CIC issues show cause notice to Delhi Waqf Board over alleged misappropriation of school land

In its show cause notice, the commission asked why action should not be taken for this "misconduct and negligence"
Image for representational purpose only | (Pic: Express)
Image for representational purpose only | (Pic: Express)

The Central Information Commission (CIC) has issued a show cause notice to the Delhi Waqf Board (DWB) asking why a penalty should not be imposed on its Central Public Information Officer (CPIO) for not furnishing information on land use change of a school in Fatehpuri within the stipulated 30 days. The case pertains to a primary school run by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) on the ground floor of a piece of land owned by the Delhi Waqf Board.

One RTI applicant Mohammed Talha Zamir has claimed that the Delhi Waqf Board took back the land from MCD and instead of constructing a school, built shops in the place. However, Zamir did not receive a clarification on the matter from the Board.

Along with its notice, the CIC has directed the CPIO to collect information from its Section Officer, Rent and Property Section, and provide it to Zamir. It noted that by not providing information within the stipulated time frame despite multiple reminders, the CPIO has ignored the principle of, "justice delayed is justice denied", as per a report by PTI.

In its show cause notice, the commission asked why action should not be taken against him for this "misconduct and negligence" which constitutes a serious violation of the provisions of the Right to Information (RTI) Act, and to explain why a penalty of Rs 10,000 should not be imposed on him as per Section 20 (1) and disciplinary proceedings under Section 20 (2) of the RTI Act.

The CIC also "advised" the Lt Governor's office to take cognisance of the matter and conduct an inquiry into the role of DWB as well as the Delhi government, if required. It said misappropriating property meant for school and using it for commercial purposes can establish a troubling precedent, potentially leading to further encroachment on educational spaces.

"As the matter of poor maintenance of schools by DWB has come up before the Commission earlier also, the larger role of DWB and Delhi Government in the maintenance of Minority Schools in Delhi can also be covered in the inquiry," Information Commissioner Uday Mahurkar said in his order, as per PTI.

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