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Education department admits to not punishing officials despite ACB plea

The information was provided to Shailesh Gandhi, former central information commissioner.

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Ashutosh M. Shukla

Updated: May 23, 2018, 05:55 AM IST

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The education department has agreed that it has not conducted an inquiry on officials for not clearing files despite the anti-corruption bureau (ACB) seeking sanction for their prosecution. The reply was given by public information officer (PIO) of the education department on an RTI application.

The information was provided to Shailesh Gandhi, former central information commissioner. Gandhi on the ACB website had seen that the prosecution sanction was pending for more than 90 days with various government departments. As per Supreme Court order and Act 21 of 2006, no file can be pending beyond 90 days.

However, in education department and some others, the files were pending, although the ACB had sought sanctions for prosecution. Details of other departments were not provided to Gandhi as yet. Based on the details on ACB website, Gandhi filed a complaint with the secretary of the department. After a few days, he sought details of action taken on his letter by filing an RTI application.

"The SC order is very clear; they should not take more than 90 days. Even Act 21 says that even if a file has to go to other departments, one should not take more than 90 days to clear it. I wanted to know what enquiry they conducted as per law. If they had conducted an enquiry, I wanted the details of it. The letter went on and on and no information came," said Gandhi.

After being ordered by the state information commission, the education department informed Gandhi that no action was taken by the principal secretary.

"It just shows that a law made by Maharashtra government is completely violated by the government itself. If the government violates the law, it is a terrible and clear violation. If citizens keep pressuring, they can be forced to abide by the law," Gandhi added.

LAW MANDATES

As per SC order and Act 21 of 2006, no file can be pending beyond 90 days. Yet, in the education department, files were pending, despite the ACB seeking sanctions to prosecute some officials.

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