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  1. #1
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    RTI activist wants DoPT hauled up


    NEW DELHI: Magsaysay awardee, Arvind Kejriwal, has returned to the Central Information Commission with the case that provoked the abortive attempt to pull file notings out of the ambit of the Right to Information Act.

    Reason: despite its promise to CIC five months ago, the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) has failed to disclose the manner in which senior bureaucratic appointments are being made.

    In his complaint to CIC filed on December 12, Kejriwal alleged that DoPT had avoided giving information relating to appointments at the level of secretary and additional secretary by claiming that those details were actually available with the cabinet secretariat.

    But even if DoPT officials really did not have records on senior appointments, Kejriwal pointed out that they were required by the RTI Act, in such a situation, to transfer his request to the cabinet secretariat, along with CIC's July 14 order directing disclosure of information within a month.

    Besides seeking a fresh direction to the cabinet secretariat on information relating to appointments at the level of secretary and additional secretary, Kejriwal requested CIC to issue penalty notices to DoPT officials for not complying with its July 14 order.

    A former IRS officer, Kejriwal first asked for such sensitive information from DoPT more than a year ago under RTI to see whether the officers selected for the level of secretary and additional secretary in various ministries fulfil the prescribed criterion of "specific suitability", despite being drawn mainly from the generalist stream of IAS.

    Kejriwal's application raised the hackles of the IAS lobby which saw it as an attempt to expose their monopoly over all top posts, regardless of their suitability for the increasingly technical demands of those jobs

    The information asked for may lay bare the manipulations that allow an officer to be posted as telecom secretary, for instance, without having any qualification or experience in that specialised field.

    While withholding all information pertaining to the level of secretary and additional secretary, DOPT has been less secretive with Kejriwal about appointments made at lower levels, that of joint secretary and downwards.

    He was allowed to inspect those files. But Kejriwal's grievance is that he was not supplied with copies of documents despite an express provision in the RTI Act for such service against payment of photocopying charges.

    While rejecting his request for copies of documents, DoPT cited another RTI provision which permits it to refuse on the ground that photocopying all those files would "disproportionately divert the resources of the public authority."

    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/NEWS/India


    › Find content similar to: Reveal info on empanelment of sr. officers: CIC



  2. #2
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    Reveal info on empanelment of sr. officers: CIC


    Reveal info on empanelment of sr. officers: CIC

    By Bureau Report in Zee News June 24, 2008

    New Delhi, June 22: The Central Information Commission has directed the Centre to disclose details pertaining to selection of officers for the post of secretaries and additional secretaries at the central government.

    The apex transparency panel's order came on an appeal of RTI activist and Magsaysay award winner Arvind Kejariwal seeking information on appointment of senior bureaucrats from 2004 to 2006.

    "The Commission directs the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) and cabinet secretariat to allow inspection of relevant files concerning empanelment of additional secretaries and secretaries to the Government of India," a three-member CIC bench said.

    The bench comprising M M Ansari, O P Kejariwal and Padma Balasubramanium directed the government to reveal the grading of officers, who were taken into consideration for the posts, and turned down the Centre's plea that the information was exempted under the RTI Act.

    "As the charts (on officers' grading) would not contain any personal information, the commission saw no objection in disclosing the information," the bench said, while directing the Cabinet Secretariat to provide information to Kejariwal within 20 days.

    Kejariwal approached the commission after the DoPT refused to reveal all the information stating that it was exempted under the RTI Act.
    The Commission also pulled up the Cabinet Secretariat for "evading its responsibility" by not responding to RTI request and instead referring the matter to DoPT.

    "Being custodians of information, it was mandatory on its part to have decided the matter," the bench said.


    Zee News - empanelment of sr. officers

  3. #3
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    Re: Reveal info on empanelment of sr. officers: CIC


    As reported by Manoj Mitta of TNN in timesofindia.indiatimes.com on 25 June 2008:
    CIC takes on IAS lobby over appointment criteria-India-The Times of India

    CIC takes on IAS lobby over appointment criteria

    Thanks to judicial intervention, the Central Information Commission (CIC) has mustered the will to take on the powerful IAS lobby on an appeal filed by Magsaysay awardee Arvind Kejriwal.

    The disclosures ordered by CIC on June 12 have opened up the possibility of finding out how many of the senior officers appointed to the levels of secretary and additional secretary in various ministries fulfiled the prescribed criterion of "specific suitability."

    A three-member bench of CIC directed the government that it could not claim to have complied with its orders although it had disclosed details of the appointments made only up to the level of joint secretary. Since most of the posts above the level of joint secretary are held by IAS officers, Kejriwal had sought information on all senior bureaucratic appointees to ascertain whether they met the central staffing scheme's stipulation of "specific suitability" despite being drawn mainly from the generalist stream.

    The three-member bench's decision overturns an April 2007 order in which CIC member M M Ansari had rejected Kejriwal's complaint that, by denying him access to the files, the government had failed to comply with a July 2006 direction for transparency.

