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  1. #1
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    Second Appeals against the CIC...some orders by the CIC


    The CIC website has recently uploaded several decisions/orders of the CIC on Second Appeals filed against the CIC itself. These are being heard by CIC W Habibullah.

    It seems that applicants are tired of waiting and waiting and are asking CIC also to be diligent in its working. Most applications are regarding procedural matters in the commission, record management failures, decisions not conveyed, CIC orders not obeyed by PIO/AA, etc....

    In some decisions the CIC has nicely said that the "information" asked for is not "information" or "information" not contained in records, while in others, it has asked for improvement in the digital records section.

    Interested members can see the original decisions:

    http://cic.gov.in/CIC-Orders/Decision_28032008_12.pdf

    http://cic.gov.in/CIC-Orders/Decision_28032008_13.pdf

    http://cic.gov.in/CIC-Orders/Decision_28032008_08.pdf

    http://cic.gov.in/CIC-Orders/Decision_28032008_10.pdf

    http://cic.gov.in/CIC-Orders/Decision_28032008_09.pdf

    http://cic.gov.in/CIC-Orders/Decision_28032008_07.pdf

    http://cic.gov.in/CIC-Orders/Decision_28032008_11.pdf

    http://cic.gov.in/CIC-Orders/Decision_27032008_19.pdf

    http://cic.gov.in/CIC-Orders/Decision_27032008_21.pdf

    http://cic.gov.in/CIC-Orders/Decision_27032008_03.pdf


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  2. #2
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    Re: Second Appeals against the CIC...some orders by the CIC


    As reported by Abhinav Garg of TNN on timesofindia.com:
    Welcome

    Right to information has CIC on wrong foot

    New Delhi: Like charity, transparency begins at home — India’s topmost body created to enforce your right to know just learnt this the hard way.

    The Central Information Commission has been caught on the wrong foot after an RTI activist exposed how the commission — known for ticking off public authorities which fail to maintain records, leading to lack of transparency — is itself unable to furnish to the public information as basic as the number and status of cases and appeals pending with it. The reason: it maintains no such record.

    Faced with irrefutable proof that a citizen cannot know the status and pendency of cases in the commission apparently because no one keeps track, a stunned chief information commissioner Wajahat Habibullah has cracked the whip and ordered inhouse upgrade of records.

    Habibullah’s orders to remedy the “grievous defect’’ came recently after his public information officer admitted that the commission kept no record of judgments and orders passed or pending on cases heard. “The registry of CIC will take immediate steps to computerize and maintain a record of appeals/complaints admitted, date of hearing of each appeal, decision in each case with state of announcement,’’ the chief information commissioner decreed while deciding an RTI plea filed by Shruti Singh Chauhan. “Such information should be updated regularly and supplied to every information commissioner at the end of each month. This should also be made available in public domain through the commission website. This exercise will be completed within one month.’’

    In her plea filed almost a year ago, Chauhan had sought to know from CIC’s public information officer, Pankaj K P Shreyaskar, information on all cases in which hearing had taken place but judgement/order is yet to be passed by respective information commisioners. She requested that this information be accompanied with the name of the information commissioner, name and address of the appellant, date of hearing, and, “reason for keeping the judgement in abeyance.’’

    A day later, Chauhan was told that the CIC had no such information available with it. She then filed an appeal with the first appellate authority within CIC. A month later, her appeal was rejected, with the appellate authority blaming her for seeking information which she knew wasn’t available with CIC. Und e t e r re d , Chauhan then approached the chief information commissioner. In her final appeal, she pointed out that “this was basic information which should have been readily available with the commission. It is a very sorry state of affairs that CIC which is supposed to be the apex body for transparency and upholder of RTI is not maintaining such basic information.’’ Habibullah then disposed of Chauhan’s appeal with a direction to his registrar that information sought by her be furnished within a month.

    Chauhan’s brush with the RTI Act came earlier too, when she appealed in CIC after the Delhi high court did not heed her RTI plea seeking to know the procedure adopted for appointment of class 3 and class 4 level employees in HC. On her appeal, a perturbed CIC had rapped the high court’s PIO and threatened to slap a hefty fine for sitting on Chauhan’s plea well beyond the period allowed under the RTI Act.

    =======================================

    Full decision/order of the CIC is attached to this post.
    Attached Files Attached Files
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  3. #3
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    Re: Second Appeals against the CIC...some orders by the CIC


    Something strange here.

    In a meeting on 10th April 2007, the CIC discussed a email from Mr Sailesh Gandhi and:

    The Commission directed that US(PP) will analyze complaints and appeals received from
    December onwards in the Commission with respect to their date of receipt, date of hearing, and
    period of pendency. He will divide this pendency into three blocks viz. those exceeding six
    months, those exceeding four months and those exceeding three months. He will analyze the
    reasons for back logs and the trends for the future and put up several options from which the
    Commission can choose and develop a strategy to handle pendency and back log in the
    Commission. US(PP) was asked to circulate his note by 23rd April, positively. The same would be
    discussed at the next Tuesday meeting.

    So, the information asked for by Ms Chauhan should have been available.

