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karira

Penalty frauds in CIC - Penalty of 70 lakhs still to be recovered - 600 unregistered appeals of 2011-2012 and 2013 found lying in CIC

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karira

Please find attached a file containing representation to Ms. Sushma Singh, Hon’ble Chief Information Commissioner on the above subject, inter alia highlighting following issues requiring immediate inquiry and disciplinary action :-

 

 

  1. The CIC is regularly accused of being slow in imposing penalties on errant CPIOs who unreasonably delay and deny information contrary to the provisions of RTI Act. Even in few and far cases where penalty is imposed by CIC, it is actually not recovered as penalty amounting to Rs. 70 lakhs is estimated to still recoverable by CIC, making mockery of the penalty provisions.
  2. Besides this, there are cases of fraudulent and illegal omission of penalty details by tampering with penalty records of CIC in connivance with its officials on considerations other than legal.
  3. The record keeping of CIC is so poor that recently 600 unregistered appeals/complaints of the year 2011, 2012 and 2013 were found lying in the CIC, majority of these appeals/complaints are learned to be marked as defective so that they could be returned to the parties to get rid of them.

 

 

 

 

 

R. K. Jain

Convenor - RTI Legal Aid Society

Penalty fraud + 600 missing appeals in CIC.PDF

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Prasad GLN

First of all even after computerization, is there any system embedded/inbuilt to incorporate decision No, CPIO name, penalty imposed, demand notice served, received and periodical system generated statement of dues pending for more than a month etc.,

Is this very difficult to implement if there is any way

In 2012, it was suggested to them (Do such Central Govt., organisations at New Delhi need such suggestions from outsiders on their internal functioning)

The pending appeals/complaints came into light are less than1% as still there is no system of reconciliation through system (handled by an independent officer) to reconcile Diarised, admitted, rejected, pending, pending for more than 30 days after diarisation for admission etc.,

It is much easier to cleanse augean stables, not one many Hercules are needed and it is not possible through retired, status conscious spent up forces that joined to spend time rather than a commitment to a cause.

Atleast they can prevent further aggravation of this situations by following strong measures and penalising atleast one or two officials who are responsible for the mess.

Some body should file a consumer case against CIC also for deficiency of service.

(Blowing horn before deaf?)

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score100

No wonder. I recently found that the CIC website has not been updated since 2009 or something and this shows the negligence on their part. Great news though. Thanks to G.L.N. Prasad and karira!

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karira

From an email received from Mr Subhash Chandra Agrawal:

 

RTI appeals/complaints filed at CIC being returned in bulk for alleged defects

Ever since Central Registry has been constituted at Central Information Commission to register complaints/appeals instead of earlier practice of registering these by concerned individual registries of Central Information Commission, registration-process has become extremely slow taking it more than three months of getting these registered. What more, a bulk of petitions/appeals are returned unregistered requiring pointed ‘defects’ to be first rectified.

 

An analysis can reveal that most of the returned appeals/complaints filed under section 19(3) or 18 of RTI Act are returned because attached documents are not self-attested or page-indexing is not done like is required in courts.

 

Right for information is a constitutional right of citizenry. RTI Act was introduced for making process simple and user-friendly so that common persons could utilise their right through a simplified process unlike cumbersome process of courts.Rules should be changed to remove compulsion of page-indexing and/or self-attestation of documents filed with appeals/complaints at Central Information Commission It will not only be convenient for petitioners, but also will save man-hours at Central Information Commission.

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Prasad GLN

The dirty practice of removing one enclosure and stating that such enclosure was not sent (Ex: PIO information) still continues in several commissions to save the face from delay and this objection being raised only after filing RTI .

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karira
The dirty practice of removing one enclosure and stating that such enclosure was not sent (Ex: PIO information) still continues in several commissions to save the face from delay and this objection being raised only after filing RTI .

 

It is not a "dirty" practice but a "Corrupt" practice !

