I doubt that the CIC (Management)Regulation 2007 is not in the good interest of RTI. Following are some of my observations:
1. The powers vested with the CIC in Section 12(4) of the Act is "General superintendence, direction and managementof the affairs ofCIC" whereas the above orders is a "Regulation " means "Rule" or "Order" prescribed for management. Power to make Rules is not in Section 12(4) but in Sections 27, 28 and 29 for which the CIC has no powers. Naturally the above Regulation is not maintainable under RTI Act 2005.
2. The above Regulation is not commensurate with the basic principles of the RTI Act. It is in the lines of old British Raj Acts and Rules and appear to be the first step to make the RTI Act at par with other Acts.
3. The glory of the Act is its shifting of accountability to the respondent from the appellant whereas the above Regulation tries to shift the responsibility back to the appellant.
4. The Regulation is full of violations of the provisions of the Act. I shall come to that later if needs be. But the most important ones are Para 9(iv), 11(v)(a) etc.
5. As per the Rules on 'Delegation of Powers' a delegatee cannot delegate. Here the CIC, a delegatee delegates his powers to his Registrar and Assistant Registrar.
6. The CIC has absolutely no power to amend the Act. Section 19(3) give the CIC to accept a delayed appeal whereas the regulation imply cancelation of this provision
7. The regulation empower the CIC to summon the appellant and even imposs penalty which is against the Act
8. The Regulation make the appellant to come to Delhi far too many times at own expense whereas the respondents travel at government expense. Imagine the plight of an appellant from Cape Comerin, or Manipur or Pune requiring visit Delhi too often. Paying the bribe and getting the information within aday or two is cheaper. This defeat the very aim of the Act.
There are far too many such violations. This Rule appears to have made under the guise of "regulation" with intend to escape the obligatory requirement of placing it before both Houses of Parliament. I had sent my detailed observations to the CIC who in turn sent it to Prof.KK Nigam, CIC's Legal Advisor who promissed to give his comments but nothing heard despite lapse of more than a month.
The Regulation is more damaging to the RTI Act and can make the wonderful legislation enacted by our Parliament a useless piece. It is high time for RTI loving forums to raise their voices.