    Unfortunately, this matter never came up in the CIC meetings again (or never mentioned in the minutes of meeting).
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  4. #4
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    Re: Second Appeals against the CIC...some orders by the CIC



    Editorial in timesofindia.indiatimes.com on 7 April 2008:

    Duty to Inform-Editorial-Opinion-The Times of India

    Duty to Inform

    t is unconscionable that the very body created to bring about greater transparency in the working of public bodies is itself unable to furnish any information about its own operations. The Central Information Commission, which oversees the right to information, has failed to provide even basic information, like the number and status of cases and appeals pending with it. It has been accused of not keeping any records of judgments and orders passed on RTI applications or of pending cases. It is heartening that in the midst of this deplorable state of affairs, it was an RTI application, which alerted the chief information commissioner about the lack of transparency within the commission. He has since ordered an upgrade of records in his office.

    The Right to Information Act is perhaps the most powerful legislation that empowers citizens to check on the functioning of public establishments. It has the ability to curb corruption, which is one of the biggest evils facing the country. Lack of transparency and accountability on the part of government officials increases the propensity for corruption.

    Although the Act was passed in 2005, it still faces several bottlenecks in its implementation. Awareness about the Act is still abysmal and even officials are not well informed. Common citizens hesitate to use the right to information in the apprehension that they will get entangled in a lot of red tape. RTI manuals and user guides are not well maintained and are not easily available to the public. There is need for creating awareness among the public that no specific draft is required for seeking information, and that applications can be made on plain paper as well. There have been instances when corrupt officials have deleted information, to prevent it from reaching the people. This needs to be checked. Stringent punitive action must be taken against guilty officers and also against those maintaining deficient records.

    Although the Right to Information Act is a landmark legislation, it is just a stepping stone towards eradicating corruption and bringing about lucidity in the working of the government. Right to information has to mature and translate into duty to inform. Just like businesses are accountable to investors, the government too should be made accountable to citizens.
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  5. #5
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    CIC not transparent


    Editorial in dailypioneer.com on 07 April 2008:
    http://www.dailypioneer.com/archives...ives2%5Capr708

    CIC not transparent

    <table border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" width="450"><tbody><tr><td class="news"><table border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" width="450"><tbody><tr><td class="news" colspan="2" valign="top">How can it sit in judgement on others?

    It is deeply unfortunate that the body responsible for examining complaints against public authorities under the Right to Information Act should itself be non-transparent in its workings. The preamble to the Right to Information Act, 2005 holds that democracy requires an informed citizenry and that transparency of information is vital to contain corruption and to hold accountable Governments and their instrumentalities to the governed. The Central Information Commission has failed this test. It was exposed recently by an activist who found that the CIC was unable to furnish information about its own working when a query was put to it under the RTI Act. Most surprisingly, the staff of the CIC put up the same sort of resistance to parting with information which is a normal experience with Government departments and other public bodies and to correct which the CIC has been created. The CIC was not able to furnish information about the number and status of cases and appeals pending before it. The reason given by the CIC is that it has maintained no records of judgements and orders or cases that are pending before it. This is a fault, and a serious one, in the running of the commission. The CIC had come in for stern criticism over its working, especially in its early months. There were reports of serious delays in deciding cases before it, which many times vitiated the very purpose of instituting an enquiry with public authorities in the first place. There is no doubt that the functioning of the CIC has improved over the months and there have even been some important interventions by it in favour of the people's right to information. Yet delays persist amid fears that the CIC may develop a backlog much like our courts. </td> </tr> <tr> <td class="news" valign="top">

    </td> <td align="right" width="210">
    </td> </tr> </tbody></table> </td> </tr> <tr> <td class="news" colspan="2" valign="top">A better appreciation of the functioning of the CIC might have been possible had it maintained records of its work, which it has not bothered to do. Now that it has been exposed as being no different from Government departments, Chief Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah has issued orders to maintain records. It remains to be seen whether the orders will be implemented or simply filed and forgotten. It is not in the interest of our country if the CIC functions inefficiently. The RTI Act is at the teething stage of its implementation. There are many problems with its administration, including that of frivolous petitions. All these require the urgent attention of the information commissioners, who have instead whiled their time away - at the expense of tax-payers - unnecessarily pontificating in public on issues outside their jurisdiction.
    </td> </tr> <tr> <td class="news" colspan="2" valign="top">
    </td> </tr> <tr> <td class="news" colspan="2" valign="top">
    </td> </tr> <tr> <td class="news" colspan="2" valign="top">
    </td></tr></tbody></table>
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  6. #6
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    MOHANDAS
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    Re: Second Appeals against the CIC...some orders by the CIC


    It is a matter of deep regret that the Office of the CIC itself did not keep records of the pending appeals and disposed cases and records pertaining to the same were not maintained in a proper way and could not able to retrieve the same in time, uoon requesting under an RTI request. As one rightly said - Charity should start from ones own pocket first, really matters here. It is a matte of pity that while the I.Cs are passing orders of penalty on others for not maintaining the records and delay occured in furnishing information, the office of the CIC itself caught on wrong footing - not maintaining the records and playing the role of holy cow.

    The accountability should start from the top to the bottom and not from the bottom to the top. If the top if set-right, automatically the bottom will follow the system introduced to run in its right perspective. After exposing the lacunae and the orders passed by the Hon'ble CIC, let us hope the system will improve. There is a proverb - Sarasu seeds are used in running away the Bhoot. When there is the presence of Boot inside the Sarasu seeds itself , what will happen ? In what way we can get out the Bhoot in a rightous way.

    Mohandas.

  7. #7
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    Re: Second Appeals against the CIC...some orders by the CIC


    CIC and SICs are practically reduced to post retirement resorts for babus at public cost. Until quality of ICs do not change, results of RTI will not improve. It will further weaken.RTI activists/NGOs should have say in selection of ICs.
    It takes each of us to make difference for all of us.



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