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Thread: ‘AWWA is welfare body, not under RTI’

  1. #9
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    CIC summons army chiefs wife


    As reported by Rakesh Bhatnagar (24 December 2008) in DNA India

    The central information commission (CIC) has summoned army chief Gen Deepak Kapoor’s wife Kirti Kapoor to explain the legal status of the Army Wives Welfare Association (AWWA) she heads. Kirti acts as AWWA’s ex-officio president.
    Retired Major Guneet Chaudhary has moved the commission, invoking the right to information (RTI), to seek details about the association’s working, funding and legal status.

    The army’s information officers have distanced themselves from Maj Chaudhary’s query. Kirti could engage a lawyer to appear before the CIC and disclose the unclassified information to the applicant. The CIC has not fixed the date of hearing.
    The summons issued by information commission Satyanand Mishra says, “The real issue of consideration is whether AWWA is a public authority. The contention of the appellant is that it is a part of the army and, hence, the army authorities should provide all information in respect of AWWA.”
    It also says, “Before taking any view on the nature of AWWA..., it would be just and fair to give AWWA an opportunity of hearing. During the course of hearing, we were given to understand that the AWWA had been registered as a society under the Registration of Society Act, not only at the Central level, but also at various Command level”.
    The CIC said, “It should be made clear that if it (AWWA) fails to be present through any of its office bearers or through any authorised representatives, the matter would be heard and decided ex parte”.
    Earlier this month, a full-bench of CIC castigated the all-powerful cabinet secretariat and the department of personnel, training and pensions (DOPT) for adopting delaying tactics in imparting information to the applicants.
    The bench said CIC was above all government departments. “In fact, they should have known that no level in government is higher than the provisions of an RTI Act passed by parliament. In fact the issue boils down to an authority like the cabinet secretariat going against the sanctity of the very Act itself,” CIC said.
    “As such, the commission sees no reason whatsoever to delay the matter further and directs the respondents (DOPT and CS) to abide by the commission’s decision,” CIC said in an order.

    SOurce : DNA - India - CIC summons army chief’s wife


    Last edited by ganpat1956; 24-12-08 at 10:23 PM.

  2. CIC summons wife of Army chief to answer queries on AWWA


    As reported in zeenews Bureau on Dec 23

    New Delhi, Dec 23: The Central Information Commission has summoned the Army chief's wife, who is also the ex-officio President of Army Wives Welfare Association (AWWA), to answer questions raised by a retired Army officer about the functioning of the association.

    Kirti Kapoor, wife of General Deepak Kapoor, by virtue of being the present head of the Association or her attorney will appear before the Information Commission Satyanand Mishra to explain the legal status of the Association as a Public Authority.

    "We have sent the summons to her. The date of hearing is yet to be decided," CIC office said.

    Maj (retd) Guneet Chaudhary had sought details about the working, funding and legal status of the Association in his RTI application addressed to the Army. But the Information Officers of Army distanced themselves saying that AWWA was a non-governmental organisation and they could not provide any details about it.

    Information Commissioner Mishra, in his order said "The real issue of consideration is whether AWWA is a public authority. The contention of the appellant is that it is a part of the Army and, hence, the Army authorities should provide all information in respect of AWWA."

    The Commission asked the CPIO of the Army to clarify whether AWWA was part of the Army or Ministry of Defence, besides if the association has been allotted any official accommodation by the Army to run its offices.

    It also asked whether the AWWA is under the administrative jurisdiction of the Army and did it spend any funds on the travelling of various office bearers of AWWA.

    In the same order, Information Commissioner Mishra said since AWWA was not heard in the matter it would not be correct on his part to pass any order in regard to its character as a public authority as defined in RTI Act.

    "Before taking any view on the nature of AWWA as a public authority it would be just and fair to give AWWA an opportunity of hearing. During the course of hearing, we were given to understand that the AWWA had been registered as a society under the Registration of Society Act not only at the Central level, but also at various Command level," he mentioned.

    The Information Commissioner ordered that notice should be sent to AWWA at the central level to present its point of view on whether it is a public authority under the RTI Act.

    "It should be made clear that if it fails to be present through any of its office bearers or through any authorised representatives, the matter would be heard and decided exparte," he ordered.

    source :

  3. Re: CIC summons wife of Army chief to answer queries on AWWA


    Copy of decision given by CIC
    Attached Files Attached Files

  4. #12
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    Re: ‘AWWA is welfare body, not under RTI’



    As reported by Vikas Kahol at indiatoday.digitaltoday.in on December 27,2008

    A Right to Information (RTI) application seeking information on the legal status of the Army Wives Welfare Association ( AWWA) has put the defence authorities in a spot. A Chief Information Commission (CIC) bench has issued a notice to Kirti Kapoor, president, AWWA asking her to furnish details relating to its funding and functioning.

    Kapoor wife of chief of the Army staff General Deepak Kapoor was ordered to appear in person or present her case through a representative.

