An autorickshaw driver, Shantilal, filed an RTI query seeking information about the acquisition of his father’s land and received 9000 paged information weighing around 39 kilograms.
Shantilal, who hails from a poor family in Bhoiyon-ki-pancholi village near Udaipur city with an education till Class V, suspected foul play when Rajasthan State Industrial Development and Investment Corporation (RIICO) acquired his father’s 1.5 beegha cultivable land, but not of others. Though it happened 20 years ago, Shantilal wanted to get to the bottom of it and know the reasons behind it. So, he filed three different RTI queries last year. He asked about details of the total land acquired by RIICO for development in the area.
But, the 47-year-old had a harrowing time since then, as he alleged that RIICO officials in Udaipur threatened him and sent him a demand notice of Rs 17,482 as charges for photocopies.
“The authorities humiliated and threatened me. They even asked what relevance the papers have for an `anpadh, ganvaar’ person like me,” Shantilal said
. However, Shantilal remained undeterred and appealed to higher authorities. On September 17, 2015, the appellate officer ordered to give details to Shantilal for free of charge. And to his surprise, Shantilal received a massive 9,000 pages of reply which he had to collect from the post office as they refused to deliver it. He said he will consult a social worker or a lawyer on the legal aspects of the case.
He has now lodged a complaint against RIICO at the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) court here.