Bhopal: After ruling by the information commissioner, info of panchayat representatives have to be made public

BHOPAL: Now, all the details of panchayat representatives- including their property and criminal records, will be displayed on the State Election Commissionís website. This comes after a ruling given by information commissioner Rahul Singh on Tuesday.

Till now, such information is available only about representatives in the state Assembly and Parliament (MLAs and MPs). Although there are rules to make the records of panchayat representatives public, they were not followed by the officials. Now, information commissioner Rahul Singh has issued directives to the State Election Commission to make a record of the affidavits and other details of the panchayat representatives public.

Singh also issued a ruling that information about the present representatives should be made available within 30 days of filing of the application under the Right to Information (RTI) Act.

The state election commission issues directives during every election that the affidavits, educational qualifications, criminal records, details of movable and immovable assets and so forth should be made public and uploaded on the website, but this has not been followed till date.

The election commissioner has asked the general administration department (GAD) to direct collectors of all districts to ensure the implementation of the directives.

Singh also stressed that the election system at the panchayat level should remain free, fair and transparent as in the Assembly and Parliament.

The decision came on a petition filed by RTI activist Shivanand Dubey, who had asked for information on the panchayat representatives of Rewa district. The tehsildar had replied to him that the information was kept in a sealed envelope and could not be provided. This decision will have a deep impact in the coming local bodiesí elections.

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