MIC hauls up erring officer, Death threats to appellents

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IMPHAL April 10: The Block Development Officer also current State Public Information Officer of Kakching, Angam Karoung Kom has been charged on grounds of submitting forged documents to the State Chief Information Officer RK Angousana.

RTI appellate T Ibempishak, a resident of Pallel Mamang Leikai sought information from the SPIO regarding doubtful payment of NREGS wages for job card holders of Pallel by the Gram Panchayat on September 2010. the officer failed to provide the neccessary information before the stipulated time of 30 days.

As a result Ibempishak approached the Thoubal DC who is the appellate authority however the appeal was also rejected on the grounds that it was submitted after expiry of the prescribed period of time.

The appellate having no other alternative, filed a petition to the Manipur Information Commission (MIC) on December 23, 2010 and the Commission issued a show cause notice to the SPIO which was not responded.

On the negligence by the SPIO, the commission took up the petition as a complaint case under section 18 of RTI Act.
However, the SPIO filed a reply to the commission on January 20 stating that Ibempishak has withdrawn her complaint against the Pallel Gram Panchayat and there is no further need to furnish the sought information, a copy of the written agreement was also enclosed to the MIC bearing Ibempishak`™s signature.

When the complainant learned of the incident, she approached the MIC objecting that there was no agreement and that the document submitted by the SPIO has been forged.

Following the development, the MIC directed Angam Karoung Kom the SPIO/BDO to hand over the documents sought by the complainant before April 13 failing which the commission may recommend disciplinary action including termination of service. Further, he was also directed to submit a show cause notice within seven days from the receipt of the directive as to why appropriate disciplinary action should not be recommended against him as penalty for withholding information. The forged documents have also been handed over to Thoubal SP to take up appropriate action against the SPIO under the provisions of law.

Addressing a press conference, RTI activist W Joykumar told media persons at Manipur Press Club today that along with Ibempishak, three other women namely S Memcha, K Anita and S Momon have been singled out by some miscreants posing as underground elements for initiating the RTI case. Ibempishak has been constantly given death threats on the phone from a certain mobile number 8014220380 telling her to withdraw the case and not to dig into the matters of NREGS. All the women are presently in hiding fearing for their lives, he said.

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