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Man who files 450 RTI applications per month says 90% remain unanswered

Originally from Kutch’s Abdasa taluka,Ramesh Joshi has filed 11,841 RTI applications till date.

Written by Satish Jha | Ahmedabad | Published: October 12, 2013 3:57:14 am

A 52-year-old Mumbai-based businessman,who has filed an average of 450 applications per month under the Right To Information (RTI) Act from January last year,has claimed that 90 per cent of his pleas get no response. Originally from Kutch’s Abdasa taluka,Ramesh Joshi has filed 11,841 RTI applications till date.

“They are not giving proper information citing various reasons such as files are missing or they just don’t have information at all. But I will keep filing applications whenever I see something fishy in the functioning of the government,” says Joshi.

He filed his first application on January 23 last year. Joshi,who is a food grain merchant and also has a pharmacy and a stationery store,says he runs an umbrella group of 27 NGOs including the Kutch Ladayak Manch,which files the RTI applications. According to Joshi,there are 18 businessmen located all over the country who are part of his “team”.

Earlier this year,Joshi had filed an RTI on the expenses incurred by the state government on fighting the Lokayukta case. It turned out that the government had spent Rs 45 crore to fight Justice (retd) R A Mehta’s appointment as Lokayukta by Governor Kamla Beniwal.

Joshi has been filing RTI applications to almost every department of the government,seeking details on status of education,the fake encounters,the chief minister’s office and so on.

Some of the recent applications were on why fake encounter accused IPS officer D G Vanzara was allowed to keep a beard.

Once he gets replies he shares the information sometimes by giving advertisements in the news papers. “I am not scared of Modi. All I am trying to do is to bust him,” Joshi said.

The state intelligence office keeps a dossier on Joshi and his movements are reportedly tracked in Gujarat as well as in Maharashtra.

“Officers in every department in the secretariat knows his name. Sometimes his applications are to the point but most of the time they just don’t make any sense. The recent application seeking SIT report that gave clean chit to Modi is one of them. We don’t have the report but he is adamant,” said a senior officer in the secretariat.

Recently,he visited Gandhinagar and spotted some low-rank officials working in an air-conditioned room. “I filed an RTI application immediately to know if they were entitled to Acs,” he said.

When asked about Joshi’s unanswered applications,Information Commissioner Balwant Singh told The Indian Express,“I am not aware of this person or his applications.”

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