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sabynsaby

Query: Follow up on complaint to Municipal Authority

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sabynsaby

Please advise me on the following:

A real estate Company has been carrying on business and operations in Mumbai in violations of the Maharashtra Shops and Establishment Act, 2017, chief among which is carrying out business without any license or registration.

1.     So I complained to the relevant authority, viz. Shops and Establishment (S&E) Dept. of the concerned ward of the Bombay Municipal Corporation.

2.     However, there was no action on my complaint. So I personally met the Sr. Inspector, S&E Dept. and reiterated my demand for enquiry, compliance and action.

3.     The official informed me that he visited the Co. premises and directed the Co. staff to register the Co. with the S&E dept.

4.     He also showed me what clearly appeared to be false notice issued to the Co., but on my request refused to provide me a copy of the same.

5.     He further informed me that beond this no action could be initiated because no rules have yet been framed so far under the new, amended Mah. Shops and Establishment Act, 2017.

6.     Finally after much coercion he orally assured me that he will visit the Co. premises again after 7 days.

7.     However within hours my online complaint was closed and marked as ‘FALSE COMPLAINT’ without recording any reasons.

What action can I take in respect of my complaint first outside the ambit of the RTI act and later resort to the RTI Act.

Regrds and thanks.

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Prasad GLN

You can file RTI Application and seek information for providing  Copies of investigation and such office notes that state the reasons for closing the complaint that it is a false complaint.  Depending on the facts, you can escalate it to Ministry level with such proofs.  (It is not easy now to suppress any transaction after GST)

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sabynsaby

Thanks Prasadji for your kind but effective advice. Just a clarification. But before that I would like to have your opinion on my idea to first write a formal letter to the next higher level within the Municipal Corp. detailing the license violation as a follow-up to my online complaint which was more a very basic level complaint structure. And after the written complaint I feel it will be that much more difficult for the authorities to wriggle out.

As regards clarification, my main fear is that in an RTI the Public Authority might use the defence that the information pertains to third party and therefore cannot be divulged. In fact, the Municipal authority asked me to file an RTI to obtain a copy of the notice served on the Co.

My regards and Thanks once again.

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Prasad GLN

Remember, there are no exemptions in any act for information in larger public interest.

Tax evader,  wilful defaulter, criminals relations with public authorities are not personal in nature.   They are all against larger public interest matters. You are not going to get single paisa if some one registers his business or not.  The ultimate beneficiary is Government.  This makes the issue in larger public interest.   Authorities are expected to wake up from slumber to the whistle blower's call.  Even if they pretend, negligence of duty is not in public interest.

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Prasad GLN

Repeatedly, experts are time and again guiding members that there is no bar in seeking information under RTI Act on any issue.

The burden either to provide information or to deny stating such an exemption clause under Sec.8 or 9 subsections is only on PIO.

Once there is denial, a member can come back and post verbatim reproduction for denial, and experts in the forum advise good grounds for the first appeal.

After PIO denial, still, there are two more opportunities like first and second appeal.  Finally if one can afford matters relating to these larger public interest issues can be filed as Public interest Litigation petition before HC.

Finally, the burden is always on PIO and there are abundant chances to establish genuine information, illegally denied.

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