A 90-year old widow claiming to be the aunt of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has knocked on the doors of an appellate authority after failing to get satisfactory answers from the Labour Ministry on her RTI application seeking details of lease renewal of a government dispensary running in her premises.
In a hearing last week before Information Commissioner Sridhar Acharyulu, Dahiben Narottamdas Modi sent her representative Ishwar Lal Modi who narrated her ordeal about her premises which was rented on April 11, 1983, for Rs 600 per month.
It was given out for running the Beedi Workers Welfare Fund (BWWF) dispensary in her premises in Vadnagar in Gujarat’s Mehsana district.
The rent was increased from Rs 600 to Rs 1500 through revisions of the lease between 1983 and 1998, she said in her submissions before the Central Information Commission (CIC), adding it has not been raised since then.
Dahiben had filed an RTI application in December last year in which she sought to know details of the lease, renewals, norms for fixing rent, reasons for not renewing her lease every five years and whether the department was ready to pay arrears for periods in which lease was not renewed after five years, among others. The matter reached the Commission after she failed to get a satisfactory response on her Right to Information application and her first appeal before higher authorities remained unanswered, according to details submitted by Dahiben before the CIC.
Dahiben claimed she was all alone and survived on the meagre rental income of Rs 1,500 from the building for which the revision of rent was pending. Welfare and Cess Commissioner S S Bhople told the Commission in a letter that after the expiry of the last lease agreement the office had requested the landlord through letters dated July