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Thread: What will you do if you are Information Commissioner

  1. #1
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    Dr. S.Malhotra
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    What will you do if you are Information Commissioner


    What will you do if you are Information Commissioner and how you intend to do the same ?



  2. #2

    Re: What will you do if you are Information Commissioner


    What will you do if you are Information Commissioner

    I would try to emulate Mr Shailesh Gandhi if I were ever given a chance to become Information Commissioner because he is one Information Commissioner who has
    a) an office which is possibly the first paperless government office in the country. If one visits Mr Gandhi's scanning room and watch the speed with which large bundles of paper were scanned and turned into digital documents and I never thought a completely paperless office was possible, this is yeoman service for the cause of saving trees & environment;
    b) because he has raised the bar to an extent that second appeals on an average took 2-3 months to dispose of against one year being taken by other Commissioners of CIC/SIC;
    c) because he has put the fear of penalization in PIO/s to the extent that information generally flows before the second appeal is listed before his bench
    d) because he is the first one to raise a voice for RTI Activists safety by ordering to put the information sought by "harmed" RTI applicant on PA/s website which makes the business of harming RTI applicant "useless"
    Today he is retiring from the CIC after successful completion of his tenure with maximum disposal of second appeals done by any Information Commissioner in the country.I salute him.
    GOD BLESS HIM.
    thanks
    harinder dhingra

  3. #3
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    Re: What will you do if you are Information Commissioner


    dear Harinder ji,
    How would you manage your office :
    1. to increase the disposal rate in routine and satisfy the volume of Applicants
    2. to make yourself accessible to the Applicants and Complainants [ apart from hearing the cases ]
    3. If you are Chief IC , would you like to introduce something new out of the provisions of the Act [ to remove difficulties etc. ] to make system of Appeals / Complaints more efficient [ quick and satisfactory ] . Would you like to experiment with some provision of the Act to introduce something new ?

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    jatin sharma
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    Re: What will you do if you are Information Commissioner



    Simple obey RTI Act 2005,if the provision says the information can be given to appellant ,I'll order to give it with a penalty to PIO , even if appellant has not demanded for wasting public time, money & intelligence with me in most unprofesional manner . If the legislation says it can't be disclose by any it's provisions ,I can't help it.
    For speedy disposal-Give penalty one time , next time either PIO will quit or give the information before reaching to me.
    To remove difficulties, I must read other laws and bye laws to compel courts to put pressure on Govt other than me by putting stay on my orders.Make the way for people by strictly adhering & let people believe that they are tools of movement.

  5. #5
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    Re: What will you do if you are Information Commissioner


    Ceaser's wife should be above suspicion. So I will first and foremost ensure that section 4 disclosures are made and regularly updated on website and on paper on daily basis in my august office.

    Than each decision of mine will carry an essential following remarks:
    1. direction for updation of section 4 (1(a),)(b) disclosure for all PA's, especially mandating index of records and catalog of documents.
    2. seeking compliance of orders from PIOs in a specified time.

    I will be objective not subjective on my verdict.

    I will work with a presumption that ordinary citizen is lesser equipped with vocabulary of law than govt. babus, therefore I will decide on spirit of RTI act than words. I will not reject contention of appellant(whether citizen or PIO) just because he has made a petty error in used legal vocabulary.

    I will not base my decisions on presumptions rather they will be backed by "facts apparent" put before me.

    Definite quantity of my time will be spent on making significant qualitative efforts to impart education and training to PIO's and masses by utilising various innovative means of public and govt resources to create a positive climate about transparency and removing facade of secrecy in this dynamic world/ society.

    My decisions would be real tough for those who try to bluff/ obstruct/ willfully try to delay the information, thus majority will get a message that in case of doubt their judgment must tilt towards transparency.

    My office shall have a small team who will be devoted to follow and confirm that directions given are complied with for example if FIR, penalty or report of compliance from PIO's/ PAs on decisions.

