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  1. #1
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    Col NR Kurup (Retd)
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    Appellant's Opportunity for Being Heard by AA


    The unique feature of the RTI Act is its Section 19(5). Generally an appellant would like tobe heard by the AA and Commission. The Commission being seated at the Capitals, it will be expensive and troublesome for an appellant to attend the hearings at Second Appeals and Complaint. This is more so when the Commission resort to adjurnments on various grounds.The CIC claim that he resolved the problem by resorting to vedio conference. The SICs also could solve the problem by arranging sittings at different parts of the state in such a way that an appellant is able return home on the same day after hearing. But it does not happen that way

    In the case of FirstAppeals there is no problem for AAs to arrange hearing of appellant and PIO together. The appellent is not likely to face anyproblem so long as the AAs are locatted closeby. But there is no provision in theRTIAct making incumbant on the AA to hear the appellant in every case the request for information is denied.. In fact the basic provisions of law is that every person is given an opportunity for being heard before any action causing injury to the person affected. In RTI cases, refusal of one's request for information could be deemed as causing injury to him and in all cases where the AA refuse his request the appellant should be given an opportunity for being heard. It is upto the appellant to attend the hearing or not as it is not obligatory for him to atend the hearing in terms of section 19(5)


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    Last edited by colnrkurup; 09-06-08 at 02:41 PM.

  2. #2
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    C J Karira
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    Re: Appellant's Opportunity for Being Heard by AA


    I would suggest that if a applicant wants to attend the First Appeal personally, he should specifically "pray" for this in his First Appeal, as follows:

    "I want to be personally present during the First Appeal hearing and granted an opportunity to be heard."

    Personally, I have found that personal attendance during first appeal hearing leads to getting the information quickly since the applicant gets a chance to present his case as well as rebut any arguments put forward by the PIO. One thus saves the waiting time and the expense for Second Appeal.

    Personal appearance during Second Appeal is difficult for many people because of distance, costs, time, etc. CIC does encourage participation through Video Conferencing (through NIC studios) as well as Audio Conferencing (via applicants landline or mobile number). Please see:

    http://www.rtiindia.org/forum/1604-s....html#post7559
    http://www.rtiindia.org/forum/3810-v...l-problem.html
    http://www.rtiindia.org/forum/2660-r...e-delayed.html (especially posts after post#3)

    In fact, one of our members, murgie, was also able to participate in a First Appeal hearing (repeat hearing) through audio conferencing all the way from the USA, in a matter where SEBI was a PA:
    http://www.rtiindia.org/forum/1604-s...html#post15573

    Someone can try the following:

    1. Ask for Audio Conferencing during First Appeal.
    (Easiest to try is in Passport related cases, where the RPO is a CPIO but the FAA is the CPO in New Delhi)

    2. Ask for Audio Conferencing to a SIC during Second Appeal.

    At the most, they will reject it, but we will be more knowledgeable with the reply.

  3. #3

    Re: Appellant's Opportunity for Being Heard by AA


    I agree with the suggestion that at the stage of first appeal if one wants personal hearing one may make a specific request for that. Otherwise, it is possible in many cases for the AA to decide the issue based on records.

  4. #4
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    Re: Appellant's Opportunity for Being Heard by AA



    i am not very sure but i suppose that the State Information Commission is also holding circuit camps where by the commisioners visit every district in turns and heare appeals which comes from that specific district. In Tamilnadu in almost all casses personal hearing is given. If any member has a personal experiance or know people who have experienced other wise kindly let me know. as it is already suggested by one member it is always appropriate and safe to ask for personal hearing at the time of making the Appeal itself.

  5. #5
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    Re: Appellant's Opportunity for Being Heard by AA


    I have been seeking personal hearing of the AA in almost every case where the AA's office is located within or nearby District So far I am heard in only two cases, that too after a complaint to the Chief Minister In both cases during the hearing the AAs could not justify the denial of PIO. The AA had not only ordered provision of the information requested but solved the problem which caused me to ask the information. It appears that where the AA find that he won't be able to justify the denial, they evade hearing. What to do when the AA does not give the appellant any opportunity for being heard despite specific request ?

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    Re: Appellant's Opportunity for Being Heard by AA


    i will work out a solution but can you say from which state are you from

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    Re: Appellant's Opportunity for Being Heard by AA


    With STD rates dropping and telephone calls become cheap, The idea mooted by Karira is useful and beneficial to all.
    Why not appellant give a contact no and request AA to call to get his/r personal hearing over phone?


    Though the video conferencing would be best.
    RTI India Network Staff Member

  8. #8
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    Re: Appellant's Opportunity for Being Heard by AA


    Kerala State. Anyway I am planning for a new method in my future First appeal. Include a paragraph stating that "if the information requested is denied at first appeal without giving me an opportunity for being heard as requested therein , it will amount to injustice to me" or something to that effect. I will include the fact of deniaol of information as well as denial of an opportunity for being heard also in the second appeal as grounds for second appeal. Let me try
    Last edited by colnrkurup; 10-06-08 at 11:24 AM.

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