Tale of missing files

This has a reference to “Govt does not have files containing record about enactment of PSA”, DE Apr 17. In this connection a very serious question arises about the safety of secret and top official documents in Govt custody. If we study newspaper reports of previous years we find such reports almost yearly. It is sorry state of affairs that no proper punishment has been given to any Record Keeper in this regard. I have to share a some personnel experience. When I sought copy of Govt order under which Chanani Principality was abolished and annexed with J&K State in the year 1947-48. My various RTI applications landed up with one reply that “Record not available”. Similarly when I asked for copy of Govt order under which personnel “Forests” of Raja Chenani were taken over by J&K Govt without any sort of compensation. My various RTI applications after many months got same reply as “Record not available”. There were reports that the Agreement documents with NHPC on the award of Power Projects are also missing. I had also read that important documents of 1947-48 are also not available in original. The important Land Record and Revenue Maps of Jammu Division concerning to specified land are very rarely available even in Central Record Room. Likewise there is long list of missing documents. One of the reasons is that no long term visible punishment has been awarded to any Record Keeper and no accountability fixed. We only listen two replies, one is that fire broke out and the other is that file is missing. The J&K State is not alone in this regard, but the tales of missing files is equally lengthy in Govt of India as well. So it is only the political class which can end this discrapancy by enactment of strong laws and their application on the culprits.
Rajinder Anthal
Chenani (Udhampur)