Recent news that Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education’s refusal to part with the mark sheet of Mr Vinod Tawde, Education minister of Maharashtra had surprised many. The mark sheet of Mr Vinod Tawde was refused under Right to Information, RTI, Act. It must be noted that Mr Anil Galgali, RTI Activist, attempted to get information from the education board regarding mark sheet, board certificate and hall ticket of Mr Vinod Tawde.
It was also brought to the notice that in the letter dated 28th July 2015, Mr Galgali had asked the Maharashtra board of education to furnish copy of mark sheets of both SSC and HSC, board certificate and hall ticket of Mr Vinod Tawde, who passed SSC examinations in the year 1978 from St. Anthonia High School and HSC from Vile Parle College in the year 1980. To Mr Galgali’s question, the board had replied that copy of mark sheet and board certificate could not be given under RTI Act.
It must be noted that, in the first appeal letter dated 22nd August 2015, Mr Galgali said that mark sheets and board certificate were part of public record and the board was expected to furnish those when required. A hearing regarding this issue took place on 9th September 2015 in the presence of Mr Galgali, but after the discussions the board rejected the appeal.
As per the Information officer, the appeal made was not accepted and further it was said that the information demanded belonged to a third person, so the information regarding mark sheets, certificate and hall ticket could not be issued. National Congress Party further rubbed salt into the wounds and said that education board was denying the information because of pressure from Mr Vinod Tawde.
Mr Nawab Malik, spokesperson of NCP, was of the opinion that, information regarding those details were concealed due to high level pressure from Mr Vinod Tawde. He also said that though Mr Tawde proclaimed himself to be an electronic engineer, there was a general belief among many that he did not even complete plus two where he had failed. Mr Malik further added that, Mr Tawde must himself reveal his mark sheet to the public if he had passed the 12th standard.
It must be noted that, Mt Vinod Tawde earlier was accused of having a fake BE (Electronics) degree, but he denied those and said that he obtained BE in Electronics engineering from a Pune institute in the Year 1984 and the degree was not fake. This issue regarding Mr Vinod Tawde was brought out in the open in the background of dispute regarding the educational qualifications of HRD minister Smriti Irani and bogus degree issued by Mr Jirender Tomar, Delhi Law minister, who was forced to resign. Another point to be noted here was, Mr Tawde got support from the chief minister Mr Devendra Fadnavis.