Former Chhattisgarh chief secretary Ajay Singh, who is presently Chairman Revenue Board, has expressed his reluctance to share any information on the crop insurance scheme sought under the Right to Information (RTI) claiming that it might pose a threat to his physical security and infringe his privacy.
Consequently, the state agriculture department has put on hold the disclosure of documents under the RTI Act in accordance with his wishes. Singh was shifted to the post of Chairman Revenue Board by the Congress government in January this year.
In a letter dated August 19 to the PRO CS Ekka (TNIE has a copy of it) of the agriculture department, Singh declined to disclose the requisite information sought under the RTI.
Information was sought on the alleged gross irregularities in the Weather Based Crop Insurance Scheme in 2014 and the follow-up action over the complaint.
"It would infringe my personal privacy. The details sought have no relationship with the public interest and revelation of the details would threaten my physical security," stated the letter written by Singh, who was chairperson of the state level coordination committee on crop insurance and commissioner (agriculture production) in 2014.
Following Singh's official communication, the PRO didn't share any information and informed the applicant Ramashankar Gupta about the chief secretary's stand.
“I have sought information on the progress over the complaint lodged in the state Economic Offence Wing (EOW) and the follow-up action taken. But the PRO only shared with me the unwillingness of the former chief secretary. They all are ignoring the huge corruption involving high profile people. How could an issue connected with over 10 lakh farmers of the state not be in the public interest and infringe his privacy? Already the former CS is entitled to security of five policemen. Does he fear attack by 10 lakh farmers? I met the chief minister Bhupesh Baghel and suggested to provide him (ex-CS) the type of protection that guarded Ajmal Kasab in the high-security jail after the Mumbai attack”, the activist Gupta told the Express.
Gupta had earlier submitted the documents to the state Economic Offence Wing (EOW) seeking a probe into the alleged massive irregularity in the weather-based crop insurance scheme to the tune of over Rs 150 crore in Chhattisgarh in 2014.
“Already the department had provided me substantial papers connected with the irregularities. So what threat could there be in providing some additional information?” Gupta asked.
Singh couldn’t be reached for his comments.