Thursday, April 12, 2012

RTI Forum demands legal action against fake COI holders

GANGTOK, 10 April: Sikkim RTI Forum has warned that if the concerned authorities did not take appropriate legal action against the proven and cancelled 212 fake Certificate of Identification holders within one month, the Forum will file a joint FIR against these 212 fake COI holders.
The Forum revealed today that according to information furnished by the Land Revenue Department on an RTI application by it, the authorities have cancelled 212 COIs as fake till date. This cancellation, the Forum points out, proves that the concerned authority was aware that these COIs were obtained through illegal means. But cancellation is not enough, and since illegal means were used to procure such certificates, legal action needs to be taken against holders of such COI’s, the Forum argues.
Addressing a press conference today, general secretary DK Chettri and vice-president GR Rai of the Forum demanded that appropriate action be taken against government officials and employees involved in issuing these fake COIs.
The Forum has also demanded termination of services of those with fake COIs and that the government’s money spent on training students with fake COIs be redeemed as well.
Mr Chettri stated that if the authorities can file an FIR against a person for obtaining Residential Certificate by illegal means then the same should be the case for fake COI holders as well.
The Forum also released some documents of a fake COI holder which showed that the person, currently employed with the Forest Department, had his name in the voters’ lists of both Sikkim and West Bengal on the basis of fake Panchayat recommendation. According to the Forum the case of this officer is under investigation.
According to the Forum, amongst the 31,180 fake COI holders in the state, even if 30% of them are in government jobs, the system is depriving about 10,000 Sikkimese of their rights and if every two of 31,180 has one child, then there will be another 16,000 more fake COI holders in the making, resulting in a total of 47,000 outsiders enjoying the rights of a Sikkimese citizen.

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