Jashodaben, wife of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, filed a fresh RTI application at the State Information Commission in Gandhinagar Saturday, challenging the Mehsana RTI appellate authority’s February 6 order, which denied her information she had sought under RTI in November, 2104, on her security and privileges as PM’s spouse.
In the February order, Mehsana District Police Superintendent J R Mothalia had denied Jashodaben the information, arguing that it came under LIB department and as per a 2005 circular of Gujarat Government’s home department, the LIB was exempted from providing the information.
Distressed by the stonewalling of attempts made by her to seek information under RTI twice, Jashodaben may go to Delhi to meet the Prime Minister, said her nephew, Sandip Modi, who is also her advocate.
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She has also objected to her being referred to by her maiden name, instead of her married one.
In her application, she has reasserted her legally married name of Jashodaben Narendrabhai Modi, overturning the RTI reply, given to her by Mehsana Public Information Officer (PIO), which simply referred to her as “Shrimati Jashodaben, daughter of Chimanlal Modi”.
Jashodaben came to the Information Commissioner’s office with Sandip Modi on Saturday to file the application. Sandip Modi told The Sunday Express, “We have filed an application, challenging the order given to us in February. How can they (authority) change the status of her name — Jashodaben Narendrabhai Modi? The order mentions her as Jashodaben Modi, daughter of Chimanbhai Modi. Most of our queries and grievances are related to her security concerns. We have asked for a copy of the order regarding her security as PM’s wife.
We have asked about the protocol that Jashodaben gets being the Prime Minister’s wife and also as to why the guards keep no identity cards or do not give any information as to whom they report to or by whose order they have been posted at Unjha. My aunt was also talking about going to Delhi to PM’s office shortly.”
Sandip averred that after filing the application, Jashodaben met with a few IB range officials at Gandhinagar to air her grievances and also made an unscheduled visit to the office of the Minister of State for Home, Rajnikant Patel, but he was unavailable.
A high-ranking official from the state information commission office confirmed receiving the application. He said, “We have received Jashodaben Modi’s application today. However, it is yet to be scrutinised. As per the usual procedure, if a person is not agreeing to the reply by the PIO, then they have to make first appeal at the same place where they filed the RTI. If they are still not satisfied by the information given by the first appellate authority, they can file the second appeal at the Gujarat Information Commission.”
Ashok Modi, Jashodaben’s brother who accompanied her back to Unjha where he resides, said, “We were denied information last time where the Mehsana PIO cited bandobast (organising) duties for Makar Sankranti and Vibrant Gujarat Summit held in the state. Later, we were instructed to approach the Information Commission at Gandhinagar. Last time, they had addressed my sister as ‘Shrimati Jashodaben, Chimanlal Modi’s daughter,’ instead of using her full name — Jashodaben Narendra Modi.” Jashodaben said, “I’ve signed as Jashodaben Narendra Modi in the application I gave today. Since the last time I did not get a satisfactory reply, I have filed another application.”
Jashodaben had, in December 2014, challenged the denial of information she had sought under the RTI in November on her security and privileges as PM’s wife.
Later, she had filed an appeal at the office of the Mehsana Deputy Superintendent of Police. Here, she was again declined the information she had sought. In a reply to her in February this year, Mothalia directed her to pursue an appeal at the Information Commission at Gandhinagar if she was dissatisfied with the reply.