Himachal State Commission asks government to disclose info in Priyanka land allocation case



By NewsGram Staff Writer

The Himachal Pradesh government has been directed by the State Information Commission(SIC) to disclose information relating to Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi’s land at Chabbra, 13 Km from Shimla.

The information is sought to be provided within 10 days.

“We hold the the disclosure of the information in the case is in the larger interest of the public. The Public Information Office(PIO) is directed to disclose the information within 10 days from today”, ordered a bench comprising the state’s Chief Information Commissioner Bhim Sen and Information Commissioner KD Batish.

The order was passed after RTI activist Devashish Bhattacharya filed an appeal against the order of the PIO that denied information on grounds that the disclosure would affect Priyanka’s security as her name figured in the Special Protection Group.

The bench issued a show-cause notice to the PIO, saying the denial of the information had caused unnecessary delay.

Additional District Magistrate and District Commissioner sought reply by July 23 asking as to why penalty should not be imposed for not providing information within the stipulated time.

“The SPG security cover was provided to Priyanka, not to the land. Therefore to deny information on this pretext was extremely unfair”, the Commission remarked.

Moreover, the Commission held that all elected MP’s make known all details related to their properties during elections.

Priyanka had purchased the land in question in 2007 during the Congress government of Virbhadra Singh.

She had been given relaxation under Section 118 of the HP Tenancy and Land Reforms Act, a law which debars outsiders and non-agriculturalists to purchase land in the state.

Permission to purchase an additional piece of land where Priyanka is building a three storied cottage was given by the BJP government headed by Prem Kumar Dhumal.