The urban development ministry has withdrawn a notice for recovery of about Rs two crore rent dues from Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar for use of a government bungalow.
The ministry's action came even as the Central Information Commission on Tuesday directed the ministry to disclose information related to allotment, occupation and use
of a government bungalow by family members of late Jagjivan Ram including his wife late Indrani Devi and daughter Meira Kumar.
The transparency watchdog has also asked the ministry to put all information related to the bungalow, located at 6, Krishna Menon Marg, on its website, possibly within two months.
The direction was given while the commission was hearing an appeal filed by RTI activist Subhash Agrawal. The directorate of estates said a bill of Rs 1,98,22,723 was issued in the name of family of late Indrani Devi in respect of the Krishna Menon Marg bungalow.
A query under the transparency act filed by Agrawal had in November last year found that a bill of Rs 1.98 crore was due as pending rent from Kumar for occupation of the said premises since 1986 after the demise of Jagjivan Ram.
"However, subsequently on receiving a clarification from Meira Kumar, Speaker, stating that she had vacated 6, Krishna Menon Marg on November 28, 2002, a decision has been taken by the ministry to treat this as the date of vacation and as per orders the recovery notice was withdrawn," the directorate said in a recent response to an RTI query filed by Agrawal.
Earlier, replying to an RTI application, the Directorate had given a list of 10 persons including "family members of late Indrani Devi i.e. Smt Meira Kumar (sic)" and the dues pending against them for occupation of bungalows.
The list had shown Kumar has a pending rent of nearly Rs 1.98 crore for which a bill has been issued, it said.When contacted for comments, the Speaker's office had then said "the family members of Late Smt Indrani Devi, vacated 6, Krishna Menon Marg, New Delhi by 30.11.2002, and intimation in this regard was given to Central Public Works Department, New Delhi Municipal Council, director of estates and other concerned authorities.