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SMC denies RTI, misleads appellant on hearing date!
Activists seek Raj Bhawan’s intervention
9/25/2020 11:19:40 PM
Early Times Report

Srinagar, Sept 25: In a bid to hide alleged scams taking place in the civic body, the Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) has apparently evolved wicked ways of allegedly duping the appellants who seek information under the Right to Information Act.
In once such recent incident, one of the appellants who was denied the information under the RTI Act had approached the appellant authority at the SMC.
The appellant authority asked the appellant to appear before the concerned. But shockingly the appellant was formally informed about the hearing, a month after the fixed date was over.
Official documents reveal that Manzoor Ahmed Khan of Bemina was denied RTI after which he approached the concerned.
“Whereas Manzoor Ahmed Khan the appellant has filed 1st appeal under RTI Act-2009 before the First Appellate Authority on 29/072019, copy whereof enclosed herewith along with enclosure. Whereas you are put on notice for fining counter statement/reply to the aforesaid appeal. Now therefore, you are advised to appear before the 1st ( Appellate Authority with counter statement /reply and relevant records on 07th of August-2019 at
Chand Tod Ke Lao!
3 00 PM for hearing of the appeal under J&K Right to information Act,” reads the notice issued vide number No: SMC/PS/COM/ 382325 dated 1-8-2019.
By virtue of the notice, the hearing was to be held on August 7, 2020.
Ironically, however, the appellant was informed about the hearing in September.
Official documents reveal that Manzoor Ahmed Khan son of Abdul Majeed Khan was sent the notice by registered mail on September 9, 2020 when the due date for the meeting was formally over.
Sources in SMC said the notice was deliberately served late so that the appellant doesn’t appear on the date of hearing.
“It was a conspiracy to show to the appellant authority that the appellant didn’t turn up whereas the reality is that he was not informed in time,” said a senior official on the condition of anonymity.
The RTI activists have appealed Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha to personally look into such irregularities.
When contacted a senior official in the SMC, downplayed the matter of informing the appellant a month after the due date for hearing. “This is no big issue. Such things keep happening,” the official said on the condition of anonymity.
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