Firstly let me appraise you the legal position. As per Section 18(3)(a) of the Act the CIC can summon and enforce your attendance.
Secondly it is necessary to attend failing which whatever you had submitted in writting is likely to be misinterpretted to your disadvantage. So it is necessary to attend if you can
Thirdly, if you do not attend the case will be decided expartee based on thecontentions in your appeal.
Fourthly, I had projected the same view you had put it, to the CIC and his Legal Advisor. They replied me that the new Regulation allow the appellant to be represented by someone.
To my specic question as to how a poor man can afford to come to Delhi or nominate someone else in his place many times as required in the new so called regulation, his answer was akin to telling a HUNGRY man that " if he cannot afford 'ROTTI' eat ' PIZZA'
The Legal Advisor to CIC Prof KK Nigam is yet to teply me.
Certainly I (in the present circumstances) will not miss the oppurtunity, but I put the query because there may be situation where one may not ( not myself) appear, suppose a person is too old to travel, there is some mishap in the family, there may be shortage of money or any other circumstances where one may not be able to appear the appeal, I liked know what will be fate of the appeal.
All CIC communications state "appellant may choose not to remain present". This means that attendance of the appellant during a hearing is optional. However, it would be far better to attend. There is a possibility that the Respondents may raise the "grievance" & "appellants personal problem" dhanda and try to influnce the Commissions. In case its not possible to attend, request for a video conference. NIC offers this facility in most parts of the country. You will have to request the CIC for this.
If this is not possible, try to get in touch with some of the RTI Crusaders in Delhi. If they agree to attend, then send all your details and counter arguments to them. Also provide them your phone number etc. so they can contact you if required. Make sure that you give your phone numbers to the CIC also.
If every thing fails, the hearing takes place in your absence and you are not happy, you are still free to file a review application ;-)
That is a good decision Rakesh. You have sufficient time to prepare your case. I would also advise you to get in touch with experienced crusaders like Shri Manoj Pai who have appeared before the CIC on several earlier occassions and take necessary tips and guidance from them. I wish you all the best in your efforts.
May I request you to read my blog with subject title : TO BE OR NOT TO BE THERE. You will see that how negligently CIC has overlooked "Document missing"" replies to two questions in a decision of last week with Shri Wajahat Habibulla CIC in chair.
What are these missing documents ?
Is it a 20 year old file ? No. 10 years old ? No.
It is supporting evaluation papers by an expert committee of Govt tender of a multi-crore Annual Maintenance Contract awarded for the year 2004 -05 and 2005 -06 !!!!!
The appellant was absent in CIC hearing and could not press his point during CIC hearing. Review application before CIC is the only option open now.
Last edited by Debashis Basu; 22-08-07 at 06:34 AM.
I requst some explanation here. If the applicant wants to attend, who will pay for the travel cost? And how will be entitlement of travel etc be decided. I am asking this question because I have seen some instances of the CICI directing the office concerned to take care of the travel epenses of the aplicant who has filed the application with CIC.
Originally Posted by Satish Gupta
I disagree that you are "being summoned" to appear. If you look at the CIC decisions on its web site, you will find that in a substantial number of cases the petitioner is not there, either in person or on video conference.
You DO NOT have to appear. However it is better to appear and present your case, answer any questions the commissioner has, and to rebut any argument made by the opposing party.
Iagree with you. It is discrimination that the delinquent PIO and AA travel at government expense as part of their duty and the complainant travel at own expense. As on now there is no orders laying down that thet rvel expenses will be borne by some one else. However there is a provision in Section19(8)(b) of RTI Act which lays down that "the CIC/SIC has the power to require the public authority to compensate the complainant for any loss or other detriment suffered" The CIC has been invoking this powers in certain cases and has been ordering the public authority to provide travel expenses to the complainant. I do not know whether such expenses were ever paid or not as the public authorities have no separate Head of Account from which such amount could be drawn nor any provision of funds to such account seen made by government in the budge allocation.
Thanks all friends, its good that someone had thought of travel expenses but when we have started this movement to seek information we had goal set in our mind. a transperent society and for that some cost should be borne by us. So come on friends we are here to fight, fight to the last minute. We know we will win and win for the betterment of this society. and if we work with this intent without vested interest then nothing will distract us.