It was shocking to receive a copy of fake complaint filed under my forged signature addressed to Prime Minister against Department of Space, a copy of which was also marked to several other government-functionaries. It is not first such case. In past also my name has been quite often misused by filing fake complaints and RTI applications in my name. Even a targeted officer once threatened to sue me with defamation for Rs 50 lakhs. The matter was also taken up through a petition at Central Information Commission, wherein some such facts are mentioned in CIC-verdict dated November 10, 2016 in petition-number CIC-SA-C-2016-000324.
Most important safeguard is to make it compulsory to attach a copy of Identity (ID) Proof bearing signature of the petitioner with each complaint against any employee or department of the government, and also with every RTI application. It is surprising that Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) has not till issued any circular in this regard despite verdict dated November 2, 2012 in the matter — Fruit and Merchant Union versus unknown — (CWP 4787 of 2011) where the court desired compulsory attachment of ID proof with every RTI application. Norms should also include a provision whereby no complaint may be entertained if its copies are also marked to anyone else. Action initiated on same complaint by multiple authorities separately involves man-hours and resources of so many public authorities, and are waste in case complaints are fake and false.
Subhash Chandra Agrawal
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)