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Thread: Amend "misleading" contents on website: CIC to DoPT

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    Amend "misleading" contents on website: CIC to DoPT


    As reported in economictimes.indiatimes.com on 29 June 2008:
    Amend "misleading" contents on website: CIC to DoPT- Politics/Nation-News-The Economic Times

    Amend "misleading" contents on website: CIC to DoPT

    NEW DELHI: The website of the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) keeping a record of file notings exempted from the purview of the RTI Act has been termed as "misleading" by the Central Information Commission.

    The Commission also asked the department to amend the portal. The transparency panel asked the Centre to amend the contents of the portal to bring it in tune with the Right to Information Act, which does not include file notings under the exemption category.

    "Since this incorrect quotation has misled members of the public, our decision in this matter would be placed before the Minister of State, Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions for appropriate and early action," Chief Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah said.

    The DoPT's website maintains that information under the RTI Act does not include file notings. The CIC in a significant decision in January 2006 had held that the file notings were not exempted and it should be available to information seekers.

    The Commission noted that despite its earlier decision, the DoPT, government's nodal agency to implement the RTI Act, continued to maintain in its website that the file notings were not to be disclosed.

    The Commission's recommendation to the Centre came on an RTI appeal of Mumbai resident Anil Agrawal, seeking information on as to whose order it was stated in the website that file notings were exempted from disclosure.

    The DoPT had denied him information stating it was not possible to name a single officer as the contents of the website was posted following a decision by the government.



  2. #2

    Not disclosing govt file notings violation of RTI law: CIC


    Not disclosing govt file notings violation of RTI law: CIC

    As Reported by Bureau Report, Zee News

    New Delhi, June 30: The Centre's decision of not disclosing file notings under the Right To Information act has drawn flak from the Central Information Commission which held that this amounted to violation of the transparency law.

    Turning down a plea of the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) that file notings were exempted under the RTI act, the commission said it meant, "substituting the law".

    "The circular of DoPT is curious in that it seeks to substitute the law passed by the parliament with its own interpolation inserted in its website," Chief Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah said.

    The circular was brought to the notice of the transparency panel during a hearing on a complaint of a retired IAS officer Des Raj Dhingra, alleging that the DoPT had refused to provide him information relating to file noting on his RTI plea.

    "What DoPT would appear to wish to do by means of this presumptuous circular is to substitute an opinion of an under secretary for the (earlier) decision of the commission," Habibullah said.

    The commission also pointed out that the government's decision of not disclosing file notings under the RTI act has been taken not on the basis of any expert advice but on the recommendation of an under secretary.

    The circular issued by the under secretary (RTI), also posted on DoPT website, read: "file noting does not form part of the information under the RTI act and that it is not to be disclosed."

    In a recent decision, the CIC held that the website was misleading and asked the DoPT to amend it in order to bring it in spirit with the RTI act.
    Holding that the decision of CIC as well as the state commission was "binding" on the government, Habibullah directed the Centre to provide all the information sought by Dhingra.

    The commission also sought an explanation from an under secretary for denying information to Dhingra within the required time frame.
    Dhingra has filed the RTI application with the DoPT seeking information pertaining to notings and correspondence on his service file.

    Zee News - rti act cic file noting



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