Bhopal Public Records Act of MP State Information Commissioner: Concerned about the continuous disappearance of papers and files in government offices, Madhya Pradesh State Information Commissioner Rahul Singh has directed the General Administration Department to get Madhya Pradesh’s Public Records Act enacted. Along with this, until the Public Records Act of Madhya Pradesh is implemented, Singh has prepared guidelines for the department according to the Public Records Act of the Center and management of files and strict action against the guilty employees or officers in case of its disappearance, which includes 5 years. imprisonment up to Rs.10,000 and fine up to Rs.10,000, has also been asked to ensure
This action is taken in the center and other states in the missing documents
Information Commissioner Rahul Singh said in his order that it is a matter of concern for the commission that officers or employees guilty of wrongly destroying records, security management, and improving security management in government offices in Madhya Pradesh The state does not have its own Public Records Act to fix accountability. Singh said in his order that one of the major reasons behind the indifferent bus attitude of the authorities on the disappearance of the papers is that there is a complete legal system to take action in such cases, the Public Records Act which is available in the Center and other states. But not available in Madhya Pradesh. Singh made it clear that there is a provision of imprisonment of up to 5 years and a fine of ₹ 10,000 against the guilty officer-employee for missing the Public Records Act records of the Center or punishable with both.
What kind of papers are going missing in government offices?
Commissioner Rahul Singh said in his order that many cases of disappearance of documents kept coming to the fore in the State Information Commission and it cannot be seen from the administrative level at the superficial level, due to these missing papers, in many cases the life and career of the people. are at stake; Land papers of any government office are missing; Papers of irregularities in appointment are missing; Documents related to investigation are missing; Documents related to corruption scam are missing; In many cases, when the concerned public authority is asked by the commission to file a police report in the matter, it has also happened that this missing paper is seen to be established in the criminal case. Singh said that the indifferent attitude of the officers regarding the missing papers has been seen, it is not that the common citizens are troubled by the missing papers, now even the state officials and employees become victims of negligence regarding the records. Yes, due to the loss of departmental records of government employees, the officers and employees have to face difficulties at the time of their service and retirement. The funny thing is that in the appeal case in which State Information Commissioner Rahul Singh has asked the government to bring Public Records Act. In that case, not only the document related to the information sought in the RTI application is missing, but the RTI application itself has also disappeared from the records.
Action on missing files in the state Ram Bharose At present in Madhya Pradesh, due to the absence of Public Records Act, action is taken against the guilty officers or employees under the Madhya Pradesh Service Condition Rules regarding missing or missing files. But in the absence of definite rules and procedures, no firm action can be taken. In the order, Singh also expressed concern over the fact that the process of re-creation of lost records is also not legally ensured in Madhya Pradesh.
Report should be lodged with the police in case of missing and stolen documents.
Singh said that the accountability of the concerned guilty officer-employees and action against them should be ensured at the departmental level in a time-bound manner regarding the missing or missing papers. If someone intentionally made the paper disappear, then under the relevant sections of the IPC, action should be taken by registering an FIR against the said officer-employee in the police.
RTI application also disappeared in the case on which orders were issued
Singh has issued these orders while hearing the appeal case in which information about the caste certificate was sought. In this case, not only the caste certificate is missing from the office, but the RTI application which was filed seeking the information has also disappeared from the office. Same responsibility has not been fixed for the missing paper in this episode for the last three years. In this case, the Information Commission has imposed a fine of ₹ 58000 against three guilty SDM officers.
Concern over missing documents for the first time in 66 years
State Information Commissioner Rahul Singh, while making it clear in his order that the Commission has the jurisdiction to make necessary changes in the methods related to the management and destruction of documents in the Right to Information Act, ordered the Principal Secretary General Administration Department that the management of public records And ensure proper action at the departmental level to get Madhya Pradesh’s Public Records Act made for the administration. Along with this, the State Information Commission has also said that until the Public Records Act is closed and implemented, all the departments should be directed by issuing guidelines for record maintenance in Madhya Pradesh according to the Public Records Act of the Center for that period. In the case, Singh has called for a report from the General Administration Department by January 23, 2023.
There is no Public Records Act for the maintenance and management of documents in Madhya Pradesh
By the way, it is a matter of surprise that after 66 years have passed since the formation of the state of Madhya Pradesh, for the first time it is being known that there is no Public Records Act for the maintenance and management of documents in Madhya Pradesh. While the Center and other states have their own Public Records Act under which the management of files in the office is ensured. It is evident that the state authorities never took the missing documents seriously.