शनिवार, 15 जुलाई 2017

Govt. of Odisha maintains utmost secrecy on Ghangapatna Land Scam

 Govt.  of Odisha maintains utmost secrecy on Ghangapatna Land Scam, Information Commission directs  Tahasildar, Bhubaneswar  to produce the information within 7 days

Dear friends

In a significant development, on 14.7.17., Mrs. Sashi Prava Bindhani, State Information Commissioner directed to Tahasildar, Bhubaneswar to produce all the information about Ghangapatna land to the Appellant within 7 days.  This direction came out following hearing of Second Appeal petition                No.  284/15 by the Commission.  Mrs. Bindhani  has also  given direction  to  the PIOs, Dept. of Revenue and Disaster Management and Office of Collector, Khurda  to produce detailed report  about   details of follow up action taken by them  to ensure information.  The date for next hearing was fixed  on 16.8.17.

A brief History  of the Case

In August, 2014,   it  was exposed  by  the local people and media that  huge acres of tribal was  illegally  acquired  by  late Kalpataru Das and his MLA Son Pranab Balabantaray  and Sri K.V.Singhdeo, BJP MLA in name of her daughter and many powerful people  connected  with BJD party  in Ghangapatana  area of Bhubaneswar  under jurisdiction of Tahasildar, Bhubaneswar.  After this expose , all the opposition political parties and Civil Society Groups  coming to the streets  organised  protest   dharana demanding CBI inquiry  into scam.  It is popularly  known as Ghangapatna land Scam in Odisha.   In the midst of protest, Chief Minister ordered  for  Crime Branch enquiry  and  after few days  the Govt. declared  that  70 acres of  land  of Ghangapatna returned  back to Govt. fold.

To  verify the authenticity of  information, RTI Application dt. 17.9.14 was submitted  to the PIO,  Office of Revenue and Disaster Management, Govt. of Odisha, Bhubaneswar   seeking information about details of  Ghangapatana land  returned back by Govt.  Though 30 days passed, the PIO did not supply   the information. Then, on,  I made first appeal to the First Appellate Authority  to hear the case and provide the information. Though 30 days passed, the FAA neither heard the case nor provided the information.  Then, Second Appeal  was filed  to Odisha Information  Commission  seeking  information  and penalty  against PIO under section 20 (1) of the RTI Act.

Pradip Pradhan

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