Western Railways has No Record of PM Modi’s Father’s Tea Stall: RTI

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The Central Information Commission has disposed of an appeal filed by RTI activist Pawan Parik via a Right to Information (RTI) application, seeking details about the tea shop of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s father, Damodar Das.

This was the second appeal filed Parik who also filed an RTI application two years ago with Central Public Information Officer, Western Railway seeking information on the tea shop run by the prime minister’s father, according to a report in LiveLaw.

Parik sought certified copies of documents about the license or permit issued for the tea stall in question. Parik filed a first appeal after he did not receive a reply in this regard and approached the Central Information Commission.

The CPIO, however, claimed that it had not received any RTI application and first appeal before June 17, 2020 – when it was received along with a second appeal notice. The CPIO further submitted that the information sought was too old and that the Ahmedabad division had maintained no record of that period.

According to the news reports, an RTI query in 2015 revealed that there was no available record to show that Modi was a tea-seller on railway platforms or trains during his childhood.

Congress supporter and social activist Tehseen Poonawalla had sought information under the RTI from the Railway Board as to whether there was any record, registration number or official pass issued to Modi allowing or entitling him to sell tea on trains and at stations.

Quoting the RTI response from the railway ministry, she said: “No such information is available in TG III Branch of Tourism and Catering Directorate of Railway Board.”

Parik had filed a second appeal before the commission previously in 2016, seeking a response from the PMO on his RTI plea regarding the PM’s poll promise of depositing Rs 15 lakh into every citizen’s bank account. The appeal was disposed of by the commission after observing that the response made by the PMO was satisfactory.

Parik had sought information in 2017 through an RTI regarding the discharge of Amit Shah in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh encounter case. The commission dismissed his second appeal and held that ‘perception’ of the applicant about ‘human rights violation’ is no ground to agitate right to information under the proviso to Section 24(1) of the RTI Act.

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