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  1. #1

    Default TNSIC - Pathetic Decisions - How to Change

    Dear RTI Activists,
    For many years now I have known that most of the ICs of TNSIC never issue decisions as per the RTI Act. They always go easy on the PIO who did not even care to reply even after first appeal and up until the commission issues a notice. Though I have successfully penalized many of them but in more than 50% of the cases the ICs don't apply penalties even after multiple reminders...
    The option of going to the High Court, as you all know, is expensive given that these matters are simple. Few years ago I tried to get a blanket direction from high court that the ICs must apply the act strictly and that all decisions must be a well reasoned one etc... It did not go as per my plan as the HC simply directed them dispose of the matters as per law... that is the problem with High Court in that they are not empathetic to the real issue.
    While the matter stood thus, I recently got a decision from CIC of TNSIC that made me very upset. The RTI was about status of one of my representation to the DGP(Chennai) office. The DGP office never replied to my representation even after multiple reminders. So, I filed an RTI asking for status and some other info and referred to my representations with date of my representations. The PIO and first Appellate never responded up until two days before 2nd appeal hearing date!
    I got the summon but I couldn't go as it is cost prohibitive to travel from Hyderabad to Chennai but wrote a letter promptly which is referred in the decision of the CIC of TNSIC.
    The CIC of TNSIC dismissed my 2nd Appeal cum Complaint stating 3 things, namely:
    (1) Appellant didn't have much interest in the case and thus is absented from the hearing!
    (2) Appellant's has not given sufficient information to the PIO [Note: even though the PIO has correctly responded just few days before the inquiry:-) ]
    (3) The PIO has taken pain to provide the information! [Note: he replied after 10 months!!]
    I am appalled. How did this guy become a CIC? He was a Chief Secretary of Tamil Nadu before. Does that qualify him to be "person of eminence in public life" to hold this position? The guy has not even made an effort to understand and appreciate the RTI act even after holding the position for 3 years!

    As you can see, the decision is horrible. He didn't even note the fact that PIO/Appellate never responded in time and never asked for clarification ever. Further he did not decide my complaint u/s.18 either.
    I wanted to do something and looking for like minded people to work together. Here is what I planned to do.
    (1) File an RTI and find all relevant information appointing this CIC (Sripathi ). Done & waiting for info.
    (2) Collect bad decisions by Sripathi & have a report done by a lawyer/retd. judge for the quality of his decisions.
    (3) File a petition with the TN Govt asking them to withdraw his appointment.
    (4) If no action by TN Govt, then file a Writ with High Court along with all of the above documents.
    What am I looking for from this group?
    (1) I need help with #2 above. Would love to work with like minded people.
    (2) Are there other things we can do to direct the ICs so that the decisions are as per the letter and spirit of the RTI Act? More ideas are welcome.
    (3) It will be good if few people can share the cost if and when we go to the High Court.

    Please respond with your thoughts.
    Raj+91 90xxxxxxxxx [mobile numbers not permitted on this portal]

    Last edited by jps50; 30-10-13 at 12:29 PM.

  2. Default Re: TNSIC - Pathetic Decisions - How to Change

    FYI. I have gone thru both the Supreme Court judgments and the AP High Court judgments on this topic and I have a good understanding of what these judgments are and how we can or can't use etc...

  3. Default Re: TNSIC - Pathetic Decisions - How to Change

    Please help all our members with your findings, as it may help us all. It is almost same in every IC, and atleast you are in a better position to find a way out with your knowledge and intelligence. There are several unfortunate appellants, that can not find any way out. Please do share your findings and as there are several experts in the FORUM, be sure that they will refine the entire findings and finetune.

  4. #4

    Default Re: TNSIC - Pathetic Decisions - How to Change

    Following links will be of use to you:

    Not satisfied with IC
    Not satisfied with decision of information commissioner? - Blogs - RTI INDIA- Right to Information

    Not penalized
    No PENALTY IMPOSED UNDER RTI? [revised format] - Blogs - RTI INDIA- Right to Information

    Social Audit:

    Gujarat FA remanding:

    It takes each of us to make difference for all of us.

  5. Default

    Dear G.L.N. Prasad,
    Not sure what you were asking for... I am assuming that you are referring to my understanding of the SC/HC judgments. Here is the gist:
    1. The guidelines issued by the SC is prospective in nature.
    2. The SC has interpreted the restriction in S.15(6) to be post appointment
    3. The ICs must selected in compliance of S.15(5) and no new requirement has been added by SC
    4. The rest of the guidelines per the judgment in the review of SC is only to provide transparency and is prospective in nature... i.e not applicable to prior appointments
    5. The ICs in AP Information Commission was set aside only due the fact that the ICs were in violation of S.15(6) post their appointment.

    Given above, these judgments are not helpful in my case above where I am trying to find a way to set aside the appointment of Chief Information Commissioner who was appointed in 2010 (i.e much before these judgements).

    Further, I was looking for this group to help me help us all so that we can sensitize TNSIC and other ICs. Let me know if there is anything else that I could help!

    Thanks jps50. I shall follow these as addition my earlier plan... Raj

    Last edited by ambrish.p; 30-10-13 at 04:11 PM.

  6. Default Re: TNSIC - Pathetic Decisions - How to Change

    Members are aware of the struggle Hon.Karira on such APIC appointments, and contents of SC. Namita Case. I wished to know any other remedy possible on such decisions through your findings.

  7. Default Re: TNSIC - Pathetic Decisions - How to Change

    Quote Originally Posted by G.L.N. Prasad View Post
    Members are aware of the struggle Hon.Karira on such APIC appointments, and contents of SC. Namita Case. I wished to know any other remedy possible on such stupid decisions of ICS without any application of mind, through your findings.
    Well, that is what I am seeking in this thread... I have a plan that I have already posted in this thread.

    The ideas I have are as follows:
    (1) Find a way to ensure that only good and public spirited people are appointed by leveraging S.15(5) which clearly says the ICs have to be persons of eminence in public life. In addition, if there are people with good background and RTI knowledge then their candidature can be pushed unless the Committee (selection) makes a substantial arguments against such person and in support of these stupid people who are being appointed at this time. This is what I am trying to do against TNSIC and we can do this in every state.

    (2) We do a social audit with good rigor and request a former judge to sign it in an affidavit or he/she signs the report (social audit) itself and then we use that to file a PIL to get S.15(5) more refined and include that only those who have demonstrated RTI knowledge and spirit should be appointed. This can be done by the court by merely interpreting the S.15(5) r/w the object and spirit of the act. This will force the committee to seek formal evaluation and report on the short listed candidates which shall filter all the bad ones...

    Those are the only two ideas I had.... anything more friends?

  8. Default Re: TNSIC - Pathetic Decisions - How to Change

    Dear Member, Some things like political appointments are not in our hands, and every one has to evolve a strategy to satisfy their followers and in India, it is not possible to expect such a clean appointment and you know as to what is happening with sincere, hard working and honest bureaucrats now.

    At this level, we have to find ways as to how we can restrict unfettered decisions without even remembering common law, forget about fear of God for such knowingly bad decisions.

    A lot of brain storming is needed, as none of so enlightened citizens are happy with several decisions by ICS. Review of decision due to mistake of fact or law at IC level by an independent and much superior of IC or by a larger bench is one such suggestion. During initial days, I have read a CIC decision that ICs can review their decision. In Namita Sharma's case, Supreme Court said CIC are performing only administrative functions and not judicial functions.
    So members have to bring the heads together and start some movement like post card movement and media coverage on stupid decisions and unless there is good backing and common leadership, we can never achieve anything of this sort.

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