A Right to Information (RTI) query has revealed how much BMC administration is soft on those offenders who first dare to produce fake caste certificates and become corporator and when they are found guilty of it, BMC does not take any action them, which encourages them to repeat the same. RTI Activist Anil Galgali had filed an RTI with the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and wanted to know how many corporators were disqualified for producing fake caste certificates, and reply given to him has revealed not even a single councillor has been booked for producing fake caste certificates to win the civic election in the last three election held in 2007, 2012 and 2017.
Galgali’s queries was filed with Municipal Secretary’s office which was later transferred to the Legal and Election department of the BMC. Replying to the query, officer of the legal department of the BMC SD Fulsunge replied that no case has been filed against any councillor for procuring fake caste certificates, however, the details about such cases (FIR) can be obtained from the deputy legal officer of the Small Causes Court. The deputy law officer of the Small Causes Court Anant Kajrolkar too replied that no FIR has been filed against any disqualified councillors in the last three elections. Clarifying the legal department’s stand in such cases, the officer further replied, “The legal department files election petitions in the Small Causes Court and then verify the submissions made by the either sides.”
While election department in its reply said that that total 21 corporators were disqualified in 2007, 2012 and 2017 election. Out of 21 disqualified corporators, 20 were disqualified for procuring fake caste certificate while one corporator was disqualified for having more the two children, which a restriction to become a corporator in BMC. In this list Mumbai Mayor Vishwanath Mahadeshwar name also include.
Reacting over the BMC’s lethargical approach, Galgali slammed the babus of the civic body and termed it as “unprofessional”. He also dashed off a letter to Chief Minister. In his letter written to the Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Municipal Commissioner Ajoy Mehta, he said, “This is absolutely absurd and unprofessional. There should be clarity that which department will take legal action against the offenders.”
Galgali further asked, “When corporators have been disqualified after founding procuring fake caste certificates, then why not BMC initiate criminal cases against these offenders? If BMC start taking action against these fraudulent people, then this will act as deterrent, otherwise, in every election, candidates will keep procuring fake certificate.”