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Prasad GLN

Corruption may involve financial expectation, dirty always involves mischief.

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MOHANDAS
Please find attached a file containing representation to Ms. Sushma Singh, Hon’ble Chief Information Commissioner on the above subject, inter alia highlighting following issues requiring immediate inquiry and disciplinary action :-

 

 

  1. The CIC is regularly accused of being slow in imposing penalties on errant CPIOs who unreasonably delay and deny information contrary to the provisions of RTI Act. Even in few and far cases where penalty is imposed by CIC, it is actually not recovered as penalty amounting to Rs. 70 lakhs is estimated to still recoverable by CIC, making mockery of the penalty provisions.
  2. Besides this, there are cases of fraudulent and illegal omission of penalty details by tampering with penalty records of CIC in connivance with its officials on considerations other than legal.
  3. The record keeping of CIC is so poor that recently 600 unregistered appeals/complaints of the year 2011, 2012 and 2013 were found lying in the CIC, majority of these appeals/complaints are learned to be marked as defective so that they could be returned to the parties to get rid of them.

 

 

Reply :

 

It is sad state of affairs. The CIC fixes rules that PIO & 1st A.A should dispose off the cases within one month and on receipt

of 1st Appeal, the same should be disposed off within a period of one month in normal course of time. However, they are silent on the issues upon filing 2nd appeal before the CIC, New Delhi. I am personally aware that so many important orders pronounced by the CIC, New Delhi remained unattended and appellants are running from pillar to posts. I strongly urge the RTI.org forum should strongly takeup the matter with the CIC and arrange to dispose off those appeals/complaints which remained unattended relevant to the period of 2011,12 & 13 in its right perspective.

 

With regards,

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Prasad GLN

Is she not aware of the facts ? Any drastic action (if at all) on her part may expose her to opposition to her subordinate staff, and who is bothered about appellants, when her appointment comes to fag end to displease the staff ?

Unless a regular CIC is appointed (just like CEO) on a permanent basis (regular employment) this is bound to continue till appellants gets frustration .

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taurus

Where there is a will there is a way. This sordid state of affairs is a sad commentary on the leadership of the CIC. Nothing more can be said.

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jps50

Please also refer:

http://www.rtiindia.org/forum/blogs/jps50/4444-39-10-percent-penalties-central-information-commission.html

 

Vide my letter dated 03-02-2014 addressed to Director - RTI DoPT with copies to Chief IC, CIC and Shri Rahul Gandhi, I had interalia mentioned as under on the issue of recovery of penalty by CIC:

 

Recovery of Penalties: As per letter No. CIC/CPIO/2013/JS[PP]/24 dated 13-01-2014 in reply to my RTI dated 30-11-2013, I find that out of Rs.1.79 crores of penalties imposed till 16-12-2013 only Rs.1.09 crores are recovered. Thus penalty amounting to Rs.70.00 lakhs [39.10%] is un-recovered. My RTI has also revealed that CIC has no prescribed procedure or strategy or responsible officer for recovery of penalties or meaningful data, except sending routine polite reminder to head of public authority, once in a while.

 

I suggest that copy of IC order for penalty should also be mailed to salary disbursing officer of CPIO or head of public authority for recovery from salary of CPIO, or else this officer should be held accountable, if he fails to recover.

 

To this I received reply from Shri Tarun Kumar, CPIO & Secretary CIC, vide his letter No. CIC/CPIO/13/2007 dated 18-03-2014 wherein he stated as under on the matter of recovery of penalty:

 

"4. Recovery of Penalties: Recovery of penalty is subject to lot of litigation and there is really nothing in the law such as any mechanism so that vicarious liability can be established and could help in the enforcement of penalty orders"

 

I will shortly represent again to Director - RTI, DoPT, Chief IC CIC and Shri Rahul Gandhi stating as under:

 

"CIC is trying to find alibi for not recovering penalties effectively. My suggestion to mail copy of penalty order to salary disbursing officer of CPIO or head of public authority will have very positive effect and it does not require any amendment to law. A simple procedure will ensure that penalty is recovered promptly. CIC is not realising that there could be simple and cost effective solutions to complicated issue, if there is will to deliver"

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Prasad GLN

I do not think that officials at CIC is not aware of basic and fundamental things. The fact is that they do not want either additional work load or have no genuine intentions of atleast recovering part of their salaries out of legitimate income. If it is a private organisation or their personal dues can they sacrifice huge amounts like this with lame excuses ?

