Tamil Nadu Information Commission looking into the petitions submitted by Karuppiah had sent summons to the school Correspondent to appear before the Commission.

A Dalit organisation - Dalit Liberation Movement (DLM) - has demanded the intervention of Central Information Commission (CIC) to take action against a school for its alleged “delay in providing information” to the application, seeking information under the Right to Information Act, 2005.

S. Karuppiah, joint general secretary, DLM, Madurai had filed petitions under the RTI Act in a case relating to alleged swindling of scholarship money meant for SC/ST students, who were studying in Danish Mission Higher Secondary School in Tiruvannamalai, during 2005-2009.

Through a series of petitions under the Act, DLM had been seeking information but the school authorities had refused to part with the information.

On May 20, 2010, the first petition seeking information was filed by DLM to the Headmaster; this was followed by a petition to the Correspondent.

Second appeal

Following this, DLM had filed a second appeal petition with the State Information Commission on July 2, 2010.

Again a third appeal petition was filed on December 5, 2011; fourth petition on December, 30, 2011, followed by fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth petitions on January 10, February, 2, March, 20 and May, 5, 2012 respectively.

Tamil Nadu Information Commission looking into the petitions submitted by Karuppiah had sent summons to the school Correspondent to appear before the Commission on February, 3, 2011 but he did not appear, instead the Assistant Headmaster appeared before the Commission and during which an order was issued by the Commission asking the school to furnish the details of the scholarship given along with details of the student and name of parents.

However, the school authorities maintained that the files related to the scholarship for SC/ST students are with the Adi Dravidar Welfare Department so they were unable to furnish the details.

Reply

Replying to another petition filed by DLM on May, 24, 2012, the school authorities stated that a letter dated 18.11.2011 from Adi Dravidar Welfare Department said that the files that were with the department had been given to the city police for an investigation.

The Tamil Nadu Information Commission on May, 24, 2012 has issued an order asking the school authorities to furnish the information as soon as they get the files back from the police without any further delay. In the petition addressed to the Chief Information Commissioner, Central Information Commission, the DLM has alleged that petitions were given to the Director, the Directorate of School Education and secretary, School Education Department but there was no response.

Earlier in the case, a joint director of Adi Dravidar Welfare conducted an inquiry in August 2010 in the school based on a petition submitted by the DLM alleging that the then headmaster and a couple of teachers had swindled scholarship money meant for Hindu Adi Dravidar students. Following the inquiry, the District Adi Dravidar Welfare Officer filed a formal complaint with the Tiruvannamalai town DSP on August 24.

Protests

The DLM had conducted protests demanding the police to file a charge sheet in the case.

‘After four months’ delay, the Tiruvannamalai town police registered a FIR under Section 420, 468 and 477(a) of the Indian Penal Code.

“The DLM had in fact placed a demand to book the accused under the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act 1989 in addition to the IPC Sections but in vain,” S. Karuppaiah, said.

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