AMC keeps information on ‘corrupt’ officials under wraps

RTI query was about specifics like the exact fine charged according to designations

Ahmedabad: In December 2019, the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) served charge-sheets to 23 of its own engineers in irregularities in road resurfacing work in 2017. The civic body also imposed a fine of Rs 2 lakh on the additional engineers and also slapped fine of Rs 1 lakh on a retired engineer.

However, when a Right to Information (RTI) query was filed to know the detailed amount of fines slapped on the engineers along with their names the civic department’s welfare-cum-labour officer had refused this information claiming that “personal details” cannot be asked “As a matter of right”.

The RTI query was about specifics regarding the exact fine charged according to designations. At present, a retired judge is conducting a detailed inquiry in it.

However, Deputy Municipal Commissioner Arjav Shah told First India that “Information pertaining to property is personal information, but fine slapped on any officer by the department is not personal.” Another senior officer said information regarding penalty amount and irregularities were already revealed in media the day the fines were slapped, “So how come this is a piece of personal information.” Johar Vora, Congress Secretary in the AMC, said the officers were fined because they showed negligence in their duties. “The officers failed to do their duty. They were found guilty by the vigilance department and there is nothing personal about the fine.”

“The BJP-run AMC had delayed inquiry in the corruption matter. Because of the corruption of BJP’s favourite officers, the citizens had to pay. How come the fine amount on the officers a personal matter? They were charged with irregularities, not conducting required supervision, not maintaining records.” said Dinesh Sharma, leader of the opposition at AMC.

“Due to this, hundred crores loss was born by the AMC and now even under RTI it has not revealed information. It seems either the penalty has not been levied or someone is saving them,” added Sharma.