  6. #6

    Re: What will you do if you are Information Commissioner


    @sharmajee"My decisions would be real tough for those who try to bluff/ obstruct/ willfully try to delay the information, thus majority will get a message that in case of doubt their judgment must tilt towards transparency."

    but where are teeth given to IC in RTI act?? he/she can only talk tough or fine Rs.25000/- that's it . IC must have powers to launch FIR on PIO/FAA.

  7. #7
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    Re: What will you do if you are Information Commissioner


    I will use existing provisions of time bound administrative action, disciplinary action (besides penalty provisions) through controlling officer of errant PIO.

    Simply adding a line in decision that PIO to report compliance of order to IC with in 15 days can be of great help.

    Understand need is to give clear message, law is equal for all. Today PIO knows, pardon by IC is a norm and penalty is exception. A small apology by a clerk on behalf of PIO is accepted by IC, resulting in great injustice to appellant who had waited for months/ year to get the justice.

  8. #8
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    C J Karira
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    Re: What will you do if you are Information Commissioner


    Quote Originally Posted by aslamkhan View Post
    @sharmajee"My decisions would be real tough for those who try to bluff/ obstruct/ willfully try to delay the information, thus majority will get a message that in case of doubt their judgment must tilt towards transparency."

    but where are teeth given to IC in RTI act?? he/she can only talk tough or fine Rs.25000/- that's it . IC must have powers to launch FIR on PIO/FAA.
    There are enough teeth in the RTI Act for the IC to bite so that it really hurts.

    What is the big point in asking for 32 more teeth when you are not even using the existing 32 teeth that you have ?
    Twitter: @cjkarira

  9. #9

    Re: What will you do if you are Information Commissioner


    Dear Dr S Malhotra,

    1) I will invite/hire research scholar( Sharp kids coming out of Colleges with determination on thier faces and outlook to do something for Society) to be paid from my salary is Information Commissioner to categorize the second appeals according to facts & matter of the case.

    2) I will always be available to applicants and complaints by way of disposing of the second appeal and shall decide the appeal in or before 45 days even if I have to sit till night as Mr Altamas Kabir, Senior Judge of Hon'ble Supreme Court of India does;


    3) Look Dr Malhotra, to use your words ", There is nothing wrong with the road (read RTI Act 2005), only the movement of horse and the cart lack synchronicity. There is nothing wrong with Section 20, its provisions are mandatory, of course subject to principles of natural justice, equal and adequate representation. If the PIO is unable to explain the delay and denial satisfactorily, he needs to be penalized. Unfortunately the approach of most of the appellate authorities is like a traffic policeman standing in middle of road moving his hands haphazardly without real intention to control the traffic."

    And I intent to stand in the middle of the road with intention to control the traffic in systematic manner.

    Hope I have answered your queries.

    harinder dhingra

  10. #10
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    Re: What will you do if you are Information Commissioner


    dear Harinder ji ,
    I like your reply . You are getting nearer the spirit of this thread / topic .
    It is easy to say : I will bring down the pendency , I will pass good Orders , I will penalize ..and so on . But the question is HOW , HOW WILL YOU USE THE AVAILABLE RESOURCES TO ACCOMPLISH IT .
    You are getting nearer .

    The purpose of the thread is to bring out clearly as to how much a good IC can do and how he should do it - we are to formulate the basic working of his office and the Judgment delivery .
    There are 2 parts to it :
    1. Pre-hearing stage - receipt of Appeal / Complaint , scrutinizing it , noting defects , communicating to Appellant / Complaint at the earliest to remove the defects so that he is not caught unawares after 9 months , using e-mail / sms for this purpose (or even the face-book) , and to present the case to IC when it is free of all technical snags - a la High Court Model perhaps .
    2. Stage of Hearing [ Model of Courts need not be followed here because we all know that has failed miserably to deliver justice in time to majority of litigants . We need to device a better Model ]
    Currently RTI Users are having problems at both levels [ if we see CIC ]
    Good IC will be concerned with both parts .

    So give ideas on both parts plz , analyzing thread bare each point where we face difficulties .
    whether frequent RTI Users / Activists can be put to some good use by the Information Commissions ?
    ICs are getting feed-back , perhaps this forum is one source !

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