The Chief Information Commission (CIC) instructed the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) to reveal corruption complaints against serving ministers during the tenure of the Narendra Modi government.
The CIC also directed the PMO to take relevant action on such complaints received against Union Ministers between 2014 and 2017.
Indian Forest Officer Sanjeev Chaturvedi filed an RTI application seeking specific information regarding certified copy of complaints submitted to the Prime Minister against corruption of serving Union ministers, information on schemes of the BJP government including ‘Make in India’, ‘Skill India’, ‘Swachh Bharat’ and ‘Smart City Project’ which were transferred to the ministry concerned by the PMO. He also alleged involvement of a union health minister and officials of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in a corruption scam.
He filed an appeal on not receiving a satisfactory reply from the PMO before the Chief Information Commission.
While hearing the plea of Mr Chaturvedi, Radha Krishna Mathur, Chief Information Commissioner, demanded information about the nature and volume of black money bought back into the country from abroad. He also asked the PMO to share records of efforts made in this direction. The commission also directed the PMO to reveal information on deposits made by the government in bank accounts of Indian citizens from the black money brought from abroad.
Mr Mathur informed that, “The respondent (PMO) has wrongly stated in his reply against point nos 4 (black money brought from abroad) and 5 (deposits made in bank accounts of Indian citizens from the black money recovered from abroad) of the RTI application that ‘request made by the appellant is not covered under the definition of ‘information’ as per Section 2(f) of the RTI Act’.”
The CIC slammed the PMO on not providing details and demanded action. “The commission further observed that the respondent (PMO) has not given correct and specific reply/information to the appellant on point numbers 1(b) (corruption complaints against ministers), 4, 5, 12 & 13 (related to corruption in AIIMS) of the RTI application.”
Mr Chaturvedi served as Chief Vigilance Officer in AIIMS. He is currently serving as a conservator of forests in Uttarakhand.