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  1. #1
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    Atul Patankar
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    Dept. of Personnel and Training violating RTI Act: CIC


    As reported by The Hindu News Update Service on 22 December 2008

    New Delhi (PTI): The Department of Personnel and Training, which is the nodal agency for the implementation of RTI Act, is itself violating the Act by publishing misleading information on its website, the CIC has held.
    The department on its website has excluded file notings from the definition of 'information' which implies that there is no obligation on it to reveal these under the RTI Act.
    "Because it is already clear that the entry of file noting with regard to exempted information on the website of DoPT is misleading, we find the DoPT is in violation of the RTI Act," said Chief Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah.
    The Commission ordered the department to delete the definition of information which says that file notings were not included in RTI Act and replace it with the new definition as given in the Act.
    In an earlier hearing of the plea filed by one RTI applicant S C Agrawal, the CIC had directed "It is clear that CPIO (of DoPT) has simply acted in accordance with a circular issued by the DoPT." "If we are to construe malafide in the denial of information in such cases, it is necessary that the source of such malafide denial be identified and further action considered accordingly. From the above it is clear that the impugned order was issued with the approval of then secretary

    Source : The Hindu News Update Service



  2. #2
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    Default Re: Dept. of Personnel and Training violating RTI Act: CIC


    Also reported by samaylive.com on 22 December 2008

    New Delhi, Dec 22: The Department of personnel and training, which is the nodal agency for the implementation of RTI Act, is itself violating the Act by publishing misleading information on its website, the CIC has held.

    The department on its website has excluded file notings from the definition of 'information' which implies that there is no obligation on it to reveal these under the RTI Act.

    "Because it is already clear that the entry of file noting with regard to exempted information on the website of DoPT is misleading, we find the DoPT is in violation of the RTI Act," said Chief Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah.

    The Commission ordered the department to delete the definition of information which says that file notings were not included in RTI Act and replace it with the new definition as given in the Act.

    In an earlier hearing of the plea filed by one RTI applicant S C Agrawal, the CIC had directed "It is clear that CPIO (of DoPT) has simply acted in accordance with a circular issued by the DoPT." "If we are to construe malafide in the denial of information in such cases, it is necessary that the source of such malafide denial be identified and further action considered accordingly. From the above it is clear that the impugned order was issued with the approval of then secretary DoPT."

    Source :DoPT violating RTI Act: CIC :: Sahara India Media

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Dept. of Personnel and Training violating RTI Act: CIC


    The CIC order is attached to this post.

    Order Date: 18.12.2008
    Time given to change: 1 week (ie by 25.12.2008)

    Today is 25.12.2008, but still no change on the DoPT website:

    Right to Information Act (India).
    Attached Files Attached Files

  4. #4
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    Default Why babus won’t reveal file notings



    As reported by Aloke Tikku and Chetan Chauhan in timesofindia.indiatimes.com on 29 December 2008:
    Why babus won?t reveal file notings- Hindustan Times

    Why babus won’t reveal file notings

    In a move that can strike a dent to the purpose of Right to Information Act (RTI) in the country, bureaucracy is averse to reveal official file notings that contain the discussions on the subject under consideration before the government.

    The bureaucracy points to the instructions from the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) — which comes directly under the Prime Minister — to keep the file notings under wraps. This decision will have a negative impact on the RTI purpose. Because making official notings public would have helped fix the trail of responsibility and accountability within the government.

    The bureaucracy had tried to draw an iron curtain over this part of the file. The government, however, hasn't given up. A DoPT circular on April 10, 2008 noted CIC rulings that file notings was an integral part of a file and should be disclosed. “Applications seeking copies of the file notings may be disposed of as per clarification given on the website,” the circular issued by DoPT deputy secretary, Zoya CB, said.

    Exasperated CIC Wajahat Habibullah said: “The DoPT view is illegal according to the RTI Act.”

