The Punjabi University,Patiala,has admitted to tampering with records demanded under the Right to Information (RTI) Act. University Registrar S Khera,in his official communication,said he regretted the inconvenience caused.
An advocate had sought all relevant documents,including applications submitted by candidates,orders passed by the competent authority on those applications,copies of the appointment letters and minutes of the proceedings of the selection committee among others with regards to appointments made by the Punjabi University during the tenure of former vice-chancellor S S Boparai.
The university had failed to supply the record,which runs into over 12,500 pages,within the stipulated period of 30 days as a result of which it had to supply the entire document free of cost thereby incurring a loss of over Rs 25,000. When the record was supplied,it was found that the documents were defaced making them illegible,advocate H C Arora had alleged.
In a letter dated January 29,2009,the Registrar has admitted that the university had tampered with the fathers name and addresses of various applicants and candidates in the documents supplied to Arora.
The Registrar has now supplied legible copies of 1,118 pages to Arora. Khera has said: The relevant portion of those documents contained the address and telephone numbers,the disclosure of which could have resulted in unnecessary interference in the personal life of the concerned persons. Besides,identifying the experts in the selection committee could have posed danger to their security.
The Registrar has also stated that the university inadvertently forgot to report about tampering with certain portions of the 1,118 documents. There was no malafide intention of the university, the Registrar has asserted.
Arora had filed a complaint in this regard before the State Information Commissioner of Punjab,taking note of which he had summoned the Public Information Commissioner (PIO) of the university. The advocate had alleged that the documents had been tampered deliberately to conceal the addresses of the candidates who had been illegally appointed during the tenure of the former vice-chancellor.
The recent communication sent by the Registrar has also been given to the Information Commission. The case will now come up for hearing on March 13.