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  1. #1
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    C J Karira
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    Default Sanskriti School a "public authority"


    NEW DELHI: The Capital's much sought after Sanskriti School at Chankyapuri, which was started by wives of senior civil servants of the Union Government, has been declared a "public authority", as defined under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, 2005, by the Central Information Commission (CIC). The CIC has directed the School Principal to reply to an application filed with the school as per the norms of the RTI Act.
    Manju S. Kumar, a resident of Sheikh Sarai in South Delhi, had addressed the application to the Principal of Sanskriti School on July 11, 2006, seeking details of the contributions received from Government departments, ministries or non-government organisation by the school since its inception; details of admission given to Class IX students from March 15, 2006, to July 4, 2006; details of the children who had taken transfer certificates from the school on completion of Class VII for the same period; details of children who were given admission to Class IX without any written test during the same period and details of the services to which the parents of all the children belonged.
    The Principal of Sanskriti School, through a letter on July 26, 2006, informed Ms. Kumar that it was a private school run by the wives of serving Civil Service officers and not a public authority under the RTI Act, 2005.
    Not satisfied with the reply, Ms. Kumar filed a complaint with the CIC on August 2, 2006. She argued that the school had received a huge Government contribution for developing infrastructure like purchase of land and construction of building and, therefore, should come under the purview of the RTI Act.
    The Commission called for comments of the Principal on October 12, 2006. In her reply on October 10, 2006, the Principal said that they were not a public authority as the school was started by a society registered under the Societies Registration Act.
    Subsequently the CIC fixed this past Tuesday as the date of final hearing. Principal Gowri Ishwaran was present during the hearing, while the complainant Ms. Kumar neither sent her representative nor was present in person.
    During the hearing, Ms. Ishwaran told the Commission that although the Government did not give any grant for day-to-day running of the school or for any other activity, it had given a substantial grant for setting up the infrastructure of the school in its initial phase.
    Secondly, Ms. Ishwaran stated that the wife of the Cabinet Secretary is the ex-officio Chairperson of the Board of Management of the school and wives of other Civil Service officers are on the Board of Management.
    While giving his decision, Information Commissioner O. P. Kejariwal said that on the basis of these two submissions the Commission concluded that Sanskriti School did come under the purview of the RTI Act 2005 as a "public authority".
    "Hence it was incumbent upon them to set up the infrastructure for supply of information as required under the RTI Act and also to respond to the RTI applications," ruled Mr. Kejariwal. Accordingly, the CIC has directed Ms. Ishwaran to reply by February 15 to the application filed by Ms. Kumar.

    http://www.hinduonnet.com/thehindu/t.../01/28/&prd=th&

    My Comments: Not only Babus, but also their wives should be careful !



  2. #2
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    Atul Patankar
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    Default * Civil servants-run Sanskriti School comes under RTI Act


    As reported at ptinews.com on 07 january 2010

    New Delhi, Jan 7 (PTI) The elite Sanskriti School, run here by senior civil servants and their wives, comes under the ambit of Right to Information Act as it gets the Centre's funds, the Delhi High Court held today.

    Justice S Ravindra Bhat said though the Civil Service Society, which runs the school, is an NGO, it is liable to provide information under the RTI Act as it received grant from the Centre to the tune of Rs 24.8 crores between 1994-95 to 2001-2002.

    "The school fulfills the essential elements of being a non-government organisation under section 2(h) of the Act which is substantially financed by the central government through various departments and agencies. It is, therefore, covered by the regime of the Act" said Justice Bhat.

    Source: fullstory

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Sanskriti School a "public authority"


    As reported in news.outlookindia.com on 07 January 2010:
    news.outlookindia.com | Civil Servants-Run Sanskriti School Comes Under RTI Act

    Civil Servants-Run Sanskriti School Comes Under RTI Act

    The elite Sanskriti School, run here by senior civil servants and their wives, comes under the ambit of Right to Information Act as it gets the Centre's funds, the Delhi High Court held today.

