PRO leaked HP High Court orders in Priyanka Vadra land deal case prior to official announcement, alleges RTI activist
The activist raised a question asking why Himachal can’t provide the details of the permission given to Gandhi family including Priyanka Vadra to purchase land in Shimla when Delhi could do it despite all these being SPG protectees?
SHIMLA– The high-profile case of land-purchase deal in Priyanka Vadra case has once again in news due to alleged prior leak of HP High Court orders.
In a letter to the Chief Justice of HP High Court, Mansoor Ahmad Mir and Chief Justice of India, RTI activist Dev Ashish Bhattacharya, who had filed RTI seeking file notings and details of Priyanka Vadra land purchase deal in 2014, had alleged the Public Relation Officer of Himachal Pradesh High Court of leaking court orders before official announcement by Honorable Justice Tarlok Chauhan. He urged the court to take serious note of it and initiate a high power inquiry into the matter.
Mr. Bhattacharya also released copy of the order passed in hearing of Civil Writ Petition (CWP -3144/2015) on July 28 in which his plea to place some documents on record in ongoing case of Priyanka land purchase deal in Charabra, Shimla. However, details of the e-mail containing copies of HC orders revealed that it was sent to several newspapers, journalists, and individuals on July 27.
He also informed how prior leak of orders by the PRO resulted in misinterpretations of orders by various national newspapers , some of them even stated that the court had rejected the plea of the activist seeking information of the land deal. The Hindu, Bhattacharya said, even went on writing “Priyanka Need Not Reveal Land Details: HC.”
However, the PRO claimed it to be a technical glitch, which, he said, would be explained later. With this explanation, PRO tried to wash his hands, but technical glitch is hardly justified, claimed the activist.
The time and date is picked up from the server of the Google in G-Mails and cannot be tampered with. Even if the time and date of the computer is changed the server of the Google will indicate its own (correct) time and date. What explanation does the PRO have to defend him on this issue?,
asked the activist in the letter.
In case the batteries of any computer go waste then it will revert to the time and date of manufacturing of the computer by default,
he further explained.
Mr. Bhattacharya also made it clear that the court had dismissed only one of the two CMPs urging to put some additional documents on record, and that court did not said that Priyanka Vadra need not to reveal her land details.
It (order) was e-mailed to several people by the Public Relation Officer of the High Court on 27th July, 2016 at 10:26 PM from his official e-mail ID (firstname.lastname@example.org),
said the activist in the letter.
It is a matter of surprise and concern that the order of the Hon’ble HP High Court, which was announced in the court No. 4 by Hon’ble Justice Tarlok Singh Chauhan on 28th July, 2016 was supplied to the public domain by the Public Relation Officer of the Hp High Court on 27th July, 2016 at 10:26 pm,
he further expressed his astonishment.
If Delhi Can Provide Information, Then Why Not Himachal?
In CMP No. 2987/2016 the documents he had pleaded to put on records contain residential information of Sonia Gandhi, Priyanka Vadra, and Rahul Gandhi in Delhi, which he was provided by the Delhi Directorate of Estate. The information was easily provided despite the fact that these three are permanent residents of Delhi and are SPG Protectees. However, in Himachal, Priyanka had filed a CWP (No. 3144/2015) challenging the order of the of the full bench of the HP Information Commission claiming it to be a breach of safety and security by making the location of her residence in Shimla public. The activist raised a question asking why Himachal can’t provide the details of the permission given to Priyanka Vadra to purchase land in Shimla when Delhi could do it.
The activist had also obtained documents from SIT (Solan) containing information regarding investigation in violation of Section 118 of the HP Land and Tenancy Act, 1972. In CMP No. 6055/2016 he had urged the honorable court to put these documents on record as well. However, the court dismissed it (only CMP No. 6055/2016) saying these documents do not relate or link to the original petition filed.
However, the CMP No. 2987/2016 is still alive. The next hearing in the case is scheduled for September 9, 2016. It would be a grieve damage to the dignity of the Honorable HP High Court if the allegations are proved right.