In our building all flats are residential flat. On the ground floor one member is using his flat as a go down. The Secretary of the Society asked him several times, both orally and in writing, not to use the flat for any purpose other than as a bona fide residence. But the member was evasive. Then the Society had suspicion that the member had applied to the Municipality for a Registration Certificate to use the premises as a shop. An application under RTI was made to the Public Information Officer, F-N Ward, Mr. A. B. Tambe, Senior Inspector, Shops & Establishments, seeking information whether the member had applied for a Registration Certificate and whether he had produced permission/NOC from the Society for doing business from the premises.
In his reply the PIO confirmed that the member had applied for a Registration Certificate. But he said that the permission of the Society was not necessary for the purpose. His replies to the questions regarding reference to Fire Department and actual grant of Registration Certificate were evasive. Copy of his reply is attached.
As the reply of the PIO was not satisfactory, first appeal was made to the Assistant Commissioner, F/North Ward. Instead of point to point reply the Assistant Commissioner called for a hearing and asked the Secretary to attend. At the hearing the PIO was also there. The Assistant Commissioner told the Secretary that there was a BMC circular saying permission of the Society was not necessary and he showed copy of a circular. The circular had nothing to do with the question of requirement of permission of the Society or otherwise. Later he issued the minutes of the meeting, which was vague and which only said the PIO was ordered to give information. There was no reference to the actual questions.
As the first appeal did not yield the necessary results, a second appeal was made to the Information Commissioner. And who was the Information Commissioner? The infamous Ramanand Tiwari, who is now refusing to quit as Information Commissioner despite Government orders. Ramanand Tiwari called a meeting and flatly justified the Municipal Officers. He even challenged the Secretary to go to court against the Municipality.