The CIC/SICs are found insisting on attendence of parties for hearing. In the absence of one of the parties for hearing we come across declaration of the case ex-partee. Is this procedure correct ? These are the prctices of Courts functioning under the CPC. But CPC is not fully applicable to proceeding of CIC and SICs as they are not Courts in the strict sence; but having some of powers of courts under CPC. This aspect is evident from the fact that during the last CIC's conference one of their demand was to consider their proceedings as judicial proceedings which make it absolutely clear that neither they are courts nor they are fully governed by CPC. This aspect need examing. May I request members to come out with their views on this issue
The problem is in some cases actually much worse than even you have suggested. In a recent appeal to the SEBI AA I had explicitly requested that I be given an opportunity to be heard, and suggested several ways in which that could be done, despite my being at a distance -- I could have someone attend in my stead, use a phone conference at my cost, or at least use email.
The AA completely ignored all that, then started his order saying 'I find materials on the record sufficient to reach a conclusion," and then referred to various elements that were most definitely NOT part of the record. Perhaps the SEBI AA clearly feels completely immune to any need to be fair, or even to make the slightest pretensions to fairness. Best,
Chandigarh Police has 3 AAs. They never call me for hearing despite me being local in a small city Chandigarh. And all the 3 AAs have very simple orders always, "I have examined the First Appeal vis-a-vis reply given by CPIO. I found no descrepancy in reply of CPIO and all the information stand supplied. So, no further action is necessary on this First Appeal. Applicant can file his second appeal with CIC within 30 days from now."
It seems strange, but it is fact they never discussed my contentions of First Appeal in their orders.
Hearing is necessaryin CIC/ SIC.Presence of complainant is optional there. In hearing , the erring PIO can explain the justification of denial of info ;& the delaying situations etc etc.to the I.C. During hearing ,the I.C can ask any question to PIO & satisfy himself about losses/ benefits caused to appellant. The hearing is must & beneficial if the I.C conducts it responsibly. The info denied by PIO must be called & checked by the I.C during hearing . But no I.C in India is so much serious & resposible in his job. The I.C has generally only 10 seconds to discuss & decide on the denial of info. Evidently , the I.Cs have been completing only the formalties of hearing ; they never decided the appeals responsibly , seriously , diligently.