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pkaditya

Re: Penalty frauds in CIC - Penalty of 70 lakhs still to be recovered - 600 unregistered appeals of 2011-2012 and 2013 found lying in CIC.

 

Penalty follow-up is one matter, but the matter of keeping appeals pending is more serious and needs to be handled under a separate heading. It is directly in the domain of the CIC, particularly because it shows its own failure in conducting its prime duty and amounts to penalising large number of appellants, who after going through the long process of failure on the part of PIO/ FAA in their duties, approach the CIC for justice. It is a fact that the CIC is loath to being told of its own failure. Appeals/ complaints are delayed, avoided, returned for correction of minor faults, response vaguely, and of course shelved, never to see light of the day. This complainant knows how cases remain unattended for months together, because the Commission has no valid answer. Dr.P.K.Aditya.

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jps50

Further to my post No. 11, I attach letter dated 21-04-2014 being rejoinder to CIC averment and which also includes penalty recovery. I have also merged CIC letter in attachment.

CIC IMPROV REJOINDER 210414.pdf

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Prasad GLN

Dr, Aditya you are absolutely right.

On our part, while filing second appeals/complaints we should ensure cross check and utilise more time to send appeals properly as per their guidelines.

After five days check the delivery status in India Post, and down load received date by them and enclose/paste on copy of your second appeal

Then verify their website-Status and should note the DIARY No. Alotted promptly on appeal.

Atleast once in a month after three months, one has to check the status in appeals,

In case of misplaced/filed appeals, RTI Applications have to be filed mentioning those diarised numbers and if not diarised with service proof and to seek information status of such appeals providing name of PA, Date of Appeal, Registered number etc.,

 

When the system is like that, we can not gain any thing just by complaining, but we should take our precautions. (Inspite of all the above,I know that more than 100 second appeals filed through me were never diarised, and even appellants who were assisted by me lost the interest and saying we know this sir, Govt., depts., behave like this, RTI ...all this farce is a bash etc.,)

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jps50

Why not bring this state of affairs to the knowledge of UPA Chairperson and Vice President who are taking credit for giving RTI to citizens and based on which they are soliciting votes. I have endorsed copies to Vice President of letters stated at post No. 14. I had also endorsed copy of my earlier letter of 03-02-2014 to Congress Vice President and hence I could get reply from CIC as there was follow up from DoPT. At least CIC has started taking note of suggestion of common citizen like me.

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Prasad GLN

We can wake up a person who is asleep, but we may not succeed in waking up a person who pretends sleep.

I could not open attachments as my system detected virus (virus scan failed)

We have to do a concrete job, and who ever suffered injustice through misfiling/non diarising of appeals/complaints should provide the particulars in a separate post in the forum. Atleast our own members may post The date of appeal, Diary No.alotted, or received at CIC, appeal pending since with name of appellant. We can consolidate the list of sufferers atleast to an extent of 1000 in a month time and then present the same to strengthen hands of Shri JP. Once it is established through concrete evidence CIC has nothing to offer as explanation.

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skmishra1970

Mr. Editor has written this letter, but not enclosed copy of evidence on which basis allegations are framing. That is most important documents.

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Prasad GLN

One of our friend has filed an RTI and CIC has replied that they are not maintaining any registers, will it be helpful ?(To show disinterestness in monetary affairs of their own organisation and how can they enforce other's demands)

An other important factor (may be) is on Non compliance action actually initiated by CIC for failure of PIOS as CIC washes their hands off by delivering a decision and takes the same appeal procedure for non compliance also without giving any priority for such important violation of it's own decision.

