By Prof. S.K.Bhalla
The reference is to JDA’s Order No. VC/FAA/RTI/2022/816-817 dated 19-04-2022 signed by Mr. Pankaj Magotra the most honest VC of the much maligned Jammu Development Authority. Among other things, a sentence is for the consideration of L-G/CS in the public interest. “So appeal filed is held to be felonious in nature”. When Mr. Khan protested, the response of Pankaj Magotra was: “Noted. Felonious was not intended to be there. Will make amends”. It is all a matter of record and at this juncture there is no scope for making amends. An officer cannot and should not act in the manner which is visible on a plain reading of the order.
As per Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary 9th Edition, page no. 570 felonious word is related to or involved in crime and for the education of Mr. Pankaj felony includes “a serious crime such as murder or rape”. So the matter is terribly serious and speaks volumes about the efficiency as also modus operandi of Mr. Magotra. It is not a mistake but a blunder as also a fauxpas. If this is the manner of disposing of 1st Appeal under RTI Act then only GOD can save us.
Worthy CS is expected to initiate disciplinary action under Service Conduct Rules against the aforesaid VC without further loss of time in public interest if any. Giving a long rope to a few officers of the administration has already sent wrong signals.
By the way what Mr. Magotra is doing @ a large number of newly carved out colonies in and around Jammu. It is a huge scam of sorts and Magotra is observing discreet silence apparently. So all the more important to proceed against him.
RTI applicants are not supposed to be embarrassed as they are not the enemies of our UT. In case there is some genuine problem/information against anyone then the story is somewhat different. The 1st appeal filed by an applicant even in his/her absence has to be decided on merit so far as my little knowledge of RTI matter is concerned.
Using a word which is obnoxious in taste is something which must be frustrated by the authorities today only so that others who are similarly situated are cautioned well in advance and such lapses do not recur.