शनिवार, 30 जुलाई 2016

Sashi Bindhani the useless and inefficient Information Commissioner in Odisha

Ms Sashi Prava Bindhani- Most useless and inefficient Information Commissioner in Odisha- Why and How?

·    She lacks expertise and knowledge in writing of proceeding of the case.
·   The copy of the decision of the case disposed by her is sent after 6 to seven months of date of disposal.
·   It is heard from   a staff of the Commission on the condition of anonymity that as she does not have knowledge to write the proceedings, copy of the   decision of the cases could not be sent to the appellant or complainant at the earliest.  
·   She is hardly aware about judicial decorum of the country. 

As I recall, when the State Govt. declared nomination of Ms. Sashi Prava Bindhani for the post of  State  Information Commissioner in June 2015, many so-called NGOs and few  Social Activists got  delighted  and  congratulated Ms. Bindhani  for her elevation to the said post addressing her as Sashi Apa, Lago Raho. At the same time, RTI Activists of Odisha had opposed the selection of both the Information Commissioners questioning the selection procedure devoid of transparency and terming it as arbitrary. RTI Activists have also raised doubt about efficiency of both these Information Commissioners to discharge their duties mostly hearing and disposal of the cases, the primary function of the Information Commission.

Her efficiency or inefficiency was tested and exposed within very short period of time since her joining as Information Commissioner in June 2015. We have come across many cases to prove her inefficiency as Information Commissioner. But now, I herewith present one of the cases for reference of the public to understand her inefficiency, bad performance and poor knowledge about laws. Her substandard and careless writing of the proceeding of the  cases disposed has never happened in any case ever disposed by any Information Commissioner in Odisha.

I am enclosing herewith a copy of complaint of said case addressed  to Governor, Odisha  by Complainant-Information Commissioner Sri Anuj Mohapatra of Balasore seeking immediate enquiry and action against Sashi Prava Bindhani, State Information Commissioner under section 17 of the RTI Act. My write up  has been derived from his complaint petition.  

1.    That, a so-called private Medial Practitioner Sri K.C. Das   (proprietor of Shree Jagannath Ayurvedic Clinic, Darada, Balasore  regd no. 5583), who is virtually a quack and practicing his quackery over the years, without ever bothering over his un-licensed status, used to fraudulently   masquerade him as an M.B.B.S.A. degree holder ( in the style of Dr. K.C.Das ). In continuation of his years long malpractice, he issued a fake Medical Certificate to a patient named Mr. Sarat Ch. Mohapatra on 21.1.2012

2.    Having come across such a concocted certificate, he lodged a complaint to the Collector, Balasore on 6.5.13 with a copy of it duly forwarded to the Chief District Medical Officer, Balasore for enquiry into the matter. 

3.    For about long six months he waited for the results of   enquiry and Action Taken Report, if any, against the alleged culprit who was responsible for issue of a fake Medicate Certificate as mentioned above, but in vain.   Then he took recourse to filing an RTI Application  dated 15.11.13  before  the PIO, office of CDMO, Balasore, requesting for disclosure of the  Action Taken, if any,  in respect of my   complaint filed before the Collector, Balasore. But having got no response from the said PIO, he made the First Appeal before the First Appellate Authority-cum-CDMO, Balasore   to direct the concerned PIO to provide the information. Strangely though, the First Appellate Authority neither heard the case nor disposed of the same.

4.    On 31.3.14, he filed second appeal to Odisha Information Commission to get   the information   with prayer for penalty under section 20 (1) of the RTI Act.

5.    After a long lapse of one year and nine months, Mrs. Shashi Prava Bindhani, State Information Commissioner heard the case registered as SA No.- 885/2014 and disposed it on 21.12. 2015. However, the copy of the decision of the Commission was sent to him after another long lapse of about 6 months i.e., on 18.6.16.

6. While going through the copy of the decision, he found it   a horribly mindless write-up in terms of both language and content. It can be spoken of complete ignorance of the Commissioner about the art of drafting a decision.   The following sentence extracted from the decision on the case ( Para-2) shall amply bear out   apprehension of  anybody about it. (copy of the Commissioner attached here with for your ready reference)-

“ the Appellant  has filed  the Second Appeal memorandum  on 9.4.2014  alleging that  the  information sought  from the  PIO, O/0  the Chief District Medical Officer, Balasore through his RTI Application  dated 15.11.2013 in spite of  filling  of first appeal  petition  dated 16.12.2013”.   Does this sentence carry any meaning at all?

7.In Para 3 of the said decision  ,  she has further mentioned, “  the  Chief District  Medical  Officer, Balasore  in his written memorandum  has submitted  that  the  appellant  had sought information  regarding  allotment  received and expenditure incurred  about  Dengu at Baliapal CHC”.    This is a typical case of superb mindlessness, since the information he  had  sought  for was about the Action Taken  on his  above mentioned complaint  filed before  the Collector and CDMO, Balasore,  which was denied  to him.  

8. The above decision signed by her   proves her rank inefficiency and ignorance not only about how to adjudge a case but how to put a decision in black and white.

9. So many months has elapsed since she delivered the above mentioned decision which was absurd par excellence. Were she able to diagnose her errors as typographical ones, having nothing to do her intent or volition, she could have brought out a corrigendum to rectify the same and intimated the appellant accordingly. But, nothing of the sort has come out in the long aftermath of the mindless decision.  By issuing such a meaningless decision she has not only proved herself as a pitiable creature affected with chronic imbecility, but also caused an infamous disgrace to a quasi-judicial, statutory authority such as Odisha Information Commission.

How the inefficiency and inaction of the Commission affects the RTI Act and the Citizen at large?

 The Mandate of the RTI Act is to empower the   people to access the information held   under the control of the Public Authorities. As the  information is power,  the citizens  file so many  RTI Applications to  different  Govt. offices  to get the  information  so that they  will use it  for their benefit. As per the findings of National Study conducted by RAAG, 80% of the RTI Applicants had filed application to address their grievances.  RTI Act has helped a lot to citizens to solve their problems.  RTI Act has been extensively used by Activists to expose corruption and irregularities in implementation of Govt. programme.  The Information Commission has been constituted to hear    complaints/ appeals  of the  Information  seekers.  If any  delay is occurred  in terms  of hearing  or disposal of the cases,  the  relevant  information, if supplied  with direction of the Commission  will loose its importance  and  may be irrelevant.    The complaint/ second appeal cases are heard   by the Commission after around two years of the  date of filling  of the case.  The Commission took another 5 to 8 months for disposal of the case.  After disposal, the Commission takes another 6 months for sending the copy of the decision to the complainant/ appellant.  The lingering  of the hearing of the case and delay  in sending the copy of the order  has  brought  standstill  in the  implementation of RTI Act  and made the  complainant  hopeless.  The people like Sashi Bindhani is dangerous not only for RTI Act but for the nation as a whole.

Pradip Pradhan
Date- 26.07.2016

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