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skmishra1970

JP Sir and Mr. GLN Prasad, it is the true facts that CIC or SIC has no power to execute its own order either for recovery of penalty or to award compensation to appellant. Above discussion is proving this facts. It is the Public Authority who is deducting penalty from PIO's salary. If PA take a clear stand or become silent, CIC or SIC can not do anything to recover such amount through a legal way as Act has not provide any power to SIC or CIC for recovery and for execution of its order.

 

This power has been provided to Consumer Forums u/s 25 and 27 of CPA 1986. You may check it.

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jps50

I humbly quote:

 

In the case of SAKIRI VASU VS. STATE OF UTTAR PRADESH, reported in (2008) 2

SCC 409, it has been held as follows;

18. It is well settled that when a power is given to an authority to do

something it includes such incidental or implied powers which would ensure the

proper doing of that thing. In other words, when any power is expressly granted by

the statute, there is impliedly included in the grant, even without special mention,

every power and every control the denial of which would render the grant itself

ineffective. Thus where an Act confers jurisdiction it impliedly also grants the power

of doing all such acts or employ such means as are essentially necessary for its

execution.

19. The reason for the rule (doctrine of implied power) is quite apparent.

Many matters of minor details are omitted from legislation. As Crawford in his

Statutory Construction (3rd Edn., p.267):

“…If these details could not be inserted by implication, the drafting of legislation

would be an interminable process and the legislative intent would likely be defeated

by a most insignificant omission.”

20.. In ascertaining a necessary implication, the court simple determines

the legislative will and makes it effective. What is necessarily implied is as much part

of the statute as if it were specifically written therein.

(Emphasis supplied by us)

The powers of the Commission to entertain and decide the complaints, necessarily

shows that, the Commission has the necessary power to adjudicate the grievances

and decide the matters brought before it, in terms of the provisions contained in the

RTI Act. The legislative will, in incorporating S.20 in the RTI Act, conferring power on

the Commission to impose the penalties, by necessary implication is to enable the

Commission to do everything which is indispensable for the purpose of carrying out

the purposes in view contemplated under the Act. In our considered view, provisions

of S.20 can be exercised by the Commission also to enforce its order. The underlying

object in empowering the Commission to impose the penalty and/or to resort to

other mode provided therein, cannot and should not be construed only to the

incidents/events prior to the passing of an order by the Commission, but are also in

aid of the order passed by the Commission and its

enforcement/ execution, as otherwise, the legislative will behind the enactment gets

defeated.

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jps50

I also quote from judgement dated 27-01-2009 of Hon'ble HIGH COURT OF KARNATAKA

in C.C.C.No. 525 of 2008 (Civil) BETWEEN SRI.G.BASAVARAJU v/s SMT. ARUNDATHI:

 

"S.20 of RTI Act provides for penalties. It confers powers on the Commission on the basis of which it can enforce its order. The Act having provided for constitution of the Commission and the power to impose the penalties by way of levy of fine and also the Statutory right to recommend to the Government for disciplinary action against the State Information Officer, itself has the necessary powers / provisions, in the form of the provisions of Contempt of Courts Act. It is cardinal principle of interpretation of Statute, well settled by catena of decisions of the Apex Court, that Courts or tribunals, must be held to possess power to execute its own order. Further, the RTI Act, which is a self-contained code, even if it has not been specifically spelt out, must be deemed to have been conferred upon the Commission the power in order to make its order effective, by having recourse to S.20."