    Curiously, Ansari was allowed to be part of the three-member bench constituted to reconsider his April 2007 order in the wake of a Delhi high court direction obtained by Kejriwal in September 2007. In the event, the fresh hearing held this year did bring about a change in his view as Ansari went along with the other two members on the bench in acknowledging that the government could hardly claim to have complied with CIC's order without showing Kejriwal a scrap of paper related to the appointments of secretaries and additional secretaries.

    In its unanimous order of June 12, the bench comprising Ansari, O P Kejariwal and Padma Balasubramanian directed the department of personnel and training and cabinet secretariat to allow inspection of — and make copies of — the files related to the appointments to the levels of secretary and additional secretary to the government of India. CIC also got around RTI restrictions on disclosure of third party information. This is because Kejriwal conceded that he would not seek copies of the annual confidential report of each of the officers. CIC agreed with his suggestion that he could be shown the chart displaying the grading of the officers. "Since the charts as such would not contain any personal information, the commission saw no objection in providing these to the appellant," it said.

    Kejriwal, a former revenue service officer, has been seeking to uncover the nature of bureaucratic postings since November 2005. His RTI application raised the hackles of the IAS lobby which saw it as an attempt to expose their near-monopoly over top posts regardless of their suitability for the increasingly technical demands of those jobs. The information asked for may lay bare the manipulations that allow an officer to be posted as telecom secretary, for instance, without having any qualification or experience in that specialized field.

  4. #4
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    Re: Reveal info on empanelment of sr. officers: CIC



    As reported by IANS in thaindian.com on 11 September 2008:
    Activist moves court on top bureaucrats’ selection process

    Activist moves court on top bureaucrats’ selection process


    New Delhi, Sep 11 (IANS) RTI activist Arvind Kejriwal Thursday approached the Delhi High Court against the central government for not giving details on the procedure for selection of bureaucrats for top posts. The Central Information Commission June 12 directed the department of personnel and training (DoPT) and the Cabinet Secretariat to disclose details pertaining to selection of officers for the post of secretaries and additional secretaries at the central government.

    Colin Gonsalves, appearing for Kejriwal, submitted that he approached court as the central government had not complied with the CIC’s directions and the transparency panel had no power to punish for contempt of its order.

    Justice G.S. Sistani asked the central government to inform the court Sep 23 of the reasons for not following CIC’s directions.

    The three-member CIC bench had directed the government to reveal the grading of officers who are considered for posts of secretaries and additional secretaries.

    The commission directed the DoPT and the Cabinet Secretariat to allow inspection of relevant files concerning empanelment of additional secretaries and secretaries to the government of India, the CIC had said.

    Kejriwal, a Magsaysay Award winner, had sought disclosure of information, contending that it was in the larger public interest as the people had the right to know as to what was the grade assigned to an officer who has been empanelled.

  5. #5
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    RTI activist moves High Court against Centre


    As published in The Hindu (Sept 12, 2008)


    New Delhi (PTI): RTI activist and Magsaysay Award winner Arvind Kejariwal has approached the Delhi High Court against the Centre for not giving details on the procedure for selection of bureaucrats for top posts, despite a direction by the Central Information Commission.

    The apex transparency panel had on June 12 directed the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) and the Cabinet Secretariat to disclose details pertaining to selection of officers for the post of secretaries and additional secretaries at the central government.

    Senior advocate Colin Gonsalves, appearing for Kejariwal, contended that he had to move court as the Centre had not complied with the CIC's directions and the transparency panel had no power to punish for contempt of its order.
    Justice G S Sistani, taking account of his plea, asked the Centre to inform the court on September 23 on the reasons for not following the directions of the CIC.

    "The order passed by the CIC cannot be allowed to be frustrated," the court said.

    The three-member CIC bench had directed the Government to reveal the grading of officers who are considered for posts of secretaries and additional secretaries.

    "The Commission directs the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) and Cabinet Secretariat to allow inspection of relevant files concerning empanelment of Additional Secretaries and Secretaries to the Government of India," the CIC had said.

    Kejariwal had sought disclosure of information, contending that it was in the larger public interest as the people had the right to know as to what was the grade assigned to an officer who has been empanelled.

    The Hindu News Update Service
    Defeat is not final when you fall down. It is final when you refuse to get up.

  6. #6
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    Re: RTI activist moves High Court against Centre


    What a sad anomaly ! The ex -secretary of DoPT denied the info to Arvind , was rewarded by PM by appointing him info commissioner.

  7. #7
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    Re: RTI activist moves High Court against Centre


    What a co-incident???
    It takes each of us to make difference for all of us.

  8. #8
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    Re: Reveal info on empanelment of sr. officers: CIC


    In a full bench decision, CIC has finally ordered full inspection of all documents be allowed and copies given to Mr Arvind Kejariwal free of charge.

    The order is attached to this post.
    Attached Files Attached Files

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