    He told HT that the commission has asked DoPT to remove illegal definition of information from DoPT website.

    DoPT's website had defined the information as all information except file notings.

    All Central government ministries had been following DoPT'’s version of information, and thereby denying file notings.

    Habibullah said if the DoPT fails to comply with its direction, a penal action could be taken against the government official responsible for complying with the order.

    On the DoPT’s order to different Central government ministries that file notings are not be provided unless the CIC issues a specific order, Habibullah said the issues will be resolved once the DoPT corrects its definition of information on its website.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Dept. of Personnel and Training violating RTI Act: CIC


    As reported on thaindian.com on 02 February 2009:
    Reveal ‘file notings’ under RTI, demand activists

    Reveal ‘file notings’ under RTI, demand activists

    New Delhi, Feb 2 (IANS) RTI activists have demanded that jottings on official files, or “file notings” as they are called, should be revealed under the Right To Information (RTI) Act.Subhash Chandra Agrawal, an RTI activist, says the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), the government’s nodal department dealing with issues relating to the RTI Act, has said that “file notings” are not information under the act although the Central Information Commission (CIC) maintains otherwise.

    “The CIC has cleared that ‘file notings’ come under the definition of information under the RTI Act. In the last two years, the CIC has repeatedly given verdicts clearing this controversy,” Agrawal told IANS.

    “The first such verdict came two years back in January 2007.”

    “I had filed an appeal with the CIC regarding the matter. In November 2008, while hearing my appeal, the CIC directed DoPT to correct it on their website,” Agrawal added.

    “The CIC had given Jan 27, 2009, as the last day for the DoPT to make the correction but they have not done so. Instead, they have sent a letter to the CIC sticking to their earlier stand,” Agrawal said.

    “The CIC can go to the high court in the matter. But I think the CIC should be given little more powers to enforce the act in the country,” senior advocate Prashant Bhushan said.

    RTI activist-turned-Central Information Commissioner Shailesh Gandhi said: “DoPT actions are illegal and they are setting a bad example.”

    “The CIC should use its powers under the RTI Act and impose penalty on these erring officials. If the CIC doesn’t do that, it (RTI Act) will be nothing but a paper tiger,” Magsaysay award winner and RTI activist Arvind Kejriwal said.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Dept. of Personnel and Training violating RTI Act: CIC


    As reported by Subhash Chandra Agarwal in merinews.com on 02 February 2009:
    Govt at loggerheads with CIC over ‘file-notings’

    Govt at loggerheads with CIC over ‘file-notings’


    Central Information Commission has given repeated verdicts on ‘file-notings’. Now it is to be seen if Central Information Commission simply continues to repeat its ‘final’ warnings or takes actual step by imposing a fine on erring DoPT officials .

    IT WILL be a litmus test for Central Information Commission as Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), the nodal government functionary to handle RTI Act, has posed the toughest ever challenge to CIC by finally refusing to follow CIC directions to correct DoPT website for taking ‘file-notings’ as ‘information’ as defined under section 2(f) of the Act.

    The DoPT refusal vide its letter dated 27.01.2009 comes in response to CIC verdict in appeal-number CIC/WB/A/2008/00956 in the matter ‘Subhash Chandra Agrawal vs DoPT’.

    It may be noted that Central Information Commission has given repeated verdicts on ‘file-notings’ with first such verdict about two years back on January 01, 2007.

    Now it is to be seen if Central Information Commission simply continues to repeat its ‘final’ warnings to erring DoPT or takes actual step by imposing a fine on erring DoPT officials and recommending stringent administrative action against them for willfully defying CIC order.

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    Default Re: Dept. of Personnel and Training violating RTI Act: CIC


    Most of public servants are not interested to disclose the information. Hon`able Chief justice of India not interested to come in the purview of RTI act 2005. Ministers do not want to come under the purview of RTI act 2005. It seems that the day will come when everyone will refuse to provide information on the basis of blaming misuse.

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