    Justice S Ravindra Bhat said though the Civil Service Society, which runs the school, is an NGO, it is liable to provide information under the RTI Act as it received grant from the Centre to the tune of Rs 24.8 crores between 1994-95 to 2001-2002.

    "The school fulfills the essential elements of being a non-government organisation under section 2(h) of the Act which is substantially financed by the central government through various departments and agencies. It is, therefore, covered by the regime of the Act" said Justice Bhat.

    The Sanskriti School had challenged the Central Information Commission (CIC) order which had held that it comes under the ambit of RTI Act and liable to provide information under the transparency law.

    The High Court upheld the CIC's January 2007 order directing the school to provide information to applicant.

    The decision on the Sanskriti School petition was delivered along with the judgement in which the High Court held that the Organising Committee of Commonwealth Games 2010 and Indian Olympic Association also comes under the ambit of the transparency law.

    "Each of the petitioners is a public authority and therefore bound to give effect to the provisions of the Act. They are granted 30 days time to set up appropriate mechanism to enable access to information held and required to be held by them," the court said.

    The court rejected the school's claim that it is an unaided school and run by private individuals and criticised the Centre's financing for construction of the school building and leasing of 7.67 acre plot in Chanakyapuri to the school on a token annual rent of Rs two.

    "Neither the school nor the allotment letter alludes to any general policy or programme whereby such valuable land is made available as a matter of right to educational institution", the Court said.

    The court said that according to the records, the Ministry of Urban Development has leased out the land to the school and the Directorate of Logistics, Customs and Central Excise, Department of Personnel and Training, Department of School Education and Literacy and Human Resource Development Ministry have granted a total amount of Rs 23.81 crore for construction of the school building in 1995.

    Later, the Customs department had allotted Rs 3 crore and Reserve Bank of India gave Rs 1 crore to the school to facilitate admission of the wards and children of its officers who face frequent transfers, the court added.

    "There is no policy suggestive of the central government agreeing to donate such large amount to private schools even if a larger public objective of education is furthered," the Court added.

    "There is nothing on record to suggest any central government policy to prioritise education of wards of its employees through donations to private schools even on one time basis," the court said.

    "The conditionality of having to admit children of employees of central government can hardly be characterised as a legitimate public end. It certainly would not muster any permissible classification test under Article 14 (Right to equality) of the Constitution," the court said.
    Follow me on Twitter @cjkarira

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Sanskriti School a "public authority"



    Quote Originally Posted by karira View Post
    The court said that according to the records, the Ministry of Urban Development has leased out the land to the school and the Directorate of Logistics, Customs and Central Excise, Department of Personnel and Training, Department of School Education and Literacy and Human Resource Development Ministry have granted a total amount of Rs 23.81 crore for construction of the school building in 1995.

    Later, the Customs department had allotted Rs 3 crore and Reserve Bank of India gave Rs 1 crore to the school to facilitate admission of the wards and children of its officers who face frequent transfers, the court added.
    Now, someone should start filing RTI's with Directorate of Logistics, Customs and Central Excise, DoPT, Department of School Education and Literacy and HRD Ministry to probe as to how they made such grants to this school.
    Follow me on Twitter @cjkarira

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Sanskriti School a "public authority"


    The original order of the CIC, declaring the school as a PA is attached to the post.

    In the arguments advanced by the Principal, there is no mention of all these figures mentioned in the above news item.

