Madhya Pradesh to Bring In Its Public Records Act After Frequent Cases of Missing Documents from Govt Depts

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Concerned over the frequent instances of recordsdata and paperwork being vanishing from authorities departments, Madhya Pradesh State Information Commissioner Rahul Singh has directed the State’s General Administration Department (GAD) to provoke the laws of the Public Records Act.

Singh additionally instructed the GAD to devise tips in accordance to the Centre’s Public Records Act, 1993 to regulate the administration of paperwork and have strict provisions, together with 5 years’ imprisonment and wonderful of Rs 10,000 towards responsible officers accountable for the lacking the information till the Public Records Act is enacted within the state.

Singh identified that the absence of any authorized framework for the administration and administration of the information is the rationale behind the officers being callous and apathetic in direction of instances of loss, mismanagement and unlawful destruction of information in authorities places of work.

What Kind of Records are Vanishing?

Singh’s order has uncovered the stark actuality behind callous strategy of officers in direction of lacking paperwork and plight of widespread man. The order warns that instances of vanishing and loss of information shouldn’t be handled in a superficial method on the administrative degree.

Singh stated the loss of paperwork could have disastrous influence at instances, jeopardising the lives and careers of affected people. The SIC order identified that the State Information Commission receives complaints, together with lacking land information, recordsdata and paperwork in instances of wrongful or irregular appointments, loss of paperwork in enquiry experiences and lacking paperwork in instances of corruption, loss of paperwork that may significantly have an effect on people or organisations and likewise disappearance of paperwork in administrative actions towards authorities officers.

Interestingly, Singh stated there have been instances the place these paperwork made a reappearance after the involved authorities had been ordered by the Information Commission to file an official police report.

Singh, in his order, stated the vanishing of public information not solely impacts widespread residents however, at instances, places authorities officers and workers on the receiving finish. When the service or the enquiry experiences are misplaced, officers face rather a lot of hardship throughout the service interval and on the time of retirement.

No Accountability Regarding Missing Documents

Singh handed the order whereas listening to an attraction associated to the lacking caste certificates from the federal government report. Not solely the general public information and paperwork had been misplaced, but additionally the RTI utility that was filed was additionally reported lacking. What surprises Singh that no accountability has been fastened for the previous three years within the matter. Singh levied a penalty of Rs 58,000 towards three Sub-Divisional Magistrates and likewise instructed Satna District Collector to provoke inquiry into lacking information.

Status Quo in Madhya Pradesh

At current, due to the non-existence of Public Records Act in Madhya Pradesh, authorities officers and workers chargeable for the disappearance and mismanagement of information are punished in accordance with the Madhya Pradesh Civil Services Rules, 1961. Due to the dearth of particular and particular guidelines and regulation for public information, accountability is seldom fastened in such instances. Not solely this, Singh rues that the state doesn’t have a legally tuned course of for recreation of the lacking information.

FIR Must Be Filed for Vanishing Records

In instances of lacking paperwork, Information Commissioner Singh confused that the accountability and duty of a authorities official have to be established in a time certain method. If malafide intention of the official is proved behind disappearance of paperwork, then he have to be punished with related provisions of the Indian Penal Code, 1860.

First Instance of Concern in Last 66 years

Singh, in his order stated the part 19 of Right to Information Act endows the Commission with the executive energy to make the required modifications within the provisions of the administration, administration and destruction of public information.

Taking a cue from this Singh directed the Principal Secretary GAD, Madhya Pradesh, to provoke the laws and enactment of the Public Records Act in Madhya Pradesh. The division was additionally instructed to devise tips in accordance with the Public Records Act, 1993 for the administration and upkeep of public Records in all state authorities places of work and departments. Singh has additionally requested the GAD to file a compliance report with the Commission earlier than January 23, 2023.

Nearly 66 years have handed because the structure of Madhya Pradesh as a full-fledged state however it’s astounding that it nonetheless doesn’t have its personal Public Records Act for efficient administration, administration and upkeep of public information whereas the Centre and several other different states have already enacted one.

Apparently problem of disappearance and mismanagement of information was not given due consideration and significance it commanded and required in consequence the widespread man proceed undergo over the lacking information on the public places of work.

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