Choudhary Rakesh Singh Chaturvedi, the Deputy Leader of the Congress Legislature Party in Madhya Pradesh, received a reply running into 8,000 to 10,000 pages to a one-line question he had asked in the State Assembly. The bundles of paper were delivered at his home by an autorickshaw.

Mr. Chaturvedi called it a “cruel joke.”

“During the monsoon session on July 7, I had asked a question to which the State Housing and Environment Ministry last week sent me a reply in the form of number of huge bundles,” he said. The reply came early this month.

Mr. Chaturvedi said he had asked Housing and Environment Minister Jayant Malaiyya to state the names of industrial units which were issued No Objection Certificates from January 2006 to December 2008 regarding permissible emission limits.

“I was astonished when eight to ten bundles containing the answer were delivered at my residence,” he said.

The MLA said as he was busy with the current budget session, he did not have time to look at the reply.

He said the size of the answer makes the motive of the officials abundantly clear.

Mr. Chaturvedi said if the officials wanted they could have summarised the answer but they did not do so as they wanted to confuse him. “Now I will read the reply in instalments only when I have the time to do so.”

Assembly Speaker Ishwar Das Rohani said the officials who sent this reply had not performed their duty properly. “I will make sure that such things do not recur again,” he said.