    At the hearing, it was stated by the Principal that although the Government did not give any grant for the day to day running of the School or for any other activity, it had given a substantial grant for setting up the infrastructure of the School in its initial phase. Secondly, as stated by the Respondent, the wife of the Cabinet Secretary is the Ex-Officio Chairperson of the Board of Management of the School and also that wives of other Civil Service Officers are on the Board of Management. On the basis of these two
    submissions, the Commission decided that the Sanskriti School did come under the purview of the RTI Act, 2005 as a ‘Public Authority’.
    Attached Files Attached Files
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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Sanskriti School a "public authority"


    As reported in in.news.yahoo.com on 16 December 2009:
    HC seeks admission criteria from Sanskriti school - Yahoo! India News

    HC seeks admission criteria from Sanskriti school

    New Delhi, Dec 16 (PTI) The Delhi High Court today pulled up the national capital''s elite Sanskriti School, in which the children of top government officials study, for discriminating students from economically weaker sections in admission and asked the school to funish its admission norms. "Why such discrimination? You are not doing any charity.

    It is the public money as the school is being run by the government funding," said a Division Bench of Chief Justice A P Shah and Justice S Muralidhar who sought the criteria which the school has been following for the admission of children. The Bench also sought to know from the school the basis on which it reserved seats for the poor students.

    The Bench had taken a suo motu cognisance over a media report that the school was being run by the wives of the top bureaucrats and the husbands grant public money from concern departments. It was allged that despite getting the government aid, the school management failed to admit the children of the low- ranked government employees.

    The school is running a parellel evening school ''Umang'' in the premises for poor children.
    Follow me on Twitter @cjkarira

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Sanskriti School a "public authority"


    As reported by Aditi Tandon in tribuneindia.com on 21 April 2010:
    The Tribune, Chandigarh, India - Main News

    Funds flow free for Delhi school run by wives of babus

    The government is generally cash-strapped when it comes to expanding the school network. But it has enough money to fund an elite school in the capital run by wives of top central bureaucrats. Why?

    That’s the question most Lok Sabha MPs were asking today as the government admitted that the elite school had received funds from the government. “In recent past, HRD Ministry hasn’t given financial assistance to any private unaided school. However, the ministry released Rs 5 crore during 1995 and 1997 as a one-time grant for the construction of its building. Sanskriti was the only school to receive a Rs 8-crore central grant for the construction of a building in Delhi,” HRD Minister Kapil Sibal said when the issue was raised during question hour by Jaywantrao Awale. Between 2007 and 2009, the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) under the PMO gave Rs 3 crore to the school for “construction”.

    Naturally, MPs, including JDU’s Sharad Yadav, questioned government’s soft corner for the school which doesn’t reserve seats for poor SC/ST students but receives central funding. Interestingly, the wife of the incumbent Union Cabinet Secretary is the ex-offico chairperson of the school.

    Inquiries by the Tribune further revealed that Sanskriti had recently appealed to the Delhi High Court against a 2006 order of the Chief Information Commissioner declaring it a public authority under the RTI Act, making it obligatory on its part to divulge details of monetary grants. The order followed a petition by one Manju Kumar who asked Sanskriti for details of funding and how children of central government and defence officials were admitted without entrance tests. Kumar moved the CIC after Sanskriti declined information claiming private unaided status.

    Case files, accessed by TNS, show the school told the CIC it received only initial amounts from central departments and the Reserve Bank of India for construction and later on it was self-financed.

    The High Court, however, had made important observations in the case, with Justice Ravinder Bhat saying: “There’s opaqueness about these grants. Interestingly, the HRD Ministry didn’t sanction the grant and individual ministries (like Customs Department, Reserve Bank of India) sanctioned monies apparently from their budgets. By all accounts, grants to the tune of Rs 24 crore were given to the school without obligation of return.”

    The government defended its stand. “Sanskriti is a unique institution working for students’ holistic development. It has adopted a nearby slum and slum children study there. It’s not functioning outside the purview of government policy. Wives of bureaucrats who run it don’t charge anything. More states should replicate the model,” Sibal said as PM Manmohan Singh listened.

    Sixty per cent Sanskriti students are wards of civil servants/defence personnel; 20 per cent are general category and 15 per cent from economically weaker sections. Presently, 146 EWS and 60 special students study at this school, for which DoPT is the nodal agency. It was DoPT which first mooted the special funding model for Sanskriti in 1988.
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