality no such correspondence is undertaken, actually lowers the image of the Speaker among st the public, wherein he is seen as withholding such permissions. This can be easily seen in the case of said permissions being awaited in the Kripashankar Singh case whereas in actuality no permission has been sought.

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Wait of another 6 months for online viewing of documents and files of the BMC

As a part of e-governance initiative, the BMC has planned to make all its administrative documents and files online, this would enable citizens to view any files on a single click and comfort of his home or office. But they will have to wait for more 6 months as the papers need to be scanned and stored. Out of 80 crore pages only 7 crore pages have been scanned till date, this was revealed in its reply to a query filed by RTI Activist Anil Galgali.

Anil Galgali in a query filed with the IT dept of the BMC had enquired about the status of progress of scanning of documents. Mahesh Narvekar, Director, IT Dept & Public Information Officer for the dept, informed that, the BMC intends to scan and store all the administrative documents and files. Out of 80 crore pages, 7 crore pages have been scanned up till now, this means only around 9% scanning has been achieved. On further query whether the scanned pages are available for public viewing? Mr Narvekar replied, that the BMC requires a software called Document Management system to make the documents available to public, since the process for purchasing the software system is in progress, it will take another 6 months to make the documents available. Further in the query of how much is this going to cost? Mr Narvekar replied the BMC will be paying as per the rate fixed by the State Govt of Rs 0.36 (36 paise) per page, this also includes the cost of indexing.

Galgali further asked for the intention of carrying out the scanning project, to which Mr Narvekar replied that the BMC intends to digitalise all its documents and create a back up of it. The BMC feels that the statutory subjects, approvals and analysis of inquiries and information's is of utmost importance in this era. This will also ensure that the files cannot be tampered, altered or destroyed with ulterior motives, also in case of any unforeseen disasters, the digital backup will ensure that public services are not hampered and will be responsive and transperant. Anil Galgali has said that this is of utmost importance and should be completed as soon as possible, so that the mumbaikars can take benefit of the same at the earliest.