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jps50

I also reproduce:

 

THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT BOMBAY

CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION WRIT PETITION NO. 3650 OF 2012

 

Date of judgement: 08-01-2013

 

The provisions of section 19 of the RTI Act deal with appeals; and the powers of State Information Commissioner while deciding said appeals are prescribed in subsection (8) clause (a). This subsection enables the State Information Commissioner to require the public authority to take any such steps as may be necessary to secure compliance with the provisions of RTI Act. Sub-clause (i) then permits the said authority to achieve very same goal by providing access to information in a particular form. Main clause (a) is “general” in nature & ends with words “include”. Its subclauses (i) to (vi) show the mention of specific powers or steps which may be taken. Thus, this placement & arrangement reveals the legislative mandate that powers later specified in subclauses are not designed to restrict the wide field kept deliberately open for the appellate forums and not to encroach upon the general power to issue various types of directions under main clause. The stipulation of specific powers is without prejudice to generality of vast power conferred by S.19(8)(a) i.e. main clause. There is no reason to cut down sweep of this procedure aimed at effective implementation as it militates with its completeness within the RTI Act envisaged & achieved through overriding effect in S. 22 & bar of jurisdiction of civil court in S.23. All the steps/measures required to be adopted for achieving the purpose, object of & compliance with RTI Act, are therefore, open & permitted, and

the appellate authority can issue direction to such public authority to take any of those steps as are suitable to coerce the persons having information to abide by directions issued under the RTI Act. Said steps giving teeth to it & intended at making the law effective, therefore, may include a direction to use other powers available to such public authority i.e. conferred upon it under any other law …………..

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skmishra1970

JP Sir, I agree with above citations provided by you, but despite of above the final result is - citizens are not getting reliefs for which they approaching Info panel reasons under the Act for the reasons best known to Info Panel itself and all above provision / authorities are in-adeque to give suitable relief to citizens as per law.

 

This situation is just similer to the situation before 1986 when there was so many law to protect the interest of Consumers, but that was inadeque and dut to this reason Consumer Protection Act 1986 was enacted with power of "Additional Remedy".

 

I think above situation has again repeat now and peoples required such "Additional Remedy" to get his relief as provided under the RTI Act 2005.

 

There is nothing in Act - what happen if PA do not comply with the order of SIC/CIC. Will SIC or CIC impose another penalty of Rs. 25000/- ? What happen if that are also refused or PA become silent ? On one violation of RTI provision, SIC or CIC may impose number of penalty on PA ?

 

Please read enclosed judgement of District Forum where DCDRF ordered to provided Info with Compensation of Rs. 25000/- with specially direction that if not complied, complainant is free to file execution application either u/s 25 or u/s 27 of CPA 1986. The case was that Info. was refused by PIO and after that FAA too but SIC had allowed it. But despite of SIC Order, PIO has not bothered to provide Info. Complainant approached SIC two times that your order is not complying by PIO, SIC written two times to PIO to provide Info. but PIO has not provided Info. when third times applicant approach DCDRF, than he got success to get order for Info and Compensation of Rs. 25000/- with a liberty to file Execution Application u/s 25 / 27 of the Act if info & compensation still not provided by PIO. After the order of DCDRF PIO immediate complied it and provide info with compensation of Rs. 25000/- because PIO was aware that proceedings u/s 25/27 they can be sent jail for 6 month, or their property can be attached for recovery of that compensation awarded by DCDRF.

 

Due to absent of such a provision in RTI Act 2005, PA is not giving any head to order of SIC. It will be pertinent to mention here that SIC also working as friendly with PIO & FAA, they offer tea in chamber and discuss how to settle the case without harming the interest of PIO or FAA, in my case once OP was absent during hearing, but in order OP was shown as present. These are the facts under which Citizens are loosing their faith in SIC or CIC and they are looking for another remedy.

Consumer Forum Tooticoran - Complaint for RTI after 2nd Appeal_25-3-2011..pdf

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karira
JP Sir, I agree with above citations provided by you, but despite of above the final result is - citizens are not getting reliefs for which they approaching Info panel reasons under the Act for the reasons best known to Info Panel itself and all above provision / authorities are in-adeque to give suitable relief to citizens as per law.

 

This is only because of the type of persons appointed as ICs and CICs.

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