    The bench, headed by Satyanand Mishra, in a recent order asked the AWWA to furnish the list of government premises occupied by the association and the number of serving Army officers and other personnel working ( even voluntarily) for it.

    The CIC also sought a copy of the circular issued by the ministry of defence or the Army headquarters authorising these officers and employees to work, even voluntarily, for the AWWA. The CIC also issued notices to Lt- Col Tomarjeet, central public information officer, and Lt- Col Anil Chandra, a representative of the first appellate Authority, Western Command headquarters, on an appeal by Chandigarh- based lawyer Major Guneet Chaudhary. The Army had denied him information regarding the AWWAs functioning under the RTI Act.

    Chaudhary had sought the reason from the Army for providing office space to the AWWA in the high- security western command headquarters.

    He also questioned why the AWWA president used Army aircraft and vehicles.

    Besides, Chaudhary asked the Army to provide him information on the funding and organisational structure of the AWWA, as well as the number of officers and other ranks attached with it.

    The Army, however, declined him the information on the pretext that the AWWA was an NGO and did not form a part of the Army. It also said it had never funded the AWWA. Reacting to the Armys submission, Chaudhary had moved the CIC. During the last hearing, Chaudhary had placed on record a document substantiating that a part of the profits earned by the Canteen Stores Department ( CSD) was given to AWWA. He had also submitted before the CIC that the AWWAs Memorandum of Association clearly stated that its income included financial aid from the government and share in centralised canteen profits.

    The record, according to Chaudhary, showed the AWWA offices were run with the financial assistance from various Army units. Even the officersin- charge of the schools run by the AWWA were serving Army officers of the rank of Lieutenant- Colonels. Moreover, all vehicles used by AWWA in their functioning were provided by the Army and the association had also found a mention on the Armys official website.

    The AWWA offices are scattered across Army cantonments in India and its headquarters are in South Block, Delhi.

    Source : India Today - India's most widely read magazine.

  5. Re: ‘AWWA is welfare body, not under RTI’


    whats the latest on the subject?

  6. #14

    Re: ‘AWWA is welfare body, not under RTI’


    Apropos the subject AWWA is welfare body, not under RTI Act 2005?

    Before commenting on the subjet, it is essential to comment on the conspicuous anxiety exhibited by AWWA to remain outside the purview of the RTI Act 2005. If AWWA is transparent in their dealings and really act for the welfare of Military personnel, what prompt them from escaping the rigours of transparency and accountability, which the RTI Act imposes for good governance in order to weed out corruption at different levels/transparancy in dealings. Indeed there is a lot to be gained in terms of improving the public perception about the AWWA to the provisions of the RTI Act. Under what circumstances the AWWA hide the information sought by an RTI Applicant under the provisions of RTI Act 2005, that too when the information was sought by an Army person. Can the same be denied taking the matter in its right perspective. It is a matter of real concern that top functionaries' spouses misuse the official powers of High ranking officers, thus draining out the money/fund meant for deserving cases. In the event of somebody points out the finger or seek information to furnish from the Agency, the wrath definitely put on the person who is seeking the information. It is pertinent to mention here that RTI applicants are/were put to ordeals because of the fact that these applicants are seeking discomfort information, which will not suit the P.As and ultimately ends in legal battle. Our expert members may kindly draw their attention reg. the subject matter - Hon'Judges decline to declare their assests, PMO office refuses to divulge the asset information of close relatives of Ministers/High P.As/CVC/I.T Deptt. seek exemption from the purview of RTI Act 2005 etc. etc.

    If an Act has been made applicable to the citizens of the Country, which was passed in the Parliament after deabte, the highest authority of the Country, what is harm in abiding the law, taking the right spirit of the Act. You may be high, but law is above all.

  7. #15
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    Re: ‘AWWA is welfare body, not under RTI’


    I know AWWA in and out. It is a public authority in every respect. I just could not open mouth when I was in Army and scared to do so even now. I am keenly waiting for the President AWWA's reply to the querries raised by CIC.

    Let me quote a trailer. Army Chief's wife follow her husband travelling in Air Force Helicopter when they visit places of their interest. Normally no civilian or family members of Armed Forces personel is allowed to travel in Air Force Helicopter. Army Chief's wife is allowed to travel on a plea that she is on official duty in her personal capacity as the Presaident of AWWA. Affairs of AWWA are run by serving Army Officers in government buildings in High Security Area.

    It will be interesting to watch someone claiming that it is a private organisation run by private fund by private individuals.

  8. Re: ‘AWWA is welfare body, not under RTI’


    the trailer is interesting. is it that the president AWWA designation is something like ex-officio(sic) i.e the lady wife of the chief is invariably the president? during one of my tenures i learnt that it is the station commander's lady wife who calls the shots at the station level in AWWA. some prime defence land is being utilised by AWWA, i learnt.

    i guess it does some good work also; not that it makes them immune from rti act. in one of my earlier stations it ran a boutique and restaurant on defence land. would utilisation of govt land alone qualify it to be under the ambit of rti act? there may be other grounds as well but this is one that i know for sure.

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